ThwhtGuardian Reviews Planet Hulk

Is Marvel finally out of the animated dog house? Read on to find out! Warning, contains some spoilers at the end.

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By thwhtGuardian - 1/20/2010
Ever since I saw the trailer for Marvel Animation's new film, Planet Hulk, I have been excited beyond words. Planet Hulk is a truly amazing story, one of the best Hulk stories ever told, and to see that it was getting an animated film based on it was a dream come true. For the uninitiated Planet Hulk is the epic storyline took up all the Hulk books for over a year, defined the Hulk in ways never seen before and setting the stage for the most epic comic book grudge match the world has ever seen.The basic storyline for this epic event was this:Earth's heroes (specifically a group called the Illuminati) decide the Hulk is too great of a threat to the planet,so they seize upon the opportunity to send him to a distant world where he can no longer hurt anyone and perhaps
find the peace he so desperately proclaims that he wants.During the flight his rage causes the ship to veer off course and instead of the peaceful planet the heroes picked for him he ends up on a violent world full of famine and
baseless persecution. On the planet Hulk is forced to fight through slavery, lead a rebellion he doesn't care about,make friends, find love, and in the end he even eventually becomes ruler of his new found home.

Now if that doesn't sound like the making of a great movie then I think you need your head examined!

I find that when attempting to review a movie it is important to first try and put it in it's proper context.In this case the only comparable animated movie I can think of is Superman: Doomsday. Both of these movies represent the attempts of their respective publishers at adapting the largest and most earth shattering sagas of their characters. With that said I believe Planet Hulk is by far the best comic book adapted animated film ever made.

It has its flaws when it comes to the source material(which I'll go into later), but over all I feel that in comparison to Doomsday, and other movies that were meant to be direct adaptions of comic book stories, Planet Hulk does a far better job at both maintaining the spirit of the source and providing the audience entertainment. So while at times Doomsday feels like something only vaguely inspired by the story it was based on, Planet Hulk feels authentiv through and through.

The story and script written by Greg Johnson and Craig Kyle is iron clad, everything flows so well together and the pacing is great. There’s never a dull moment from the first second, where we see the Hulk blastedoff into space, to the end credits where we're shown the original art work from the comics them selves.

Just like in the comics themselves we get to see Hulk in a way that we have never seen him before, and it’s an extremely interesting perspective(even though it is never fully explained). Unlike in any other outing the Hulk isn’t just a mindless yelling monster, sure, when he gets pissed off and fights,
he unleashes the fury of his destructive gamma powered strength in every way possible. However, through out it all,his mind is capable of rational thought and he can talk just like everyone else. For the first time on screen we get
an articulate Hulk.

With that said though I don't want you to start thinking it's a snooze fest, because all though the Hulk can now talk he still prefers to speak mostly with his fists! This film, and the comic it is based upon, is basically an animated
version of Conan and the Gladiator...so you can imagine that it's jam packed with some excellent animated violence!

With out going into much detail, I'll say this: The fights scenes in this film are unbelievably insane! Like I said I don’t want to go into the details of what I saw because you need to see it for yourself,just know that the choreography and direction were utterly superb. And although the animation was some what simplistic and uninspiring there was enough devastation and well done action scenes to make it worth while.


Now that I'm through glowing let me spell out some of its flaws.There are more than a few changes that were made when adapting the comic-book for the movie. However, personally I found them to be nothing to fuss over, even though I’m sure several fans out there will undoubtedly complain about them any way. The thing to understand here is the story of Planet Hulk spans a year's worth of comics, and includes dozens of various subplots and intricate details
that make a 1 to 1 translation off the book into an 80 min. animated feature impossible. This is an adaptation, a replication of the original, and like all replications the minor details are often lost. And in this adaptation many
things are indeed lost, too many to go into so I'll just address what I thought to be the big ones.

Warning, spoilers ahead!



First and foremost is the absence of the Silver Surfer.In the comics, Hulk faces off against an enslaved Silver Surfer in the Red King’s gladiator arena. The fight comes off as a gargantuan affair between two beings with enough power to destroy planets.In the movie though, he is instead replaced by Beta Ray Bill
a minor back up character from Thor. As I understand it this omission has nothing to do with the writer's disregard for the source material but is rather a result of some murky legal issues concerning the Silver Surfer.With that said, although it was disappointing to miss out on the throw down from the comics, Beta Ray Bill provided some equally amazing action, and allowed for an expansion of Korg's battle with Thor which was pretty awesome.

The second deviation from the comic that I see giving rise to a lot of complaints is that When the Warbound make their pact,only Hiroim and Korg tell their back stories. Miek never gets to reveal his background. In fact, Miek never gets to do much of anything in the movie. This is a shame because he’s an interesting character that goes through several changes in the comics. The subplots with his queen and his transformation were great. They gave him
depth and purpose. In the movie he’s just a bug thingie that talks like Gollum and gives Hulk a medal.

Lastly, and perhaps the largest glaring change is the ending. In the comics Hulk's saga ends the same way it begins: the Hulk loses his home. The movie however does not. Instead of ending with the Hulk swearing vengeance on Earth the movie ends with Hulk seemingly appointed ruler of Sakaar, adored by the people and with Caiera ready to get it on. It’s a happy ending for the Green Goliath and surprisingly, though it is a gigantic deviation from the source, I totally agree with what the writers did here. It’s like the last act of a Western, no matter how bad it gets for John Wayne you know how it's going to end — the good guy has to win. You have to send the audience home happy. I know that some purists will scoff at the happy ending, but I believe this was the right thing to do for casual fans. After all, unlike the comic where the next issue detailing the return of the Hulk was only a month a way the audience here would have to wait at least a year to see what happens to the Hulk, which seems to long to hold the casual viewers attention.

So, even though I had a lot of issues with the changes and omissions in the movie, I think that it was still well worth watching.The action is great, and even though it contains only a skeleton plot in comparison to the comic, it works well enough on its, creating and entertaining, action packed, peppy pace that is sure to keep you watching. If you’ve read the books then you’re sure to have issues with the movie. In fact, the more you enjoyed the source
material, the bigger your issues will be…unless you realize that there’s only so much you can do in 80 minutes. In that context, the writers did a good job of highlighting key moments of the comics in a severely limited format.

Like Superman:Doomsday, there were so many things that I wish were included, but I understand why they weren’t, and overall although much was missing Planet Hulk maintained the spirit of the comics, and at the end of the day that's all you can really ask for.
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19 Comments
DogsOfWar - 1/20/2010, 5:00 PM
Nice review Guardian.

I see you did the same thing this afternoon after seeing the other Planet Hulk article. The movie was much more violent than I thought Marvel would put out. I would definitely be cautious showing this to little kids under 10 or so.
thwhtGuardian - 1/20/2010, 5:06 PM
Yeah, I couldn't help myself Dogs. After ror was nice enough to share the link I just had to watch it. I couldn't help myself. At any rate, my dvd is already pre ordered so i feel like it's okay to watch a pirated version since I've payed for it already :)
not that I have any guilt what so ever over pirated materials, I watch them all the time.
Wadey09 - 1/20/2010, 7:20 PM
what link?
thwhtGuardian - 1/20/2010, 7:24 PM
I think it was back on multi's article on the new Hulk art.
georgia49th - 1/20/2010, 7:32 PM
I saw the preview good story but the animation gave me a headache....
thwhtGuardian - 1/20/2010, 7:51 PM
The animation is one of the drawbacks, it's just not the same as the DCU stuff. It reminds me a lot of the newer Heman cartoon though, so I liked it none the less.
LEEE777 - 1/20/2010, 8:24 PM
thwhtGuardian @ Great review dude!

I tried to watched it on BLUE PUBE too lol, kept sticking an starting [frick]ing hate that site for watching anything more than a couple of minutes! : P

Your a braver man than me, i'll just hav'ta check it out when its released, cheers for the review!!!

thwhtGuardian - 1/20/2010, 11:01 PM
Thanks LEE

And I agree watching it there wasn't ideal, but it was still amazing! I can't wait for my copy to come.
thwhtGuardian - 1/21/2010, 10:17 AM
Thanks Kes, I really tried.

Love the avatar by the way, cosby totally loves booty.
CRITIC17 - 1/21/2010, 1:19 PM
No SIlver Savage or Kiek!!!!!!!! THis is my favorite Hulk storyline!!!! I probably can't watch this as I will probably destroy it.... ahh... I'll watch it anyway. Great review @thwhtguardian!!!! Love the avatar man!!!! Gotta love Silent Bob!!!
Shaman - 1/21/2010, 1:51 PM
Great job, thwhtG! Very nicely done! But i'll dissagre with one thing, though i understand why Doomsday cut out some meat from the source, in it's case it didn't pay off. It was missing alot of what was so great about the series. And all that fiasco could have been better had the fight last 10 minutes more. 10 minutes is alot but the fight was supposed to last way longer. The voices sucked and i didn't like the new look they were going for. It was even more blocky than the animated series which there is quite frankly no excuse for. Had they stuck with the voices and look of the animated series, it could have been at least decent. Can't wait to check out Planet Hulk ;)
thwhtGuardian - 1/21/2010, 2:08 PM
Oh I agree 100% Shaman, I felt that Doomsday was sorely lacking, so much so that I've only watched it once. I only brought it up because it's the only other animated movie that has tried to adapt such a huge story. When i first heard that some key elements were going to be missing from the Hulk I first feared that it would go the way of Doomsday, however although there are some elements missing from Planet Hulk it maintains the over all feel of the comics which is something that I think Doomsday failed to do.
RorMachine - 1/21/2010, 9:11 PM
Awesome review Guardian, I just saw this now but I'll stick er on the main.

Agree with you about the Warbound stories, for me that was actually the most disappointing omission from the comic..I mean, Hulk didn't even join in! And the end, well I kinda knew they would do that. If they had of shown the destruction of Sakaar then it would have been a lead in to WWHulk and since they are not sure they are making one I guess they didn't want to tease a sequel.
thwhtGuardian - 1/21/2010, 10:47 PM
Yeah, I loved all of the back ground stores for the War bound, and when it came to that scene I got really excited...and then I thought youtube had screwed up and that I had missed a piece...but alas it was just skipped over.
I kind of liked the happy ending for the Hulk, he really deserves it. And, if they did decide to do WWHulk it would be easy enough to do, you'd just start with the destruction of Sakaar, which would still make sense.
Over all though it still felt like Planet Hulk, so it was certainly worth watching.

Oh and thanks for adding the teaser picture Ror. And For putting it on main!
Shaman - 1/22/2010, 7:50 AM
thwhtG- Well i'm glad that Planet Hulk didn't screw the pooch like Doomsday! Can't wait to see it ;)
thwhtGuardian - 1/22/2010, 1:33 PM
As long as you don't get hung up on some of the changes I think you'll enjoy it. It takes a lot of liberties, but it's a long story so you have to really. I wouldn't put it up there with the Mask of the Phantasm, but it's definitely one of the best animated cbm's I've seen.
Stumblin - 1/22/2010, 3:17 PM
Hell yeah nice article Guardian! I enjoyed the action of Hulk vs. and was hoping this wouldn't disappoint. I might have to pick up two copies this is also my brother's favorite character.

Can't wait to see it.
thwhtGuardian - 1/23/2010, 9:35 PM
I don't think we'll see ff or the the inhumans, I've read that their rights are tied up which is why they were left out.
A similar problem arises with WWH as most of the rights of the key players(Xavier and the xmen and the reed and the ff) are tied up.
thwhtGuardian - 1/24/2010, 7:10 PM
I'm just speculating here, but fox may have allowed them to use wolverine in Hulk Vs. to pump up xmen origins wolverine.

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