The Hulk

By Mark Ramsey | 2003/06/22

No doubt about it – he looks fake as Hell.

Not the Hulk – I mean Nick Nolte.

Skip the rehab, Nick, and move right on to the resurfacing. Why shave your face when it’s easier to install hard wood flooring on it? Some actors compete for roles with Brad Pitt – you’re matching headshots with Kris Kristofferson!

Nick is a wacky old scientist who for years has been indulging in some dangerous scientific experiments along with his collaborators, Dr. Jack Daniels and Professor Jim Beam.

Could there possibly be a dumber subject for a movie than The Hulk? Is it a cautionary tale of the consequences of steroid abuse? A provocative documentary on the threat of stampeding weightlifters? A lesson that tinkering with the stuff of life may be dangerous, but letting Nick Nolte loose on a page of dialogue will lead to so much scenery-chewing, he should go by “Bazooka Joe”?

Definitely the last one.

What’s the big deal with the Hulk, anyway? He’s got a neck that’s missing in the Bermuda Triangle between two shoulders and a head. If I have to trade a neck for the ability to touch my toes without bending, I’ll pass.

The Hulk is a mean, green, flying machine. He runs like the wind and leaps thousands of feat in the air, sailing for miles in a cross-country leapfrog. Is Director Ang Lee kidding? Is it any wonder the audience found this mixture amusing? Should we tell Universal we’re buying tickets to laugh at them?

Or are they the ones laughing at us for buying the tickets?

Hey, wait a minute!!

The Hulk is full of rage. Who wouldn’t be if you had just one pair of boxers and they were the most humiliating shade of purple?

The movie stars Eric Bana, who’s best known for being unknown. Eric’s just fine until a blast of Gamma radiation hits. “If only it had been Kappa Kappa Gamma radiation,” said Eric, “then at least I could pledge the sisterhood!”

Jennifer Connelly is a scientist who delivers every line of dialogue with a sexy coo that makes the most clinical discussion of nano-med recombinant DNA base pairs sound faintly erotic. Like a bee to honey, the hot girl falls for the big dumb jock.

It’s Clash of the Titans when the Hulk takes on some monster dogs, including a mutant French Poodle. Where is this, Beverly Hills?

Ang Lee shakes and stirs this movie with crazy, distracting split-screens and funky dissolves and transitions. Split screens? Is the Hulk on a party line with Doris Day and Rock Hudson? Here and there, you’re watching five different movies, which would be fine if at least one was Spiderman, but no such luck.

Naturally, the Government wants to contain and kill the Hulk. But only when he’s big, green, angry, and dangerous. Never when he’s little, white, docile, and defenseless. One bullet to Eric’s head would fix this problem. But no, instead let’s lash him to a chair or submerge him in a water tank until he turns and invariably breaks out and creates a ruckus. Oh me, oh my.

Where is the comic relief in this tale of a misbegotten and jangled green giant? He’s pathetic and miserable – what’s funny about that, you ask? Exactly, I say. “Humorless” is a four-letter word and it’s spelled H-U-L-K. How do you make a movie about a CGI-animated, beefy green oaf without a sense of humor – especially when he looks so much like Joe Millionaire?

For Shrek‘s sake, I’ll take my green giants jolly.

Photos Copyright ©2003 Universal Pictures


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