EDITORIAL: Lindsey35's crazy and random thoughts on HULK (2003)

EDITORIAL: Lindsey35's crazy and random thoughts on HULK (2003)

What’s that? What’s that I hear? Lindsey35 is doing an editorial that ISN’T about Spider-Man?! You heard right, ladies! I recently watched HULK(2003) and…this came up. As surprising as it is (and trust me, it is surprising) I actually enjoyed it.

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By Lindsey35 - 8/6/2013

FIRSTLY. This is NOT meant to cause a big stink or flame war. I chose to make this editorial to discuss why, us as fans, like and DON'T like HULK (2003).

Hey everyone! This is my first article that ISN’T Spider-Man centered! Yay! Today, I want to talk with you about one of my favorite movies of all time (and it’s quite surprising, maybe even disturbing to some) Hulk (2003). These are just my crazy, random, and probably inaccurate, thoughts about the film. So if something sounds off, just bear with me. Now, I know a lot of people on this site really dislike this movie, which is why I choose such an interesting topic. Without further ado, let’s rewind the clocks back to 2003 (or Sunday, since that’s the last time I re-watched Hulk)!

Hulk focuses on the psychological part of Bruce Banner’s mind, which is, in my opinion, an interesting direction for the genre. It also focuses a lot on Bruce’s disturbing childhood, and for me that was kind of…dark. This movie made Bruce Banner an even more tragic character, and I keep asking myself if that’s a good or bad thing. This leads me to my next thought:

BRUCE BANNER IS AN ANGRY PERSON BEFORE HE BECOMES THE HULK.

This movie gives Bruce reasons to be angry, and I think that makes him a lot more interesting and a lot more tragic. Like, this is his chance to unleash all the things he’s kept bottled up for so many years. And here’s the cool part, Bruce might not be able to remember those disturbing events in the beginning of the movie, but the Hulk sure does. And I like that. So, is making Bruce Banner’s life even more tragic a good thing? Yes, for this movie, at least.

IT ISN’T A LOVE STORY.

Yes, Betty Ross (played brilliantly by Jennifer Connelly) is in love with Bruce, but her goal and purpose in this film is to help him. I got this “friend before lover” vibe from her the entire time, and I think it did this movie justice. One of my main issues with The Incredible Hulk was that, both Betty and Bruce felt…distracted by each other, to me at least. Jennifer’s Betty was more focused and grounded on being Bruce’s friend and helping him keep the Hulk under control.

EMOTION ACTUALLY FUELS HIS RAGE.

One of the things I love about this Hulk is that he changes when he gets angry. Not because his heart rate goes too high or because he can control it (*cough* The Avengers *cough*). Hulk transforms because something has really pissed him off. Now, that’s not to say Bruce doesn’t have some small form of control. The scene with him and Talbot, for example; I think Bruce forced himself not to change, because he knew if he did it would only cause more destruction and there would be more poor souls like him roaming around in the future, which leads me to believe that Hulk CAN be called a superhero, instead of a monster. Because, even though the beast probably wanted to rip Talbot’s head off, Hulk stayed inside of Bruce and took the beating (which defeats the purpose, anyway, because Hulk would have escaped. But you know what I mean….) He even knows who the bad guys are and who his friends are. For example, he protected Betty from those dogs, instead of going all ape on her, as well.

HULK SMASH!

This one speaks for itself, really. Even though special effects sucked back in the day, this movie didn’t hold back on making Hulk a disastrous lunatic.

Lastly:

“You think you can live it? Take it! Take it ALLLLLLLLLLL!!!”

Before anyone pulls a gun on me, I’m not going to…’entirely’ defend “The Absorbing Man.” David Banner becoming the villain in this movie is probably everyone’s biggest issue, along with the fact that he basically created the Hulk. But I think that whole story-line did the film justice. It fit the tone of the movie and the tone of Bruce Banner. But most of all I think it fit the tone of 2003, because I think it got everyone in the mood of comic book movies, much like the first X-Men film. It is so… bold! Hulk is a twisted and crazy/emotional film, and The Absorbing Man did it justice, in an extremely strange way. You know why? Because David Banner proves how tragic Bruce is, and how much he doesn’t want to be the Hulk. David Banner truly is a villain; he has literally destroyed Bruce’s drive to live, sort of similar to the Green Goblin... “FIRST, WE ATTACK HIS HEART!”

In closing, Hulk (2003) is one of my favorite movies. It not only entertains me but it messes with my head. Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly stole the show for me, and their performances is what makes me say:
“Give me a sequel!”

But sadly, that will never be.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, as well! Sound them in the comments section! And as always, thank you for reading!
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116 Comments
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Highflyer - 8/6/2013, 10:48 AM
After re-watching it recently, I don't think it was terrible but I disagree with Bruce intentionally becoming the hulk when talbot was experimenting. It was all due to the flashbacks. I still prefer Edward norton's movie though.
MexicanChinman - 8/6/2013, 11:59 AM
I really liked this movie as a kid, but I haven't seen this movie in years, so I don't know if it still holds up. I have been meaning to pick it up on bluray.
TheWolverine08 - 8/6/2013, 12:10 PM
Still hate this movie. Incredible Hulk 2008 all the way for me. Made me a Hulk fan.
marcvader1 - 8/6/2013, 12:17 PM
I still enjoy Hulk 03, very underappreciated.
DioFoRio - 8/6/2013, 12:19 PM
I thought the point of the avengers Hulk line was the fact that this dude, if he let his rage take over, would always be the Hulk. Because he's ALWAYS angry. Like most people out ther but Banner is man enough to supress his anger.
Timerider84 - 8/6/2013, 12:21 PM
They shouldnt have made the Hulk 20ft. High, it would have made it, a bit more realistic and better. I'm a fan of TIH though.
BlueHawaiiSurfer - 8/6/2013, 12:24 PM
"This is NOT meant to cause a big stink or flame war." Then follows right up with this..."make this editorial to discuss why, us as fans, like and DON'T like HULK (2003)" Not sure if serious...
Jhuntdaprodigy - 8/6/2013, 12:29 PM
Damn, I can't believe this movie is ten years old. Anyway, I honestly haven't watched this movie in full since it originally came out, and I was 7. I remember hating the movie back then because it took nearly an hour for him to even Hulk out, and the villain was lame as hell to me. I will say, I was a kid, I even thought Batman & Robin was decent, so my opinion on movies had definitely matured since then. I may get around to rewatching it sometime this week, I might enjoy it more than I remember. As much as I like a good story, I don't watch The Hulk for a psychologically charged drama film, I do want to see plenty of Hulk smashing, which I did in The Incredible Hulk, with a villain I knew and liked in The Abomination. I'll admit the best Banner/Hulk I've seen on screen is the Ruffalo portrayed one in The Avengers by far, and I really hope they do make a sequel with him one day, featuring The Leader as the main villain.
gulducati - 8/6/2013, 12:30 PM
Hulk 2003 and Superman Returns double feature?
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 12:33 PM
The emotion was lame though. He just randomally got mad at stuff. Not historically awesome. It made more sense for his heart rate to increase in the real world. Because emotion wouldn't just change you. Also the whole story was just supid. His dad makes him? then randomly becomes obsorbing man? plus the split screen hurts my head. Plus it ended in the most stupid way possible. Blowing them up, then the "I'm so sorry" Call that was just... lame to say the least. The only part that I did like was the helicopter scene and the girl was actually played semi well.
Joeyhavoc - 8/6/2013, 12:34 PM
I fart in your general direction.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 12:40 PM
The movie was poorly acted, poor special affects, got lame when they tried to make an intense or emotional scene. The scene when him and his father where chained was so horrible... its almost sad.
fettastic - 8/6/2013, 12:41 PM
It's good, it just [frick]s some stuff up.

Hulk dogs? No [frick]ing thank you. "Hulk dogs choking on scarves" was actually a meme on AICN for awhile to denote something that looked truly terrible. This was a scene in the original screenplay which was cut at some point because the dogs don't choke on the scarf, just sniff it off camera.

Hulk the Jolly Green Giant? Yeah that was really stupid. Also making him a baby-face was dumb.

I found the comic page split-screen to be quite disorienting, at least the first time I saw it in the theater.

I think everyone was waiting for an epic showdown where Hulk really let loose and created mass destruction. ultimately he destroyed a tank and spit a warhead at a helicopter, oh and punched some things in the research facility. That was about it.

But yeah I like the movie. In fact I like it better than the Norton film. That one had much more shit getting destroyed, but lacked the emotional core of the Ang Lee film.
ALegendaryPanda - 8/6/2013, 12:42 PM
I really, REALLY hate this movie. 2008 version was miles better imo
fettastic - 8/6/2013, 12:43 PM
Sorry but the heartrate thing from the Norton film was absolutely retarded, and of course was retconned for Avengers.
SoundWave - 8/6/2013, 12:45 PM
I very love this movie. This CBM has the most Comic Book style than the others. Ang Lee did great job, Bana is true HULK and Jennifer Connelly is so cute! One of the best comic book movies for me.
And dog fight is epic! Green Peace must be shocked)) Even from "Man of Steel" gen-modified dogs was removed) In "The Wolverine" there is no bear-fight scene from the comic book... But in "Hulk" 2003 we could see really animal epic fight scene! Awesome!
TheWolverine08 - 8/6/2013, 12:46 PM
I actually watched this again last month. The only thing I liked was that Hulk was very strong. Besides that, this movie sucks, and I didn't like Bana as Banner. 2008 Hulk for me all the way.

But I am still waiting for a Hulk movie starring Ruffalo. I think it could be incredible if done right.
ABLEE337 - 8/6/2013, 12:54 PM
I didn't like either Hulk movies, but didn't hate them as much as most.
Thought the Hulk looked too cartoony and fake in both films.
I think that Whedon did the right thing by doing it motion capture and keeping some likeness of the actor playing Banner.
That made the Hulk more believable and less CGI cartoonish.
TheRationalNerd - 8/6/2013, 12:54 PM
This is the Hulk I fell in love with as a kid. lol

The acting in this movie was superb! Eric Bana actually gave you the feeling of what happens when he turns into the green giant. That's why he's my favorite Bruce Banner then Ed Norton and lastly Mark Ruffalo.

Honestly to me Hulk was a wuss in The Avengers. He got his a** kicked in the entire movie.

1st. By Thor (which was cool)
2nd. Blasted away by S.H.E.I.L.D
3rd. Ran away when those cheesy Chitauri were closing in on him.

Hulk is supposed to get stronger as he gets angrier. The only films that got that segment right was Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk (fight against Abomination)








the next Hulk movie needs to show a grittier Hulk. I'm not buying the one I saw in Avengers. He smashed stuff yes! But I didn't see the (I'm about to sh** my pants Hulk) except for that one scene with him chasing Black Widow.

dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 12:56 PM
TIH was better. The hulk had a much better last fight. The acting was better. Also it had the same emotion. 2003 hulk's emotion was just as weak as TIH. 2003 just made me say "what the heck?" more than once. Also hulk beat his enemy, in the 2003 one the guy just got nuked. Also what the heck was up with the water in the last battle??? It inflated like a balloon or something. Can't wait for your next editorial "How Daredevil Changed the comic world and elextra opened the gateway for the female comic movies. Also the film clearly wasn't done justice as it got nothing but horrible ratings and hardly any money.

However the hulk is a VERY hard character to do in a movie. He is a character that is almost a bad guy because he freaks out on stuff. Thats why the Avengers nailed him. The hulk in that film was the best done comic book character besides Heath Ledger's Joker. It finally moved on from the missunderstood monster and showed that this guy is a destruction machine. thats also why a second version of that hulk could work so well. They can have SHIELD using him as a weapon now to take out people like The Leader and such. But the whole attempted sad story of the 2003 Hulk clearly didn't work.
Minato - 8/6/2013, 1:02 PM
There are two types of Hulk fans out there. One loves the psychological beast that is misunderstood and tries to find peace like yourself. Two is the type that knows hulk is the strongest being ever and wants to see the beast let loose. Neither is wrong and he has been written in both ways well. Thats one of the problems with the Hulk he is polarizing even amongst his long time fans. Both movies were good in their own ways (I prefer 08) but what I like is the Monster that is capable and willing to destroy his enemies cause he can. Hulk to me will never be a hero in the classic sense where you can call on him to defeat an enemy at any given time. Hulk has to have something personal to rage against. That doesn't mean he doesn't have a great moral compass just he does what he wants to do.
TheRationalNerd - 8/6/2013, 1:02 PM
Let me also say that I'm extremely greatful for all the Hulk films and I strongly agree with ABLEE337 when he said that the motion capture was a great idea because it was!

I really want Ruffalo to get the screen time he deserves and show us a more thrilling ride of just what it's like being The Hulk. That indestructible Hulk idea is pretty god too. I just red the first issue last week. Very good read! :)

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks Bana would make a great Batman?!

dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:07 PM
@blackwolverine What are you talking about? He was a wuss??? He kicked thor's butt! And he didn't get blasted away by shield he destroyed the ship and then fell 500 feet to the ground. Also he destroyed the chitauri all fight. The scene when he punched the giant flying chitauri was AMAZING! Also we did see what happens, he gets angry. "Your life?" Was a great scream by Ruffalo as he turned into the hulk. in the 2003 hulk it was just 5 minutes of his rolling on the ground and then finally becoming the hulk. Also the hulk was more of a wuss in 2003, look at when he gets shot with a little gun. He doesn't do anything about it. The hulk isn't supposed to be this sad story, or emotional. The hulk is a monster. Made to go out and kill the evil people. Thats something they never showed in the 2003 film.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:09 PM
@theblack wolverine I think Bana would play an interesting Batman. Batman isn't really a hard character to play honestly. He doesn't have really any character qualities that are unique. besides hes uncoruptable. I like bana, in Black Hawk Down he was perfect.
GreenLanternRulez - 8/6/2013, 1:18 PM
I don't know who Lindsey35 is, but I have never agreed with a woman about a movie so much in my life. (Good article Lindsey35)
TheLibrarian - 8/6/2013, 1:19 PM
I think @fettastic hit the nail on the head. This is a way better film that the Norton one but did have some stoopid bit (hulk poodle). Bana and Connolly were much better than Norton and Tyler. Sam Elliott was a better Thunderbolt Ross than William Hurt too.

I actually really liked the split-screen/comic panel editing. The film came out at a time when CBM's were just taking off and were not mainstream. I though it really emphasised the Comicness of it.

The ending was a little weak and yes I would have liked to have seen him smash some more stuff but the smashing he did do was awesome! That shit with the tanks and helicopters and whatnot in the desert was class! Also I really liked the whole 'angrier he gets, the bigger he gets' thing. Way better than the ridiculous heart rate thing Leterrier did.
TheLibrarian - 8/6/2013, 1:21 PM
In fact, I'm off to watch it right now!
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:22 PM
The Incredible hulk was almost the same as the first one. Just with less emotion but way better fighting. And less of the awkward weird back story. The avengers was the first real hulk. The hulk that is a killer.
CherryBomb - 8/6/2013, 1:25 PM
I preferred this movie to the Reboot.
I also thought the chemistry between Bruce and Betty is much more genuine.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 8/6/2013, 1:27 PM
This movie is a lot better than 2008 film.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:31 PM
Norton was better than Bana, but Tyler was horrrrible.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:33 PM
Both movies where bad, but 2003 was worse. There is a reason the 2003 dropped in box office money over 70% after the first week. None of the real fans liked it.
Brainiac13 - 8/6/2013, 1:35 PM
Good movie!

IMO Norton's Banner and Hulk is the best as he nailed who banner was.......his Hulk is scary and cool.
MarkV - 8/6/2013, 1:37 PM
It had it's moments.
LancerEvo - 8/6/2013, 1:38 PM
I think the only part I liked about this whole movie was Hulk's escape from Nuketown 2025 (CoD, lol!) and subsequently kicking the shit of the military with their own tanks and Apache (?) helicopters :D
jasonicus - 8/6/2013, 1:38 PM
I like it better than Norton's. It's unfairly criticized.
SpectacularJoShFest - 8/6/2013, 1:45 PM
The CGI sucked? That Hulk looked 100 times better than Surfer Hulk...I find myself enjoying Ang Lee's version a lot more than...than...who directed the shit Hulk movie??? ......Exactly.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:46 PM
@brainiac Nortan was a good Banner, but the hulk was very poorly CGI'd, however it would have been great if it didn't look like it was pretty much a video game haha.
SageMode - 8/6/2013, 1:46 PM
This movie sucked. THE INCREDIBLE HULK was the redemption, with the exception of Norton's boring performance.
dougieisrollingthejays - 8/6/2013, 1:47 PM
This hulk looked like playdo.
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