This movie needs no introduction:
Doc Bruce Banner belted by gamma rays/ turned into the Hulk/ ain't he unglamo-rays.
But wait. This movie is directed by Ang Lee who directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
This is a serious movie. So Bruce can't just turn into The
Hulk and smash things. he has to have a reason. Bruce Banner
(Eric Bana) now has a father (Nick Nolte) who did some gene therapy on himself
before fathering the soon-to-be Hulk. Banner's ex-girlfriend (Jennifer
Connelly), also a Ph.D., is the daughter of General Ross (Sam Elliott), who
used to be Nolte's boss. Now Elliott wants to get his hands on The Hulk
and get back his daughter's love at the same time. Also, in the mix is a
Ph.D. gone bad (Josh Lucas), i.e., he's sold out to the private sector. He
wants to get his hands on both The Hulk and his ex-girlfriend.
The cast is mostly great. You can't go wrong with Nolte and Elliot as your supporting cast. These two are always entertaining. Elliott doesn't really get to let himself go here, but Nolte is out of control as usual. Josh Lucas, who was quite lovable in Sweet Home Alabama, isn't even a one-dimensional character here. Eric Bana, best known for doing one of the voices in Finding Nemo, is OK but pretty bland as the mild-mannered Dr. Banner. The Hulk is completely computer generated, but his acting may be a bit better than Bana's. In The Hulk TV show, two actors, Bill Bixby (Banner) and Lou Ferrigno (Hulk) shared the acting chores. Ferrigno has a cameo in the new movie as a security guard. Even though Jennifer Connelly, like Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman, is just the girlfriend, actually ex-girlfriend, she is not out of place with the old pros Eliott and Nolte. She can act.
This movie, as a whole, is all over the place. It is trying to be a comic book, an action picture and a serious film all at the same time. And not surprisingly, it's a bit of a mess. It's way too long at 137 minutes. I fell asleep a couple of times waiting for the people to stop talking and just let The Hulk wreak some havoc. The good news is that the computer generated Hulk looks much better than I thought he would. Particularly in the closeups, he looks very good. In some of the action bits, where he's jumping and smashing, he looks like a bad cartoon. Ang Lee has directed some great movies such as Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He really tried to do work his magic on The Hulk. But, it has none of the magic of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was at least as unreal as The Hulk, but I accepted it and loved it. I didn't love The Hulk.
One last thing. It's not really the gamma rays or the gene therapy that turns Bruce into The Hulk. It's Jennifer Connelly. Think about it. What happens to him just before he starts turning into The Hulk? Jennifer dumps him. And what about A Beautiful Mind? Russell Crowe is this genius mathematician until he meets Jennifer Connelly. Next thing we know, he's a hopeless Schizophrenic. Let's face it, Jennifer Connelly drives Ph.D.'s mad! She is way too attractive for the average male scientist to handle. Ph.D.'s should only be allowed to see this movie in the company of an adult. The final joke of this movie is that, at the end, the army sends in Connelly to calm The Hulk down. I don't think so.