Saturday, 7 November 2009
Hulk; Fantasy drama, USA, 2003; D: Ang Lee, S: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connely, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas
Bruce Banner works as a scientist in a laboratory and is in love with Betty. But her father Ross once banished Bruce's father David who also worked in the laboratory since he caused a gamma explosion and accidentally killed his wife. After an accident, radiation exposes Bruce's genes and he, during frustration, transforms into the powerful green Hulk. The army captures Hulk, but he escapes and confronts his also mutates father. Bruce survives, calms down and stays secretly working in a rain-forest.
When the expensive "Hulk" finally saw the light of the day during the premiere, it barely managed to cover its expenses in the US, whereas the critics characterised it as a huge letdown. True, the story is uneven, the drama of the characters too dry and theatrical whereas the finale where the Hulk has a fight with his father who also became a mutant who can take the shape of everything it touches (stone, water, electricity) is naive and pointless. However, "Hulk" is still a rather underrated and good film. Mostly thanks to the inventive calligraphy by director Ang Lee, the film turns out more agile than the most trashy movie adaptations of the Marvel comics. In one scene, Hulk breaks the door of the base, whereas thanks to the editing he also "breaks" the frame in the film. In his runaway through the desert he jumps from a picture to a picture of the canyon. He stumbles upon a tank, grabs and destroys it while the soldier in the background is looking at the spectacle. Bruce falls unconscious and, symbolically, the darkness slowly covers the screen. The split screen is often used etc. Lee's visual style is genius whereas the parallels between the frustrations and appearance of the mutated Hulk allegorically speaks about the rage that breaks loose during an intolerable crisis. Thus, it is a chaotic, but ambitious film.