2003-07-04 / Columnists

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘The Hulk’ - Anger Mismanagment

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘The Hulk’ - Anger Mismanagment

MovieScope By Robert Snyder
‘The Hulk’ - Anger Mismanagment


Is anyone out there getting sick of superheroes? We’ve had Superman, X-Men, Batman, Spiderman and, now, the Hulk. Enough already.

Oh yeah, another Angel-ina Jolie "Tomb Raider" film is coming out. Then, there’s "The Matrix’ movies and "Charlie’s Angels." Pamela Anderson is, I believe, going to be "Stripella." Yikes

Class director Ang Lee ("The Ice Storm;" "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon;" "Sense and Sensibility") has plunged full steam into the comic-book genre and quickly become mired in unending exposition and annoying split screens.

It seems that the filmmaker’s wife is a biochemist, which may explain his obsession with shots of test-tubes.
The Hulk’s father is ‘60’s scientist David Banner, who’s first seen conducting top-secret genetic experiments for the U.S. military someplace in the American desert. Initially interested in healing soldiers’ war wounds, Ban-ner finds himself in a comic-book cliché, the creation of super powers.

Once he has bitten the apple, there’s no turning back, even though the military mucky-mucks cancel his project and kick him off the base.

However, Banner has injected himself with an experimental serum, just in time to get his wife pregnant. The result is young Bruce, whose veins grow green when he’s upset. Put up for adoption when dear dad kills mom in a fit of rage, Bruce unknowingly follows his father’s footsteps and, as an adult scientist (Eric Dana), continues the old man’s controversial lab research. He also falls in love with pretty colleague Betty (Jennifer Connelly), who happens to be the daughter of his father’s archenemy General Ross (Sam El-liott).

After accidentally withstanding a blast of nanomeds and gamma radiation, Bruce transforms into a big green fighting machine, when anger overwhelms him.

To make life worse, his wacky father returns in the form of he Unibomber, or Nick Nolte after a drunk driving arrest. In fact, David Banner is played by Nolte at this point in the picture. With him are three mutated canines, which tear off the Bruce-as-Hulk’s Spandex-expanding cutoffs.

At 137minutes, "The Hulk" (or "Hulk" according to the ads and opening title) is a brutal bore. Besides explanations and test-tube twirling, we’re left with Nolte acting like an idiot and a giant Gumby gone berserk leaping from mountaintops, after smashing cars and helicopters.

With "The Hulk," we’ve seen superheroes for a lifetime…or at least a summer.

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