Hulk - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hulk Reviews

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½ June 18, 2018
This movie had a lot to prove right out of the starting gate. With its seemingly disappointing too-CGI look, depth of star-studded talent onboard and $150 million price tag, Hulk was destined to be this decade's Waterworld. In fact, I questioned whether or not I wanted to spend the money to see this movie. Me...the comic book fan (not necessarily a Hulk fan, really, but definitely a comic book fan). However, what made me pay the $8.00 and spend the nearly 2 and a half hours in the theater was the fact that, as a kid, I looked forward to the day when Marvel finally put all of their characters on the big screen. So out of support of that inner child, I went.

Frankly, I feel for Ang Lee because he was an art-house filmmaker tasked with creating a summer blockbuster. As we all know, summer blockbusters are for the masses, who don't necessarily CARE about art-house filmmaking. They like to see stuff blow up! Well, stuff definitely blows up. However, Ang blows stuff up with STYLE. Really...no kidding. There is an art to the action in this movie. It is superb!

But I digress....

I've been reading a lot of reviews of this movie. Some nail the issues on the head, but some just flat-out don't get it. Yeah, the brain-blob thing at the end and the obligatory "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" at the end were cheesy. In fact, those two things single handedly dropped this movie down to a B for me. But the point is, this is well-known character, a pretty old story and, no matter what, it needed to be ambitious. I've read that people thought, "it could have been better" and "lacks focus." Ok, it wasn't perfect. But the fact is, no one (and I mean NO ONE) could have made this movie, using this story, about this character, any better. This was the best Hulk movie that could have ever been made.

I've never been a huge fan of the Hulk. It was one of the comics that I never really bought. I was a huge Avengers fan, whose early issues featured the Hulk, but the Hulk was never a hero for me in the traditional sense of spandex-wearing, glory-hound heroes. And, as a kid, I never really cared for the television series with the late Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, who has a cameo in the film with Stan Lee. The stories were always too serious and I never bought a "human" Hulk. Lou was just too small and, frankly, retarded looking. The show never captured the true impact of the Hulk's strength, agility and rage. As an adult though, I have watched a few of the old Hulk TV episodes and I'm surprised how well done the stories are.

So it came time to add Hulk to the long list of, pardon the pun, green-lit Marvel Hero pictures. X-Men, one of the riskiest franchises in which to try a movie, especially with the passionate fans of Wolverine, has been done perfectly. Spider-Man, although I did not care for it at first, has grown on me in home video to where I realize how perfectly it was done compared to its original story and feel. Daredevil, a comic for which I never cared, resulting in quite a good, dark movie. So how does one now add a huge, very un-human-like character who obviously, to be done correctly, had to be CGI?

Well, first of all, it had to be action-packed. That was a given. In fact, this movie will probably not make its money back because it's not a mindless continuous action-driven bore. It's not 2 Fast 2 Furious. At the very least, the story had to out-do the cheesy television show in depth. And, although it seemed like it would not be a difficult challenge, it had to out do the weak Hulk on TV and the two-dimensional Saturday morning cartoon Hulk. And finally, it had to make the comic book purists happy.

Oh...and one more thing...it had to make money.

Come on! Get real! Those expectations alone are pretty unrealistic, at least in their entirety. Heck, making comic book purists happy could be the hardest part sometimes. However, I started thinking that things were going to be alright with the Hulk when Ang Lee was announced as the director. I mean, you have to hand it to Marvel. Bryan Singer? Sam Raimi? Ang Lee? Heavy hitters baby! These are very good filmmakers tackling these projects. So, at the very least, the best shot would be given.

So let's take this step-by-step. First of all...to comic book purists. I'm interested in hearing more feedback from them about this movie. There are some radical changes to the original story, which may turn off some of the purists. For instance, there was never a father named David Banner (Nick Nolte) who performed a radical experiment on himself only to have the genetic alteration be passed on to his son. However, purists may overlook some of the changes because, in my opinion, the movie makes the Hulk story better, for the most part. Purists may also be so impressed with the comic-book-like editing that they overlook the story changes.

Secondly, the story. I think this part I should have been the least surprised. Ang Lee is a master story teller. In his films, he goes to great lengths to provide extensive character development. Hulk is no different, almost to a fault. However, and I'm not sure if it is because the movie execs made him cut a lot of story out (which is what I read), there are many holes.

The many complaints I have heard about this movie are that Ang spent too much time developing the characters and, that may be true. It is 45 minutes until we see the Hulk (which was fine with me) due to the extensive build-up story and character development.

However, for all its attempts at character development, I never understood why Bruce liked being the Hulk when I saw more evidence to the contrary. I never understood why the "moments" Bruce had seemed uncontrollable until Talbot WANTED Bruce to turn into the Hulk, then he consciously stopped it from happening. And I never understood, until a ridiculous, over-dramatic rant at the end, why David Banner was so hell-bent on creating this genetic alteration. I never understood why some people died (Bruce's mom) as a result of the gamma explosion, but some did not (Betty, David and Bruce). Finally, I never understood why General Ross left his daughter in the cafe alone.

The David-and-Bruce father-and-son thing never really got to me, which may explain why I hated the end so much. In fact, since this was a father/child movie, I actually believed the General Ross/Betty Ross relationship more. Sam Elliott's performance as Thunderbolt Ross was excellent, while Jennifer Connelly's performance was good and well-cast, but I could not get over her empty stare, which I've seen in many of her movies. I'm not sure if she's trying to be sexy (which she lost the ability to do years ago) or if she is just that odd.

One thing that Ang did very well was the relationship between Bruce and Betty. I bought into the fact that Bruce was emotionally distant because his natural instinct, from the genetic mutation, was to suppress his feelings. And when his "emotions" finally came out following the gamma accident in the lab, all he wanted to do was find his love, Betty, who had wanted him to "feel" for so long. Excellent job. This was very well done.

And I liked the father-squabble between General Ross and David Banner. It was believable and drove the story well, even when Ross put aside his anger to allow David to see Bruce one last time because it was "what Betty wanted." It was the father-child relationships that were not very well done. I'm wondering if they were cutting room floor casualties.

Finally, and this was the important question for many, but was the Hulk himself done well? As disappointed as I was in the "fat face" of the Hulk in the Super Bowl trailer, $20 million was successfully spent "reworking" the CGI Hulk at the last minute. In fact, the CGI Hulk was one of the best parts about the movie. At last, there was an accurate portrayal of the green monster in all his strength, rage and agility. Ang outdid himself and he should be very proud. Comic purists should be relieved and pleased at the result of this $150 million investment. From a selfish point of view, I almost don't care if they make their money back. I'm just glad someone spent the money to do the movie right! This success also makes me look forward to the CGI version of the Thing from next Thanksgiving's anticipated Fantastic Four movie.

The build up to the introduction of the Hulk was perfect, as were the battle scenes between the Hulk and the mutated dogs, as well as the military attacks. However, all of the action culminates into an absurd battle against a now-mutated David Banner for a father-son finale. I walked away wondering, "Ok...how did Bruce live through that, but David did not?"

In summary, I would have actually added more story (though I think most people would have left the theater) to explain a lot of the holes in the film and I would have chopped off the pointless final 20 minutes. I honestly think Ang had that idea as well, but was forced into some ridiculous parts to appease the masses.

Hulk was a very enjoyable film though, as long as you don't want to critique it. I left the theater very pleased and only thought about the holes later. At the very least, the action is worth the price of admission.
½ June 16, 2018
There are a lot of ingredients that went into Hulk that should have made for something special: it's extremely well-crafted, it's impressively inventive visually, with special effects that still stand up, and for the most part it focuses on character rather than spectable, an uncommon trait for superhero movies. Yet for all the technical brilliance it's a hard film to really connect with. (Or perhaps because of it; the constant intrusion of new cuts and visual tricks distract as often as they enhance.) It isn't really clear why this is, on paper the story is a compelling one as it focuses on the protagonists and their relationships with their fathers (the hero and love interest are on equal footing on their journey together, another rarity for the genre). It's no point putting characters first if they aren't interesting, however, and that may be the problem. For one thing they aren't that complex, the hero's repressed trauma that drives a lot of the plot can be seen coming a mile off and the antagonists would have been better served if they were more morally ambiguous. By the climax any subtlety gets thrown out the window, character is cast aside for action, but it's hard to care without sufficient emotional weight underpinning it. As such this is a film that's better to look at than to experience and what could have been a great comic-book movie is merely a decent one.
½ June 14, 2018
I really love this movie. I adore this movie. I've always liked this movie ever since I was a 6-years-old kid. I honestly don't get the hate for it. Hulk (2003) is such an underrated gem. People are way too harsh on this movie. It's by no means a perfect movie, but it's honestly a solid, decent film. It's not even Ang Lee's worst film nor one of his worst films. Hulk (2003) is one of my favorite comic book movies ever. This movie was ahead of it's time. The screen panels weren't that bad. It's really not so bad once you get used to it. Eric Bana is my favorite Bruce Banner. His portrayal of Bruce Banner is one of the best, most underrated, and most sympathetic portrayals in superhero film history. He was a brilliant Bruce Banner. Eric Bana is the perfect Bruce Banner. His acting is superb in this movie. Jennifer Connolly is absolutely perfect as Betty Ross. She is wonderful in this movie. I love her chemistry with Eric Bana. Sam Elliot is brilliant as General Thunderbolt Ross. His acting is amazing in this movie. I like the father daughter chemistry between him and Jennifer Connolly's Betty Ross. They had a very true and conflicting and convincing father/daughter conflict unlike Liv Tyler's Betty Ross and William Hurt's General Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk. Josh Lucas, in my opinion, is miscast as Major Glenn Talbot. He for someone reason just doesn't fit the role of Talbot, but still a much more faithful and accurate portrayal of Major Glenn Talbot than the one from that god-awful Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show. Nick Nolte is great as Bruce's father David Banner, who is the villain and main antagonist of the movie. Nick Nolte was amazing in this movie. I love his performance. David Banner was an extremely compelling villain in this movie and very different from most Marvel movie villains. His motivation was really great and you can actually feel for him and maybe even agree with him. The relationship between Bruce and his father is really tragic, dark, and depressing, but also very compelling. All David Banner ever wanted was to work in peace and obtain superhuman powers "beyond God's boundaries" as he said to Betty in that one scene. But then General Ross got in the way and wouldn't allow him to test on human subjects and then things got even worse....his wife Edith was pregnant with his son and he accidentally passed his gamma ray powers onto his son Bruce since he was born. Ross finds out that he tested on himself because he found samples of human blood in his lab, and then fired David and kicked him out which drove David into getting enraged and setting off the gamma bomb in the lab to detonate. He talks to Edith alone in the bedroom after he runs back home when the loud emergency alarm goes on in the military gamma base. He talks about killing their 4-year-old son Bruce because he was afraid he would turn into a gamma monster or something like that and because Ross took his chance away to cure his son, so he thought killing him was the only option left. The mother loved her son too much to let his own father murder him. He shouts loudly and wildly and grabs a large knife and tries to stab his own 4-year-old son but then accidentally trips on his wife with the knife in his hand accidentally stabbing her in the chest when she was preventing him from killing Bruce. Hulk battling the gamma dogs sent by David to kill Betty (that was very faithful to the comics, so I don't hate it, plus it's a comic book movie, comic book films are supposed to be somewhat cheesy or have some cheesiness in it). Hulk battling the military in the desert base. Hulk destroying the tanks in the desert. Hulk hopping in the Mahogony Desert. Him preventing the aircraft from crashing the Golden Gate Bridge and destroying it. The army and the police surrounding him in San Francisco and him transforming back into Bruce Banner when he saw Betty and hugging her and her crying. The third act where Bruce and his father have an intense conversation and the final battle. ALL OF THAT WAS GREAT! I love this movie. The third act is admittedly a bit weird and choppy, but I still love it. Hulk (2003) is one of my favorite comic book movies ever and I will always defend it no matter what. I like Hulk (2003) more than some of the MCU movies such as Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Thor: Ragnarok. Hulk (2003) is a better film than Howard the Duck, The Punisher (1989), Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, The Punisher (2004), Blade: Trinity, Elektra, Man-Thing, Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Punisher: War Zone, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Iron Man 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, X-Men: Apocalypse, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Steel, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Catwoman, Constantine, Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Red 2, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League, Spawn, Judge Dredd, Men in Black 2, R.I.P.D., and Max Steel. I am a huge hardcore defender and supporter of this film. Ang Lee did a great job! Brilliant film! Highly, extremely, massively, and criminally underrated! HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS MOVIE HAVE A 29% AUDIENCE SCORE??? HOW THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE A LOWER AUDIENCE SCORE THAN WORSE MOVIES LIKE HOWARD THE DUCK, THE PUNISHER (1986), BATMAN FOREVER, BLADE: TRINITY, DAREDEVIL, THE PUNISHER (2004) CONSTANTINE, FANTASTIC FOUR (2005), SUPERMAN RETURNS, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER, SPIDER-MAN 3, GHOST RIDER, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, IRON MAN 2, GREEN LANTERN, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, IRON MAN 3, RED 2, MAN OF STEEL, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, SUICIDE SQUAD, THOR: RAGNAROK, JUSTICE LEAGUE, AND MAX STEEL. THE ROTTEN TOMATOES AUDIENCE IS SO FUCKING STUPID!!!! FUCK WHAT THE CROWD HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS MOVIE! Most of the critics are right about this film. FUCK THE AUDIENCE!!!!! MOST OF THE AUDIENCE IS RETARDED. ALL THE DISLIKERS AND HATERS ARE RETARDED.
½ June 8, 2018
Overall a "meh" movie. The CGI, while it can't be helped, is rather goofy. There really is no steady plot, and when there is one, it jumps around to much. The action scenes are boring and drawn out, and the ending is confusing. The one redeeming quality about "HULK" is it's characters; especially Banner, the Hulk himself. However, in total the movie was okay, but toward the end it got boring.
May 31, 2018
This film is truly bizarre, and is certainly a world away from the less-serious Marvel movies we see over a decade later, but I liked it nonetheless. It seems as though director Ang Lee was attempting to make a deep psychological film, with ideas that are admittedly worth pondering over more than once, and a script with actors who get the job done, despite a surprising (if not refreshing) lack of action and spectacle until the final act.
May 8, 2018
The "Hulk" movie is nothing but a pop-corn flick that 'thinks' it's much more.
½ April 17, 2018
Now, i can see where people who dont like long movies, or the Hulk could hate this. Heck, i love the Hulk and i thought it could have been a tad shorter. But it would have had been better with more action. I liked the way Ang Lee split the screen to give it the comic book feel, it was a nice touch. Eric Bana was a pretty good Bruce Banner, but i have high hopes for Edward Norton in the sequel.
½ April 12, 2018
It is literally so terrible not worth anybody time
April 9, 2018
I really liked The visual effects on this movie
April 3, 2018
Poor visuals and a flawed narrative that does not explore the fractured superhero's potential, Hulk is Ang Lee's poor attempt to prove the Green Goliath a viable and layered superhero.
March 23, 2018
The only good thing is Jennifer Connelly's and Sam Elliot's acting.
March 17, 2018
Nick nOLTE, sAM eLIOT, yOU CANNOT MAKE A BAD MOVIE WITH THEM. tHE CLEVER PLOT WITH A LITTLE SCIENCE MIXED IN, BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. tHE VIEWS ON gETTO bRAZIL CITY AND PLANT AS BANNER TRIES TO GO INCOGNITO IN BRAZIL ARE MY FAVORITE. tHIS ONE WILL DO BILL BIXBEY PROUD.
½ March 15, 2018
I appreciate trying to get a deep story here, but all we want is for the Hulk to smash. There's nowhere near enough of that in this drag of a film.
½ February 24, 2018
Come on how why do people not like this movie? This is a great movie. It has a great story line. It also has great acting. It is a good movie. See it.
February 24, 2018
Not the best MARVEL movie. Half the people I was watching it with were asleep by the end of the film. The plot wasn't terrible, with unexpected twists and turns. On the other hand, the Hulk didn't appear enough in the picture to make the "excellent movie" cut for me. What's more, the special effects were by MARVEL standards, awful. Still, Hulk was entertaining, even though it didn't blow me away. Not a must-see, but not terrible either.
½ February 10, 2018
i hate this movie so much, one of the worst movies i ever saw it is a complete mess, horrible acting, boring, full of plot holes, undeveloped charactersand messey script and dialogue.
February 6, 2018
This is a very thought provoking film that doesn't get enough attention. I find it the Donnie Darko of comic book films before The Dark Knight Trilogy and Logan. The acting is superb, the angst is well-written and is much better than the 2008 film.
½ February 4, 2018
Rotten Tomatoes critics are typically on point with their ratings- but this is by far the worst offense of being way off from what i believe. Hulk is a horrible movie, and one of the worst superhero movies I've ever seen- yes it's worse than Batman and Robin. I was drifting off when I watched this, and I typically can't fall asleep during movies. It was a rough 2 hours. It boggles my mind that this has a fresh rating. Higher than Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-Man 2? That's ridiculous. The audience reviews really show how this movie is- awful.
½ January 20, 2018
Part of me really wants to embrace its strangeness and unique visual style that was never seen before in any other comic book movie at the time. I'm all for a talky, dialogue-heavy superhero movie that deals with the inner struggle of its protagonist and his identity. Hell, I'm one of the few people who finds Josh Trank's "Fant4stic" passable, so why not embrace Ang Lee's take on this giant green monster, right?

Yeah, that didn't happen.

What a mess of a movie. For starter, this film made Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte look boring, and it is almost impossible for these guys to look boring in movies. With such lifeless, bland characters at the center of it and the story that is so dull and, frankly, pointless, it was beyond painful to see Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly (two really fine actors in my opinion) talking like some really screwed-up replicants. Do they even possess a soul? Or a heart? Or even consciousness? Why are they talking like robots? Who are these people??

The visual effects do not hold up at all and most of the action set-pieces (not that there were many) lack any sense of heft or visceral thrill. The dialogue is not interesting, the editing style is so awkward (trying to recreate the look of a comic book, with multiple shots popping up within one big frame), and in the end you learn nothing about the characters or their motivations or their purpose in life. I really, really didn't like this movie. What a disappointment.
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