(in the above photo, we can see Jennifer Connelly having to calm down Mr. Bana and explain to him why his Hulk is considered a no-good Hulk and the feds are parachuting in the voracious Ed Norton to fill his fringey purple trunks)
Man, it’s a sad day on our bitterly defended-from-Galactacus earth when an Ang Lee Hulk film is just dismissed outright, and here it is a super and vastly underrated picture. Granted the CGI was a bit cartoony in the previews (I know I laughed at the time) but looked much better in real big screen life.
The Ang Lee version was innovative, operatic with Hamlet-sized father issues, and had a certain hottie named Jennifer Connelly in it. I could go on, but I see that my favorite blogger, Kim Morgan, has written in defense of the old Hulk far more aptly and passionately than I could in her “Obsessions” article over at Sunset Gun:
…this criminally underrated, unfairly maligned comic book picture managed to be serious and seriously fun. Musing on that green, mean Marvel comic fighting machine, Lee took a repressed Eric Bana and turned him into a frightening vision of male rage haunted by paternal alienation (via a crazed Nick Nolte). Shooting with exaggerated close-ups and with a keen eye for nature (something Lee’s expert at — check The Ice Storm and Brokeback Mountain) Lee purposefully created a CGI Hulk that ran through cement, sand and dirt with the agility of Shrek (Hulk trips around a lot). Lee made one of the first truly artistic comic book adaptations — Shakespearean, really. Mark my words — Hulk will be better appreciated through the years.
May I add a “Damn right” and wave my fist in the air? Note that Kim will be in the STARZ documentary Comic Books Unbound premiering tonight (8 PM PST and 10 PM ET), where she will be ranting more from her pro-old Hulk platform (presuming she’s not cut) and then take your green-sized vengeance to the streets, shouting “New Hulk Bad Hulk!” and “Old Hulk Good Hulk!” and most importantly, “Free Eric Bana!”