New year, new intro to my comic book movie posts. I really enjoy movies based on comic books, whether they be well-known like the X-Men movies, or obscure films like the 1990 Captain America. Every time I watch one (or re-watch one) I write up a post with my thoughts. I try to be spoiler free, but the older the movie, the less careful I am. This time it was the 2009 animated movie Hulk Vs.
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes critics: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes audience: 66%
My Rating: 5/10
I haven’t watched very many of Marvel’s animated movies, so this was a bit of a new experience for me. I had heard some good things about this two-part movie, and it was definitely entertaining.
The first part was Hulk vs Thor. After a very quick set-up sequence, the rest of the movie was basically just one long battle. Loki and Amora start things off by releasing the Hulk from Banner and unleashing him on Asgard. The fact that they were able to subdue the Hulk so quickly and efficiently was a little odd, even more so later on as they really struggle when facing him later on.
There were a few character moments that I really liked. The first was the portrayal of Bruce as scrawny. I often see him as a bit more muscular and it never seems to fit quite right. The fact that Banner was always so nervous and anxious was another nice touch. He truly looked and felt haunted by the Hulk. All that was highlighted at the end when he refuses to accept the Hulk back into himself.
Other than Banner, the rest of this section was mostly action. It was fun for a while, but a little more story would have been nice.
The second segment was Hulk vs Wolverine, and it was by far the better piece. Some of that was due to the fact that it was about Wolverine, not the Hulk. The setup was pretty straightforward, Logan’s sent to track down the Hulk after a town is destroyed. He does so and they begin to fight. The fight was great. Hulk completely destroys Wolverine, but then I noticed a change. When they first start battling, Wolverine tries to overpower the Hulk. He fights like he’s always been stronger than his opponent. When he loses (badly), the next time goes after the Hulk he uses speed and tactics. It was pretty subtle, but it made a huge difference. It developed the character while improving the action. I really liked that touch. Another aspect of the battles that was nice was that Wolverine actually used his claws. In so many animated versions of the X-Men, Wolverine doesn’t actually use his claws to injure. He uses them to defend himself, to slice his way through walls, or to threaten people, but it’s pretty rare that he actually draws blood. Not so in this movie. He carves people up (though, for the most part he’s attacking the those who can take it without dying).
Things quickly turn in the story when both Wolverine and the Hulk are captured by several of Wolverine’s enemies. At this point, I was a little disappointed because I was expecting the movie to be about Hulk (you know, because his name’s in the title), but the segment was primarily about Wolverine. Having the focus on Wolverine gave the story more depth, but made me less sympathetic towards Banner and the Hulk.
Overall, it was a fun movie, but not a great one. I don’t think I’d watch it again, but it was a great way to kill an hour.