Nov 20, 2019
Hulk (2003) (part 1 of 13)
The Cast of Characters:
Bruce Banner (Eric Bana). The emotionally stunted protagonist who unlucks into a gamma ray testing ground for experimental nanomeds that reacts with… ah, you’ll find out soon enough. Spends most of the movie moping.
Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly). Bruce’s cardboard cut-out ex-girlfriend, who works at the same lab as Bruce. Her two most important actions in this movie are sitting in a car and giving somebody a hug.
David Banner (Nick Nolte). Bruce Banner’s heavily estranged father. Geneticist, radiologist, serial murderer, dog trainer, grizzled old prospector, supervillian, and flashback facilitator.
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (Sam Elliott). Betty’s father, who not only ran the military base that David Banner, Bruce Banner, and Betty all lived on, but who also arrested David, and got Bruce adopted. Just another example of the rich, interwoven tapestry that is life, I guess.
Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas). Smug, fish-lipped bastard. Tries to buy out Bruce’s lab work and experiment on the Hulk. Also, has the balls to use nothing but a tazer to take on a monster that can caber-toss a tank.
The Hulk. Some green guy from the comics or something. I dunno, he’s not really that important to this movie.
I’m going to begin this with an admission. I do not hate this film, and neither do a lot of people. Have we gasped yet? Is the gasping done? Alrighty, then. Let’s move on.
I knew from the outset that recapping 2003’s Hulk would be a difficult task, because unlike most of the movies featured on this site, it had an Oscar-nominated (and now Oscar-winning) director, special effects that took 12 years to develop, and a cast with good solid work behind them. This movie features Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down, Munich, refused to be in xXx), Nick Nolte (48 Hours, The Thin Red Line, Hotel Rwanda), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream) and Sam Elliott (Tombstone, The Big Lebowski, and… well, Road House, making him an Agony Booth Repeat Offender). The movie is well-shot, well-directed, takes a lot of daring risks, and draws thematically from a wide range of sources, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, King Kong, and Greek tragedy.
It’s also profoundly stupid.