5.23.2008

BRR Goes to the Movies - The Incredible Hulk

I know, I know "But didn't they just make this movie and didn't Ang-Brokeback Mountain-Lee direct it and wasn't it beautiful but boring and ha dthis cool comic book panel effect every now and then and wait, was there a giant killer poodle in it?" Yes and yes and yes and yes and, unfortunately, yes.

So yeah, this one has Ed Norton instead of Eric Bana (who I have to resist calling Eric Banana). I sort of like him as an actor, Norton, but man, he runs like a girl. And it looks like he runs a lot in this movie. And where has Tim Roth been? I freaking love him. And I really love William Hurt but that is a terrible fake mustache. And let's not get started on the dodgy FX, though I guess they're cleaning it up before it hits screens.

Still, I have a hard time believing that the Hulk can carry a movie franchise, especially in the way they're treating him in these films. Sure, part of the attraction of writing a Hulk story is to be found in exploring the neuroses surrounding having this violent other side. Basically writing a Jekkly & Hyde movie, wrestling with the psychology of having King Kong or a violent toddler inside you, ready to slip out at slightest provocation.

But part of the Hulk's appeal, at least to kids (and let's be honest, this is still kids stuff, no matter how you try and dress it up), is that he turns into a big green guy and tears junk up. He's the primal Id given form (uh, obviously, Dylan. Where'dja get that crackerjack theory from? Duh. Why not just tell them the sky is blue while you're at it?), he's the opportunity to get revenge, guilt-free, on people who have pushed you too far. He's that little ghost from The Family Circus ("'Not Me' did it!") only in little ripped purple shorts.

I've always liked the idea that somewhere, deep inside of him, Banner sort of likes Hulking out. He pretends to be and maybe even really is disgusted, but it has to feel good to let loose every once in a while, don't you think? It's a horrible thing to wake up in a pile of rubble and realize that somehow, some part of you made this happen, but it's also (maybe?) sort of cool and satisfying to some lizard part of our brains, to have caused armageddon.

Is it a curse? Because this film and the Ang Lee arthouse film in comic film's clothing both seem to be saying it is. And if this is just going to run over the same psychological territory that drove the other movie that this is a do-over for, only with a more action-movie exterior, then what's the point? Or are we waiting for the eventual sequels to flesh this out? Just thinking out loud.

Oh, and another problem with the Hulk: villains. We've got the Abomination here and we had the Army in the Ang Lee movie (in my opinion, which is worth, well, not a lot, part of the problem with the Lee movie, besides it being waaaay too meditative, was that the Hulk was the villain of the movie and it's hard to root for the villain when he's smashing up Army guys, especially in America circa 2003). I mean, name me another Hulk villain. The Leader? Okay, I'll give you that. Who else you got?

Exactly.

Okay, that was longer than I anticipated. Long story short: I'd definitely Rent this. I dunno about the theater. If I didn't go see Iron Man in the theater (and I still haven't seen it. Next week for sure.), I definitely won't make it out to this.

You?

2 comments:

cbhoff said...

It's got Norton. That's a plus.

It's the Hulk. That's a minus.

I'm not to sure. I think I'm going to wait till it comes out and Rottontomato it.

jason quinones said...

i actually hated that whole visual comic book panel thing ang lee did in his hulk movie. WAY TOO LITERAL a translation of the term "comic book" flick ang!

ed norton's usually top notch but this does look sketchy.

i'd love the inevitable stan lee cameo to involve the hulk stomping his old ass into the pavement!