June 2003
The Hulk : Bigger and Badder

Reviewed by Diana Blain

The Hulk
Directed by: Ang Lee
Screenplay by: James Schamus, John Turman, Michael France
Produced by: Gale Anne Hurd, Avi Arad, James Schamus, Larry Franco
Distribution: Universal Pictures in association with Marvel Enterprises
Music composed by: Danny Elfman
Cast: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas, & Nick Nolte


The one thing you don’t want to do is “MAKE HIM ANGRY”. For over four decades, the comic book character “The Hulk” formerly known as The Incredible Hulk found its way into the minds of children as well as adults as Bruce Banner’s alter ego. Older generation knew him as the muscle bound weight lifter dipped in green paint played by ex- wrestler Lou Ferrigno. However, for today’s generation he is new and improved.

“What have they done with ‘The Hulk’?” I thought to myself. Sooner than later, I would receive the answers to all my questions once I saw the film and was reintroduced to the green giant.

Unlike from what was established in the comic book, the producers and writers of the film have come up with a new story explaining the transformation of Bruce Banner (Bana). After an upbringing that one would never want, Bruce has done quite well for himself as he is a scientist working on a project with his ex-girlfriend and fellow researcher, Betty Ross (Connelly). When an accident occurs in the lab and Bruce saves the life of a colleague, everyone is surprised and wondering why Bruce isn’t dead. He was exposed to some heavy dose of gamma radiation that killed all the animals in the lab, but him. While at the hospital, he receives a visit from the new janitor who claims to be his father, David Banner (Nolte). Not only that, Betty’s father, General Ross (Elliot) comes in town not to see his estranged daughter, but figure out what Bruce is up to. It seems that the elder Banner and Ross worked together in the past and Ross had David locked up for 30 years. While Bruce struggles with his repressed memories from his childhood, the anger within him unleashed “The Hulk”, a tall-green eyed creature with massive strength and an enormous leaping ability. Glenn Talbot (Lucas), the corporate executive and also a rival researcher, never liked Banner but wants to befriend him for ulterior motives. Meanwhile General Ross enlists the full force of the government to protect the country and his daughter. When the Hulk is able to transform himself back to Bruce Banner, it leaves him with blackouts. As Bruce tries to find a cure with a reluctant Betty, evil and danger lie near as father David, Talbot, and General Ross and the military close in on him.

“My you’ve grown” I thought as I watched him fight off DNA altered super powered dogs and whisk his way through big buildings angry as can be. The new computer generated Hulk leaves a huge impression on screen. I got used to him quickly.

Though “The Hulk” truly is the star of this movie, we can’t ignore the excellent performance given by Australian born Eric Bana. Moviegoers fell in love with this young hunk in The Chopper and will continue to support the rising star after seeing this film. His passion and dedication to his craft illuminates the screen as he portrays the infamous Bruce Banner. The chemistry between Eric Bana (Bruce Banner) and Nick Nolte (Bruce’s father, David) is remarkable and memorable. Jennifer Connelly, as always, captivates the screen with her beauty and talent. Aside from a slow of pace of direction, it is safe to say Director Ang Lee, best known for the critically acclaimed and four-time academy awarding winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, gave this film his best effort and heart. The CGI in the film was adequate enough to dispel the negative rumors that existed on various websites. Expect to see tons of crushing, breaking and throwing of objects in this blockbuster.