Eric Bana’s Hulk from 2003 to be specific. It’s a very slow going Hulk origin story, all about experimenting with animals and gamma radiation. The Hulk isn’t a hero and those he fights aren’t the villains, a film that requires a lot of attention to be enjoyed.
It starts out with a focus on Bruce Banner’s dad, David. David is a scientist whose research could be life changing with regeneration being a big goal. He wants to force the next stage of human evolution and doesn’t care about the consequences. After being told he can’t have human test subjects he experiments on himself. Soon after this his wife tells him she’s pregnant.
Then we get the young Bruce Banner, a peaceful boy that won’t even fight to defend himself, he grows up to be a scientist studying the same research as his dad, eventually getting hit by gamma radiation himself.
Gamma radiation and whatever was already inside the boy brings out the Hulk who instantly starts smashing stuff up. Hulk is an impressive creature and the combat in the film is well done, taking on hulk dogs at first but showing a more understandable level of strength when he takes on helicopters and tanks which the audience have some knowledge of the power of. This Hulk gets bigger and stronger the angrier he gets which to me is the right way to do the beast. Banner himself is interesting, giving us glimpses of the Hulk, letting us know of nightmares and his lack of knowledge of the past, his interactions with other characters are also well done.
The army spend a lot of time in the film trying to capture, subdue and experiment on the green giant. They see him as a threat to national security and potentially a weapon. The army aren’t really doing anything bad so they’re not the villains but they are in Hulk’s way and General Ross who leads the army gives us a special perspective as he’s always just trying to do what’s right by everyone, that includes his daughter who’s the only one that can calm Hulk down.
The real villain of this movie is David Banner who becomes obsessed with his gamma mutation science and eventually changes into a few elemental monsters himself but that bit seems rushed and could have probably done with being the focus of a sequel movie. The actual story around David seems interesting and just needed expanding upon because Hulk himself was the focus of this movie and David became a bit of an unnecessary side story.
One thing that really made this movie stand out was the filming effects on screen. They used split screens, overlapping scenes and different scene transitions that gave something new to how the movie looks, I haven’t seen anything done quite like it. It could be called distracting but I quite liked the way it worked to show two or three characters at once or Hulk moving fast by having him dive between pictures.
Overall, this is definitely too slow to be a traditionally amazing superhero movie but it is very interesting when effort is put in to really watch it. I like it but it took some thinking to come to that opinion.