- Choisi par nos rédacteurs parmi Le meilleur de l'année 2003.
I must note that it does not rank on par with some of the truly great superhero movies that have been filmed in recent years. It is certainly not on par with Sam Raimi's "Spiderman" or Tim Burton's "Batman", but then, the Hulk has never had the following or commercial popularity of these other characters.
Much credit should be given to Ang Lee, whose vision of this well-known, (if never fully conceived) character remains truly to his own directoral style. Bruce Banner (Eric Bana), son of David Banner (one of many "tips of the hat" to the original television series), grows up without his real parents, raised instead in a foster home. Ambitious and bright, he pursues a career in advanced science, attempting to develop a new "nano-technology" that will enable people to rapidly heal. Aided by Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), all seems to be going along fine until a mechanical malfunction results in Bruce's exposure to gama radiation. This exposure unleashes the Hulk, whose presence in his body has been there since before his birth, when his father (Nick Nolte) performed an experiment on himself and inadvertantly passed his genetically enhanced and altered DNA onto his son. Now unleashed, Bruce Banner becomes consumed by the anger and rage of the parents that abandoned himand thegovernment that would use him as a weapon.
And, as Bruce admonishes, "Don't make me angry...you wouldn't like me when I'm angry..."
For it is through his anger that he is transformed. Ang Lee's monster, far more massive even than Lou Ferrigno's Hulk of the T.V. series, was created using some of the most advanced CGI to date. The transformations between Bana and CGI are seemless, and, unlike so many CGI characters, the Hulk is convincingly real, with a degree of authenticity that really goes beyond most of what has been seen on the screen so far.
There are, of course, weaknesses in this story. Some can be forgiven, though personally, it felt as though Ang Lee spent too much time on exposition and character development, and not enough time on the culmination of his characters and their conflict. (NOTE: SPOLIER AHEAD) In the final showdown in the film, David Banner has transformed himself into a monster by exposing himself to the same gama radiation as his son. His metamorphosis enables him to capture the energy and strength of whatever he touches, transforming himself into whatever he is in contact with. As he confronts his son, the battle between the two rages, and suddenly, and with no obvious or appearant reason, his father is defeated. An explination is given (won't ruin this for viewers), but it left me going, "huh?"
In many ways, Lee's depiction of Bruce Banner is a Jekyll/Hyde character, and audiences would feel sympathetic to his plight, were it not for the very dry and unemotional portrayal of this character by Eric Bana. I am not familiar with any of his other films, but in this particular offering, his performance is dry, without emotion. Jennifer Connelly, on the other hand, is immensely believable as Betty, whose loyalty and tormented love of Bruce is balanced against her contempt for her father, a high ranking officer chiefly responsible for the torment of both David and Bruce Banner.
Perhaps most dis-satisfying about the film was Lee's way of using small windows in the screen to tell portray the film as a series of vignettes placed together to resemble the layout of a comic book. The idea is clever, and at moments, really works in this film, but for most of it, it is more distracting than anything, making it ever so much more difficult to follow the film.
Those criticisms aside, this is still a well developed movie, and far better than some of the other recent superhero fare (Daredevil as one such example). Rated PG-13 for moments of action style violence and some unsettling images, this is a film that is best suited for slightly older audiences, both for the forementioned reasons, and the level of complexity built into the story.
For avid fans of the comic book or the television series, look for both Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno at the beginning of the film in a brief cameo.
DVD extras are okay, designed more for the comic book fan than any serious film junkies.