Friday, June 20, 2008

Hulk (2003)

The first attempt at Hulk (2003) was anything but a smashing success. With the release of The Incredible Hulk (2008) it was playing on the Sci-Fi channel so I elected to watch it.

Roundly panned as too slow-paced, this movie was only improved by the frequent commercial interruptions. How anyone stomached sitting through this in the theatre is beyond me. Director Ang Lee is very technically proficient...and he got so lost in showing that fact the movie suffered for it.

Regular use is made of sophisticated editing techniques...picture within picture within picture within picture, for example. His framing is excellent, his use of pans and tilts unquestionably solid.

He also makes a point of using wipes and fades. His hand is felt in virtually every second of the film. In no instance was he willing to allow a good story to get in the way of his editing thrills. This distracts horribly from what would have been a pretty good story.

The Hulk himself is horribly CGId. It looks cheesy and like what it is...a highly technical bit of green screen action. He does not fit with the otherwise gorgeous visuals.

The story would actually be very solid and enjoyable if not for one humongous flaw. It is full of characters drawn into conflict with each other because they each have their own private motivations. Some of the conflicts are shallow, some run pretty deep.

However, this is a Superhero movie. When most people go to a big budget Super Hero movie they are expecting action...fights, violence, etc., not scene after scene after scene after scene of characters struggling with internal issues.

Hulk had the wrong characters to carry that story. There should have been more scenes of him pounding on the villain his dad David Banner (Nick Nolte) or fighting the Gamma Dogs...though that battle got old as there are only so many times the battle can be over only to have yet one more surprise attack...that was kind of lame.

The fight scenes other than the one with the Gamma Dogs were pretty disappointing as well. This was not the movie that should have been made. After waiting this long to see it, I can only say...I did not wait long enough.

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