Some feedback on the latest HULK movie.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kinda..... boring.

Not mind wandering yawning boring, just not fully engaged boring. I heard about 70mins of the movie were cut from the final version, and I believe it. The movie lacked soul. The first part of the movie in South America was the best part, imo. The pacing was fast, and the special effects pretty darn good. But the movie lacked complexity of characterization, was bereft of chemistry between the characters and had no discernible plot.

Sadly, only two characters—minor at that—came across in terms of having more than one note to their personalities, and that was Professor Samuel Sterns (mad scientist in the making) and Tony Stark's cameo (although, to be fair, Tony came along with a lot of baggage/background story from the recent Iron-Man movie, and he has the Downey Jr charisma factor).

I love (LOVE) Edward Norton, but he was missing that ‘tortured soul’ element. I never really felt Banner’s desperation, never felt his utter loneliness or separateness—that certain awkwardness of not fitting in—from his fellow man. Liv Tyler could have been his sister as far as I'm concern from all the heat between them. Love William Hurt, but he ain't no Sam Elliot! ::drool:: Sam's General was much more layered—you got the enraged/protective father and self-righteous, bigoted avenger from him, as well as the steely career military man (which is pretty much all Hurt delivers).

This is one of the areas the first movie (Ang Lee's) really worked for me—characterization. You really got the angst of Banner just from looking into Eric Banna's eyes and the chemistry/yearning/emotion between he and Jennifer Connelly's Bette was live. And Lee's more (almost child-like) Hulk still conveyed a sense of vulnerability, moreso than the roaring. sneering 'roid Hulk in this latest release.

I’m probably in the minority, but in many ways I liked the first movie better. It had more heart, and gave more meat to the characters’ backgrounds/motivations. Every time I watch it I appreciate more the artistry and care in which Lee composed each shot/frame and transition, you can really see he was trying to recreate/capture the look of the panels of a graphic novel/comic book.

I didn't hate this latest or feel like I'd wasted my money, and it very was entertaining--in certain scenes there was a strong horror feel, the action was well done, and the Banner-to-Hulk-transitions were done well. Plus, because this movie was partially filmed in Toronto, I loved spotting/recognizing the setting/scenes. But, in the end, the movie's really not that memorable.

The best Hulk movie lies between two releases.

Next up: Hancock, Hellboy and The Dark Knight!
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raine said...

I'm disappointed.
Love Ed Norton, was hoping for better. :/
Guess I'll wait for it to hit cable...

Amie Stuart said...

Now see...that's why I saw The Happening instead of the The Hulk because Carrie Vaughn pretty much said what you said.

Amie Stuart said... too!

vanessa jaye said...

The funny thing is, Raine, I wasn't expecting much. It is what it is--a summer action 'popcorn' film. But it's surprising how ineffective special effects & lots of action can be, if they're not teamed with sympathetic/interesting characters/characterize and a half-decent plot/story. That's why movies like The Terminator, or Lethal Weapon worked so well.

vanessa jaye said...

Well, Amie.... I donno if I'd have wanted to see The Happening instead... ;-)

Emma Petersen said...

I liked The Hulk. I've seen the Eric Bana version and the newest. I don't remember much about the E.B. version even though I'd seen it a couple of times.

I liked the newest Hulk because of Tim Roth. I don't know what it was about that man but he was super hawt in that movie to me. :D

p.s. Don't go see The Happening. I'm actually thinking of starting a petition to take M. Night Shamalala's movie making rights away. It was horrible.

vanessa jaye said...

Emma, I remember the Lee version because we watched it about a week before seeing the newer one. But, honestly I always liked and couldn't understand why some folks disliked it so much. One of my friends said it was the worst movie she'd ever seen--and she's soft spoken and not given to hyperbole. lol.

"p.s. Don't go see The Happening. I'm actually thinking of starting a petition to take M. Night Shamalala's movie making rights away."

Have no fear. I was tempted for about 3 secs. But I'm rather skeptical of MNS's movies--he has one punchline that he keeps repackaging. It worked for 6th Sense (loved that movie) but hasn't worked (tempted me) since. The only other movie I've seen of his is the Lady in the Water (is that title?) on cable, and it sucked the big hairy balls of whatever that creature was out in the woods. lol.

Besides, my son has a knack for 'finding' ::coughcough:: movies online. He watched the first 15-30mins then deleted it the next day. lol.

Sasha White said...

Thanks for the review. I love love Ed Norton too, and he was the only reason I was going to see this. But Now, I think I'll skip it. Rent it on DVD. :)
I'm going to see Hancock today. Can;t wait. And The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2 are definitely on my Waiting for list!

vanessa jaye said...

Hancock is already playing in your neck of the woods, Sasha! It doesn't open here until the 2nd.
:-/ It's actually getting mixed reviews, but, hey, it's Will Smith! lol. I forgot to mention X-Files-- I don't have my hopes up for that one, either, but I'm seeing it in theatres regardless. July is going to be a kickass month for movies!

Don't forget to do a post on Hancock, I'll be interested in your feedback.

Sasha White said...

It was a sneak preview. They play it for one night the weekend before it releases, to get Buzz going. (This happens with a lot of "Big" movies, not for you?

But, I missed it. :( We didn't get there in time and they were sold out. Went to see WANTED instead. IT was okay.

vanessa jaye said...

Oh, it was a sneak preview! 'K, that makes sense. :-) I don't if they had a sneak peek for Hancock here. it was something that was sort of on my rader--because of Will, and the premise seemed interesteing--but it's really not a must see at this point. I might just get the DVD from an Xmas stocking stuffer.

WANTED, looks cool, but I didn't get the hook in terms of character/premise from the previews. so I'll probably catch it on cable.

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