Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’ is not what I expected. A lot of people think that this is the next Spiderman; a movie for the kids. It isn’t. It has depth. It centres around sophisticated characters. It is a world apart from the hulk T.V. series, starring Lou Ferringo, which popularised the incredible hulk during the 1970’s. Hulk is a dark and serious psychological drama cum sci-fi spectacle which I enjoyed immensely.
The story of anguished alter egos, it has more in common with Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde than Spider-man. Bruce Banner played by Eric Bana (Chopper, Black Hawk Down) suffers from an acute identity crisis. When Bruce Banner is pushed hard enough to transform into Hulk, the movie moves up a notch and delivers some of the most satisfying action sequences ever put to film, as the hulk throws tanks, fighter jets and even ends up on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Hulk is a computer generated character and while he is spectacular to witness, he is not quite ‘photo-realistic’. This is where most people might have trouble suspending disbelief. But hopefully, like me, you will be so absorbed in the story and the wonderful characters here that you won’t have to try too hard.
Offering support to Bana are Nick Nolte (Cape Fear, The Good Thief), playing Bruce’s father David, Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), playing Bruce’s love interest Betty Ross. All do commendable work here, but Nolte is the stand out. His manic, bedraggled David Banner is a joy to watch and steals the show whenever he gets the opportunity.
More intelligent than it has any right to be, Hulk oozes class and great direction. Writer James Schamus must be given credit for having the guts to dare deliver a script which actually takes a comic book character seriously, and pulls it off with style to spare.
Hulk is highly recommended viewing.
4.5 out of 5