Monday, June 23, 2003

Movie Review : Hulk

Warning: Contains some spoilers to “Hulk”

After paying my bills at the bank this morning, I decided to catch the new “Hulk” movie at the local cinema near my apartment. As with other popular titles, the movie started only after 20 minutes of advertisements on the big screen. I don’t know if this is unique to Malaysia but sometimes they do tend to get overboard with the ads before the movie. I guess it’s a way for the cinemas to get some extra revenue with each showing. At least they also show the new trailer for T3 which looks cool. I’m going to have to see that movie when it comes out.

The “Hulk” starts out a bit sluggish for my taste. I guess that it had to as to set the audience who may be unfamiliar with the story. The first “X-Men” movie had to do the same thing although I did think that they did it better. I have to say that the pace of the first act for the “Hulk” was so slow that I can’t help myself from nodding off a bit. For those of us in the know, we were looking for the appearance of Stan Lee in the movie. I’ve haven’t seen “Daredevil” yet but Stan has made an appearance in most all Marvel comics adapted movies produced to date. I don’t think he made a cameo in both “Blade” movies but I have to check that movie again. Anyway, Stan got a few lines this time out with the original Hulk from the TV series. That gave some of the crowd in the packed theater something to chuckle about.

Once Banner starts to transform into the Hulk, the pace of the movie started to pick up. The first reaction to the CGI Hulk was a few giggles from the audience, me included. I keep having this picture of Sherk on steroids jumping around in the desert. Once the initial reaction passed, I found myself admiring this version of the Hulk. A lot of people put in their time and effort for this CGI and it shows beautifully on the big screen. The action scenes involving the Hulk are straight from comic book pages. Hulk smashing tanks and throwing helicopters around is reminiscent of early Hulk comics which this movie captures beautifully.

I did found the comic panel like split screens intriguing. I don’t think that this narrative device has been seen in any other movie that I know of. It adds to the feel of the movie as a moving comic book. I think that they successfully integrated that device in scenes where the action is taking place in multiple locations as the same time. Although most of the movie was a bit dark in terms of lighting, there were a few scenes that I noticed that they choose to light it with a greenish tint. Though it may have fit in with the main subject of the movie, I was distracted by the choice of making the characters look like they were nauseated with that lighting scheme.

I have to say that I didn’t really like the ending of the movie that much. The climax of Hulk battling his father who happens to get the power to transform himself into anything around him seems too rushed and uncreative after seeing how Hulk trashed the army that was sent to capture him. I can’t help but laugh a bit when his father turned into what I can only describe as a giant jelly fish because it was a silly to me. If you take out the anti-climax ending, the movie was a good way to spend an afternoon. I’m sure to get the DVD once they release it to add to my collection.

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