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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: not easy being green

I still think it’s one of the best comic book movies ever made. But I know I’m in the tiny minority here. From my review of Hulk:

I kinda would have liked to be able to toss off a “it’s not easy being green” quip about Hulk and be done with it, but damn if Ang Lee hasn’t gifted us with a film that I don’t want to be flip about. Yeah, it’s about a rather enormous green guy who smashes stuff… except that’s like saying that Hamlet is about this college kid who goes crazy. Hulk is way at the opposite end of the comic-book-movie spectrum from, say, Daredevil, which was about Ben Affleck looking cool in a leather jumpsuit, and little else. Lee’s film looks like a comic book — all split screens and simultaneous multiple views replicating the kinetic energy of the panels of a graphic novel — and it feels like a cerebral and satisfyingly disconcerting stew of Jekyll and Hyde and King Kong and Greek tragedy.

review of Hulk, posted 06.20.03

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  • MBI

    Hulk should be grouped with Superman Returns and Spider-Man 3 as defiantly odd and risky films that take a lot of real chances and alienated a lot of people.

    I don’t like Hulk much at all. Too self-consciously goofy in an entirely embarrrassed way, like Lee is apologizing for making a comic book movie.

  • I’m with you, MJ. I’m the only person I know in my circle of so-called geek frinds who actually liked it. “Too slow,” they said.

    Clueless.

    It was an homage to comic books. I loved the scene transitions and panel effects. I loved the slower build-up. I loved Hulk kicking the snot out of the tanks in the desert, and the peaceful look on his face when he’s just flying through the air and people are leaving him alone for once.

    I could have done without the big-confrontation-with-dad at the end, which felt a little contrived and unnecessary, but it remains one of my favorites of the genre.

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