Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

Hulk movie

They keep showing the Hulk movie on USA network.

It has all the ingredients necessary to make it a really good movie.

Well, OK, the proportions are all screwed up, but other than that, it's got good actors, and the 'origin of the Hulk' story has been done well in places, yet, somehow, it comes out just ... ick. I think it's because Ang Lee didn't quite get it. He captured the cliche' elements of the comments but not the characters.

Eric Bana makes a good Banner. The scrawny little actress (Jennifer Connelly looks like a 14 year old wannabe) playing Betty Ross is competent, though far too lolita waiflike too often to make me believe her. Unfortunately, Ang Lee captured her earlier, completely passive and unresisting, whiney-female qualities rather than the later, confront-her-insane-father persona. The ranting General Ross by Sam Elliot is every bit as stereotypically stupid as in the comic (and may be one reason it failed) and the government is presented as selfish-evil shortsighted and corrupt (another reason it'd fail). He has one dimension, and he plays it as flatly stupid as it is written.

The whole father thing that Ang Lee pulled out of the rectum of a syphilitic prostitute in a Thailand brothel ... That might be part of it. The abusive father is one of the most interesting elements in the current Hulk's persona, but making him a mad scientist bwahaha is painting the lily - with house paint. Every time he appears on screen it turns the story to crap. This is not because the mad scientist concept is a bad one, even though this particular (absorbing man) version IS, or solely because of the overacting required by the part and exuberantly and excessively indulged in by Nick Nolte, who seemed to be competing with Sam Elliot for "best villain" on Oscar night.

Oh yes, and Ang Lee's masterful use of stupidly tight face shots (as if Nolte's ranting spittle were somehow Box Office Elixir) and weird allusion to comics with the multi-frame partitioned screen... I'd much sooner see the latter than the former.

The special effects... frankly, they kept upmorphing his upper body but not his legs, and at times he looks like a chest and arms with very short and relatively undeveloped legs. That is NOT the hulk. He's freaky-muscled, but his legs are always as freaky as his arms. He might look squat from over-muscularity but never from having legs that are shorter than his torso.

I think, perhaps, if they'd chosen a director who wasn't so enamored of what has already been done before and done better, left out the tortured, stupid, absorbing-man father plot, and come up with something a bit new, they might have done well.

Like, perhaps, tying Banner to his actual origin, the bomb tests, the cold war, then looking at why he's still out there and where he is, deciding what happened after this rumored, secret, superhuman monster appeared, then disappeared a month later, with the only proof being a town that disappeared, the residents relocated, in that almost-legendary first attack.

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