I think the only superhero movie that really dared was "Hulk". They have few but great action scenes! But for comic book fans, it should have more adrenaline and less drama. I really liked the design of this Hulk here, and I would have liked to see more of it during the film, or in a sequel, since the film was mostly devoted to Bruce's past. The idea of edit the movie remembering comics was wonderful!
The first feature film about Hulk was not very successful. The director wanted to make a comic in the film, but it did not succeed. The hulk itself did not look very good.
I don't call something an underrated masterpiece lightly. That's a bold claim, but I feel like this is necessary. Compared to the light and fluffy depiction of Banner and the big guy in the MCU these days, and especially compared to the safe, generic, boring Edward Norton flick, this movie is a deep and intimate journey through the breaking dam of latent rage.Ang Lee is one of my favorite action directors of all time. This movie is sharp, lucid, cognitive... everything in it builds to an effect. The bold split screen effects are more than just comic book emulation, they are confusion and discomfort of an overload of information. The editing in this movie is deliberately crafted to make viewers angry... which was a huge risk that didn't really pay off, because resisting it makes you uncomfortable and it's not really an aesthetically pleasing thing to behold without the effect. But surrender to it, and you really find yourself in Bruce Banner's head... lapses in imagery and real-time continuity, jumbles of information and incoherent panic. The cinematography is perfect and unlike anything else.The saddest thing about this film is Betty Brant's reaction to the monster, and Bruce Banner's dependence on her reaction. And that's really what this movie is about. Can Betty accept the rage and trust in something so wildly unpredictable? Logic versus heart. And Bruce is just lost within it. It's a sad story of helplessness.For a film ripe with sporadic editing, the pacing is rock solid. The tone is very, very deep into the terrifying uncertainty and vulnerability of the two lead characters. We see a relationship unfolding in the first act, focused on vulnerability, and then throughout the second act, we are subjected to experiments with and invasions of that vulnerability in its peak state... and in the third act it builds to a ferocious release of pure chaos.There's a strange sci-fi ending that feels a bit gratuitous, but as a cognition of the incoherent rage, it's cathartic and necessary. The ending of the relationship with Betty and Bruce is left ambiguous, which only makes the impact of the journey all the more potent.This film is a piece of art. The characters may not be charming or likeable, but they're sympathetic. And what little humor there is may be dry, but the true joy of this movie is seeing the beast unleashed. The action in this movie is ultra physical. It is no jumble of grays like the 2008 film, it is no comical joke like Avengers Hulk. It is a terrifying and kinetic rampage. It's a story that is a contradiction, both human and inhuman. It's a monster of a film.
This movie proved to be VERY divisive upon release. We heard the now familiar rumblings of 'superhero fatigue,' and talk that the comic book bubble was about to burst - and this was fourteen years ago!Let's be fair - Hulk is not a bad movie. Ang Lee doesn't know how to make a bad movie. Having said that, was he the right guy for this movie? Hmmm... The story comes across more as an art-house type Greek tragedy than a superhero flick, when people really just want to see The Hulk and The Abomination pummelling each other. They did so in the Incredible Hulk, a lame reboot nobody went to see. The action beats, when they do eventually come, are pretty impressive. We see Big Green taking on tanks, helicopters and, er, poodles. The Hulk himself looks really weird now. People were criticising the CGI even then, and of course, time has not improved it. It would be a while before they would get the Hulk right. One thing that I hadn't seen before was the framing of some shots in the style of comic book panels, a technique later borrowed by other comic-book movies (see Kick-Ass). Eventually Marvel realised that The Hulk works better as a supporting character than as a lead, but Hulk remains and underrated curio.