When it hit theaters in 2003, it was sometimes laughed at. How seriously one should take a film in which the hero fights with mutated poodles? And then those purple shorts and that bright green complexion! Ang Lee’s Hulk (Life of Pi) wasn’t the hoped-for start to a superhero franchise, but he quickly disappeared into the shadowy existence of inside information and underrated gems.
Tonight on RTL 2 you have the opportunity to rediscover a superhero film that almost 20 years later feels more current than many new blockbusters.
- Hulk is coming today at 20:15 on RTL 2. If you want to catch up on the film, you can watch it on Amazonia * flow.
How the Hulk came to the mutant poodles
Unfortunately, Eric Bana isn’t quite on the same level as Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth in the Australian trinity of Marvel actors. In Hulk he plays the scientist Bruce Banner. In an experiment, the unassuming man is exposed to gamma rays and the rest of the story is known – it is thought.
Because although the script follows the basic outlines of the Hulk story, the film tells so much more. Because while Bruce is busy with his new uncontrollable powers of the Hulk he has to make do, his father (Nick Nolte), whom he believed dead, is up to something. The superhero blockbuster turns into a father-son drama without sacrificing action and pace.
This father, by the way, is experimenting with gamma rays and poodles. And if you shake your head contemptuously when the Hulk fights a pack of monster poodles, cinema neither understood nor deserved.
Because the Marvel movie was ahead of its time and massively underrated
In any case, poodles aren’t the (main) reason why the Hulk deserves a re-evaluation today. The focus is on a topic that almost all superheroes now occupy: dealing with trauma (or as Jamie Lee Curtis would say: Troamaaa!). Half of the MCU is in therapy right now because of the blip, Wanda wreaks havoc after losing her lover, and Shuri, unable to get over her lover’s death, leads her people to war in Black Panther 2.
Since childhood, Bruce Banner has been haunted by a similar event that pierces Ang Lee into this film’s consciousness like shards of a broken image. He’s there and everywhere, and yet it takes Bruce and we some time to see him in the creepy fullness of him. When Banner’s green fury finally breaks out, Lee stages it as both a release and a curse. All the pain fueled by Bruce’s repressed memories erupts, but in doing so, he’s like his father in taking responsibility for that pain.
It’s fascinating Dealing with the superhero psyche, which no other film of the genre offered in this form at the time. Even today, one searches in vain for Marvel or DC films that walk the tightrope between comedy spectacle (poodles! tanks!) and hero therapy. Not to mention the adventurous staging of the action, which mimics the look of the split screen panel.
We’d all do well to give this Hulk another chance.
Podcast: Top 10 movies coming to Netflix and Co. in 2022
Before the streaming year ends, we bring you 10 more upcoming titles we’re most excited about in 2022.
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In this episode of Moviepilot’s Stream Gefluer podcast we talk about Guillermo del Toro’s new and dark version of Pinocchio, the return of Will Smith Emancipation, the sequel to Knives Out Glass Onion with Daniel Craig and the horror hype Barbarian, among others.
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