Comic Book Movie Rewatch: Hulk

I’ve decided to go back and watch a bunch of movies based on comic books. No real reason, just something I thought would be fun. This time it was the 2003 movie Hulk.

hulkHulk

IMDb Rating: 5.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes critics: 61%

Rotten Tomatoes audience: 29%

My Rating: 3/10

This isn’t really a rewatch since I’d never seen the movie before. I went into this movie with really low expectations. I had heard nothing but bad things about it, and I was hoping that a lot of that was just hype. After watching it, I’d say that it wasn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, but it’s still pretty bad.

I’ll start with the one positive. I thought the acting was actually pretty solid. I liked Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, and Sam Elliott in their roles. Nick Nolte and Josh Lucas weren’t quite there, but still did okay. Bana is good as Bruce Banner, he’s a little distanced from the rest of the cast, which fits the character, and his chemistry with Connelly doesn’t seem too forced. Sam Elliot is solid in the military role, and the rift between his character and Connelly’s is believable.

Now that that’s out of the way, the rest of this movie is awful. While the actors are good, the writing was not. There were times where it seemed like the actors knew that their dialogue was forced and stiff, but managed to get past that based on their talents alone. The plot isn’t great, and there were a lot of really illogical decisions made by major characters. The final battle was also pretty predictable.

Adding to that was the direction. The random comic book style split screens were terrible. The action was hectic and forced. Worst of all, the pace of the movie dragged. I thought I had been watching for about an hour, and it turned out only 30 minutes had passed. When I figured the climax was getting close, it turned out I was only halfway through the movie. Even the fight scenes dragged a lot longer than needed, and they wound up being boring by the time they concluded.

The visual effects weren’t quite as bad as I had been expecting, but they were still cringe-worthy at times. The Hulk looked cartoonish during closeups, and like a video game during distance shots. The other big issue was his clothing. His torn pants looked like they were added on after the rest of the motion was completed. It sounds minor, but it was enough to pull me out of the story on occasion.

Overall, I’m really glad this isn’t considered part of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe, since this is probably the worst comic book movie I’ve encountered so far.

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