Stars: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Jesse Corti, Reggie Davis, Sam Elliott
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 138 minutes
When the Hulk gets angry, his movie gets good, so you wish he'd get angry more often. Accepting this challenge after the triumphant Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, director Ang Lee has created an ambitious film, based on the Marvel comic created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, that succeeds as a cautionary tale about mad science and traumatized children coping with legacies of pain. That's the Hulk's problem: After accidental exposure to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) turns into the huge, green, and indestructible Hulk when provoked, and repressed childhood memories fuel his fury. Hobbled by the obligatory "origin story" (to acquaint neophytes with the character's Jekyll-and-Hyde-ish fate), there's room for little else in a sluggish film that struggles to reconcile Lee's stylistic flair (evident in his visual interpretation of comic-book technique) with the razzle-dazzle of a megabudget franchise. What's good is good (Jennifer Connelly essentially echoes her role from A Beautiful Mind, and Nick Nolte is righteously tormented as Banner's father), but the movie's schizoid intentions remain largely unclear. --Jeff Shannon
All you've given Bruce is fear. Fear of life.
Fear. Perhaps, Miss Ross. And loneliness, too. Yes. I feel them both. But I have lived completely once. I was so much in love. And she so much wanted a baby. My baby. I could tell from the moment she conceived that it wasn't a son I had given her, but something else. A monster, maybe. I should have put a stop to it right then, but I was curious, and that was my downfall. And as I watched this tiny life unfold, I began to imagine the horror of it, and my curiosity was replaced with compassion. But they took away my chance to cure him. Your father threw me out. I remember that day so well. Every moment. Every sensation. Walking into the house. The feeling of the handle of the knife in my hand. I knew I was doing a father's work, fulfilling a father's mercy... but then she surprised me. It was as if she and the knife merged. You cannot imagine the unbearable finality of it. And in that one moment, I took everything that was dear to me and transformed it into nothing more than a memory.