Hulk (2003)



Critic Consensus: While Ang Lee's ambitious film earns marks for style and an attempt at dramatic depth, there's ultimately too much talking and not enough smashing.

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Movie Info

Ang Lee directs the live-action feature film The Hulk, based on the Marvel comic book created by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby. Emotionally stunted Dr. Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) is part of a research team at the University of California at Berkeley. Corporate hustler Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas) takes notice of the lab and makes plans to take it over. Then Bruce accidentally gets hit by an experimental ray and grows into a huge beast, destroying the lab in the process. A creepy janitor who claims to be his real father, Dr. David Banner (Nick Nolte), starts to secretly use the experimental ray on himself. He creates some mutant dogs and sends them after Bruce's lab mate and ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly). After Bruce saves her life in the form of the Hulk, she lets her distant father, General Ross (Sam Elliott), take him to an abandoned army base in the desert. However, Glenn Talbot takes over the operation and wants to patent the creature's superpowers for his own profit, so he holds Bruce unconscious in an isolation tank. When provoked, Bruce turns into the Hulk and makes a break for San Francisco, leading to a desert chase sequence involving military aircraft, tanks, and bombs. Only the sight of Betty can make him turn back to his human form. When he is eventually captured, Dr. David Banner shows up for a final confrontation with his son and his old adversary, General Ross. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity)
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Eric Bana
as Bruce Banner
Jennifer Connelly
as Betty Ross
Sam Elliott
as General `Thunderbolt' Ross
Nick Nolte
as Dr. David Banner
Josh Lucas
as Glenn Talbot
Paul Kersey
as Young David Banner
Cara Buono
as Edith Banner
Lou Ferrigno
as Security Guard
Brooke Langton
as Jennifer Sossman
Stan Lee
as Security Guard
Todd Tesen
as Young Ross
Kevin Rankin
as Harper
Celia Weston
as Mrs. Krensler
Mike Erwin
as Teenage Bruce Banner
Regi Davis
as Security Guard
Craig Damon
as Security Guard
Geoffrey Scott
as President
Regina McKee Redwing
as National Security Advisor
Daniella Kuhn
as Edith's Friend
Michael Kronenberg
as Bruce Banner as a Child
David Kronenberg
as Bruce Banner as a Child
Rhiannon Leigh Wryn
as Betty Ross as a Child
Lou Richards
as Pediatrician
Jennifer Gotzon
as Waitress
Louanne Kelley
as Delivery Doctor
Toni Kallen
as Delivery Nurse
John Littlefield
as Security NCO
Reggie Davis
as Security Guard
Johnny Kastl
as Soldier
Eric Ware
as Soldier
Jesse Corti
as Colonel
Rob Swanson
as Colonel
Mark Atteberry
as Technician
Eva Burkley
as Technician
Paul H. Kim
as Officer
Rondda Holeman
as Technician
John A. Maraffi
as Technician
Michael Papajohn
as Technician
David St. Pierre
as Technician
Boni Yanagisawa
as Technician
David Sutherland
as Tank Commander
Sean Mahon
as Comanche Pilot
Brett Thacher
as Comanche Pilot
Kirk B.R. Woller
as Comanche Pilot
Randy Neville
as F-22 Pilot
John Prosky
as Atheon Technician
Ricardo Aguilar
as Boy's Father
Victor Rivers
as Paramilitary
Lyndon Karp
as Davey
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News & Interviews for Hulk

Critic Reviews for Hulk

All Critics (227) | Top Critics (45)

[An] enjoyable summer behemoth.

Full Review… | April 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Nice as it would be to report that Ang and his co-writer/producer James Schamus had regenerated the summer blockbuster, we gotta poop the party.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An interesting effort to give one of the staples of mass entertainment something extra in the way of insight and feeling.

Full Review… | July 10, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

Big, dopey and crammed with special effects that take the breath away.

Full Review… | June 26, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

Despite the profusion of computer-generated effects, which rousingly bring the green guy to life, I often felt, for better and for worse, that I was watching a comic-book movie reconceived as a piece of serious mythmaking.

June 22, 2003
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Unlike your average comic-book blockbuster, The Hulk isn't a bad cartoon. It's a bad modern Greek tragedy.

Full Review… | June 21, 2003
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hulk

Ang Lee tried way too hard to make this look like a comic book with the scene within a scene style sequences starting to get in the way of the storytelling. It started aggravating and annoying me because I would have much rather just had it back to normal. The film does get criticized a little too much among comic book fans for trying something new and not having enough action for a Hulk film (something they kind of overcorrected in The Incredible Hulk). It's not all successful, but the plot is actually pretty interesting and held my attention long after most comic book films. Eric Bana was the first to try out the character of Bruce Banner and while he is not terrible, he is certainly the worst of the three actors who have portrayed the character so far. He is just kind of bland and lacks personality. Jennifer Connelly is actually pretty good as Betty Ross (certainly better than Liv Tyler) while Sam Elliot and Nick Nolte chew on the scenery as the General and Bruce's father. The special effects were very impressive for their time and they have held up admirably. It doesn't look as good as comic book films do now, but it doesn't look terrible and out of date like other older ones. Ultimately, Ang Lee tried to cram too much into Hulk. It's an entertaining misfire that has some fascinating attributes and keeps my attention, but also lacks the fun stuff that many fans were looking for. They have yet to make the ultimate Hulk film, but hopefully they give it another try down the line.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer


The Hulk in this film looks very fake. Disappointed with the story as well. It seems like it had potential but just missed the mark. The phycological aspects of the film are great, but everything else falls short. Good effort.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

Ang Lee's adaptation, though visually remarkable, still fails to build solidification for the franchise. Very subtle on the action and more of a concern with the dialogue, Hulk's smash wasn't strong enough to capture audiences. 2/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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