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Hulk (2003)

Directed by Ang Lee

As usual with comic book adaptations, there was lots of good stuff and lots of stuff that, for whatever reason, they felt they just had to change. One glaring technical issue we have to get out of the way. As we all know, Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk after exposure to gamma radiation. In the comic book, this happens during a test of the Gamma Bomb, which Banner had designed. In the movie, Banner throws himself between his assistant and a gamma ray emitter to save him from exposure. Did no one working on this movie get a passing grade in high school physics? Gamma rays are high-energy photons that can pass right through the human body if they are not absorbed and have enough energy to travel that far. If they did not have enough energy to make it across the room to get to Banner's fear-strickened assistant, he didn't need to "throw himself on the grenade" and if they did, his being in the way might reduce the exposure, but not stop it.


Our comic book Hulk is only seven feet tall. It seems like movie Hulk is closer to twelve feet most of the time. Though his size seems to change with his level of anger. I suppose this makes a small amount of sense, since the Hulk does get stronger, the angrier he gets, why shouldn't he get bigger?

Just like with Nightcrawler's teleporting attacks in "X2," seeing the Hulk leaping through the desert brought to life on the big screen was a real thrill. Banner talks about the feeling of freedom he associates with his transformation, and seeing him sailing through the air really illustrates that feeling.

It was also great to see the Hulk on a rampage. The current comic book Hulk is a little bit more sophisticated than he used to be. Us old-timers were glad to see the Hulk literally kickin' it old school.


We were all a bit confused by Banner's father. When he irradiates himself, at first we speculated that he would become The Leader, a classic Hulk enemy. When we saw him start to transform, we all thought he was turning into The Abomination, one of the Hulk's oldest foes. Then when he started changing into the materials he was touching, it was obviously The Absorbing Man. But none of these seems to have been correct. What he turned into doesn't seem to make a lot of sense or have a comic book equivalent that I am aware of.

The fights with the tanks and helicopters were great. I have to say that when we see one of the crew of a tank that has been thrown a good five or six hundred feet walking away from the wreckage as the Hulk leaps away, it makes for a nice shot. But, what a bunch of bullshit. There shouldn't have been anyone alive in that tank, let alone in any kind of shape to walk.

I think it was an OK adaptation, with an end that obviously has a sequel in mind. You know Ang Lee isn't going to direct it if there is one. Please, God, let Joel Schumacher be busy or dead when and if it goes into production. -- Rating: $7.00

Gronky -- copyright 2003 Hollywood Outsider

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