The spiritual connections in this movie that are worth discussing. The aspect of David Banner struggling with improving on "God's Creation" and purpose is part of a worthwhile discussion. What results is another failed attempt by humanity that results in destruction and heartbreak.
THE HULK
(2003) Film Review

This page was created on June 23, 2003
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005


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CREDITS

Click to enlargeDirected by Ang Lee
Story by James Schamus
Screenplay by John Turman, Michael France and James Schamus
Graphic novel and character by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee


Eric Bana .... Bruce Banner
Jennifer Connelly .... Betty Ross
Sam Elliott .... Ross
Josh Lucas .... Talbot
Nick Nolte .... Father
Paul Kersey .... Young David Banner
Cara Buono .... Edith Banner
Todd Tesen .... Young Ross
Kevin O. Rankin .... Harper (as Kevin Rankin)
Celia Weston .... Mrs. Krensler
Mike Erwin .... Teenage Bruce Banner

Click to enlargeProduced by
Avi Arad .... producer
Kevin Feige .... executive producer
Larry J. Franco .... producer
Gale Anne Hurd .... producer
Stan Lee .... executive producer
James Schamus .... producer
Cheryl A. Tkach .... associate producer
David Womark .... associate producer

Original Music by Danny Elfman and Kenneth Burgomaster for additional music
Cinematography by Frederick Elmes (as Fred Elmes)
Film Editing by Tim Squyres


MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity.
Runtime: USA:137 min / USA:138 min

For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
—Ton of Trailers, Clips and Photos
SOUNDTRACK
The Hulk (Score)
Danny Elfman

1. Main Title ListenMusic ListenMusic 2. Prolouge ListenMusic ListenMusic 3. Betty's Dream ListenMusic ListenMusic 4. Bruce's Memories ListenMusic ListenMusic 5. Captured ListenMusic ListenMusic 6. Dad's Visit 7. Hulk Out! 8. Father Knows Best 9. ...Making Me Angry 10. Gentle Giant 11. Hounds Of Hell 12. The Truth Revealed 13. Hulk's Freedom 14. A Man Again 15. The Lake Battle 16. The Aftermath 17. The Phone Call 18. End Credits 19. Set Me Free
BOOK
The Hulk
by Peter David

From acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee,
a dark vision of the beast that lives inside the man . . .

In a Berkeley lab, Bruce Banner, a young man haunted by his murky past and the parents he never knew, works intensely day and night. A bright scientist with repressed emotions and few social skills, Bruce and his colleague, the sharp and beautiful Betty Ross, experiment with the body’s ability to repair itself and fight disease. But their research draws unwanted attention. For the power of regeneration catches the eye of the military, which sees its potential on the battlefields of the future.

But when Bruce is exposed to radiation in an accident that should have killed him, a ferocious truth about his past begins to emerge—along with something else, something deep inside his own body that is triggered when he is provoked . . . when he is pushed beyond reason . . . when anger takes over and he transforms into . . .

POSTER 
The Hulk
The Hulk
27 in x 40 in
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The Hulk
The Hulk
40 in x 30 in
Buy This Double-sided poster
Framed | Mounted


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SYNOPSIS
Click to enlargeI don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm becoming. But I know one thing for sure - you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
- Bruce Banner, scientist

What if you always had someone around to look out for you?

To defend you when challenged by a bully, threatened by an enraged driver, assaulted by a knife-wielding mugger? That at those moments of stress and escalating violence, someone appears -- an ever-present avenger, fueled by righteous anger and possessing unequalled strength -- and vanquishes the antagonist, rights the wrong, settles the score. Without remorse. Without consequence. Without memory.

And what if that someone ... was you?

After more than four decades of continuing popularity, one of Marvel Comics' most enduring and compelling comic book creations comes to the big screen, continuing Marvel's superlative track record of bringing its classic characters to motion picture life: Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil. And now, this summer, The Hulk arrives.

Click to enlargeScientist Bruce Banner (ERIC BANA) has, to put it mildly, anger management issues. His quiet life as a brilliant researcher working with cutting edge genetic technology conceals a nearly forgotten and painful past. His ex-girlfriend and equally brilliant fellow researcher, Betty Ross (Academy Award?winner JENNIFER CONNELLY), has tired of Bruce's cordoned off emotional terrain and resigns herself to remaining an interested onlooker to his quiet life.

Click to enlargeWhich is exactly where Betty finds herself during one of the early trials in Banner's groundbreaking research. A simple oversight leads to an explosive situation and Bruce makes a split-second decision; his heroic impulse saves a life and leaves him apparently unscathed -- his body absorbing a normally deadly dose of gamma radiation.
...And yet, something is happening. Vague morning-after effects. Blackouts. Unexpected fallout from the experiment gone awry. Banner begins to feel some kind of a presence within, a stranger who feels familiar, slightly dangerous and yet darkly attractive.

Click to enlargeAll the while, a massive creature -- a rampaging, impossibly strong being who comes to be known as the Hulk -- continues its sporadic appearances, cutting a swath of destruction, leaving Banner's lab in shambles and his house with blown out walls. The military is engaged, led by Betty's father, General "Thunderbolt" Ross (SAM ELLIOTT), along with rival researcher Glenn Talbot (JOSH LUCAS), and both personal vendettas and familial ties come into play, heightening the danger and raising the stakes in the escalating emergency.

Betty Ross has her theories, and she knows the shadowy figure lurking in the background, Bruce's father, David (NICK NOLTE), is somehow connected. She may be the only one who understands the link between scientist and the Hulk, but her efforts to stop the military threat, deploying every weapon in its attempt to capture the monster, may be too late to save both man and creature.

Click to enlargeAcclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker ANG LEE (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) turns his masterful eye to adapting the classic Marvel Comics character for the big screen. Setting out to faithfully transfer the Hulk comic book character from four-color paneled page to motion picture screen, Lee combines all the elements of a blockbuster visual effects-intensive Super Hero movie with the brooding romance and tragedy of Universal's classic horror films. Staying true to the early subversive spirit of the Hulk as envisioned by its creators (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) while also tuning the tale to current dangerous times, Lee presents a portrait of a man at war with himself and the world, both a Super Hero and a monster, a means of wish fulfillment and a nightmare.

Committed to bringing the Hulk to authentic life, director Lee and his effects teams logged countless hours to assure a creature true to the essence of Kirby's powerful seminal artwork and Lee's mythic stories. Designers and artists returned to the original Hulk character conceptions to honor the Marvel traditions and place the creature in a motion picture world -- grounded in reality, dictated by time-honored practice and colored by comic book convention.

HULK Review
An Adult Story
by Benn Becker

Benn has an undergradute degree in Finance from the University of Nebraska and is working towards a masters in both Business and English. He owns some farmland and is currently writing a novel. He lives in Lincoln, NE. 
"Hulk" is a different movie than the trailers portray. I'm sure the trailer drew in the younger demographic it was aimed at, but Ang Lee really succeeds in making a character-driven film that in my opinion resonates with adults. The CGI wasn't as hokey as I thought it might be--close-ups on Hulk's face were adequate, but the wider shots still seemed fairly unnatural. Hulk also seemed a little bit too big from my perspective. Lee uses split screens to mimic a comic book feel and it works well. The film is fairly long, but never lost my attention.

TRYING TO IMPROVE ON CREATION

Click to enlargeOne of the themes involves man's attempt to improve on God's creation. Seems we fiddle with everything all the time trying to make things better, but often there is a cost to anything we consider "improvement". Just watch TV and sooner, rather than later, a drug ad will come on and towards the end you'll hear a list of side effects that potentially sound worse than the ailment the drug is supposed to treat. Often, nature knows best. That's not to say that all drugs aren't necessary, but I do believe we live in an over-drugged culture.

PARENTAL INFLUENCE ON CHILDREN

Click to enlargePaternal influence to be specific. Both Betty and Bruce have slightly troubled or non-existent relations with their fathers. Our past can have an effect on our present if we haven't fully dealt with what has happened. There are often emotional scars. Fathers are very integral to a child's development, yet sadly there is not sufficient fatherly influence in children's lives in our culture. Fathers teach sons how to treat women and teach daughters how to allow men to treat them. How often do you hear about fathers leaving their families in proportion to mothers leaving their families? Betty comments to David Banner, "All you've given Bruce is fear."

REPRESSION OF EMOTIONS

Click to enlargeRepressed emotions often manifest themselves in other parts of a person's life. It may be a failure to connect fully with others, anxiety, emotional numbness, or eventually an angry (Hulk-like) outburst. If we haven't worked through all our internal "demons", they can release as a form of rage and harm others emotionally and/or physically. We're often told to "lay all our troubles on God", but what does that actually mean? Prayer helps, but also in my experiences God "takes it away" by helping us realize what is really important and what is trivial. God removes the illusions our upbringing and the world has taught us and changes our perceptions that keep us consistently worried. Yes, our past has a role in who we are today, but it doesn't have to control our lives. If we've dealt with it, have come to understand why things are messed up in the world, and have a new life and vision of the world through a relationship with God through Christ we can move forward and forgive ourselves and others. Lives run much smoother when we allow God to take control. Our external life may not change, but we ourselves change--our perceptions, our esteem, our self-worth. THEN the life visible to others may change.

Christ seemed more concerned with a person's state of mind, their soul, their spirit than anything. The low in spirit flocked to Him because he gave them relief of mind and soul. He brought God's eternal grace in human form so we could better relate and understand. Jesus continues to live in our hearts and minds as a reminder of God's love for us. God can give us freedom from the control we've allowed our emotions to have in our life.

Emotions affect our physical well-being as well. Stress, anxiety, etc can all lead to health problems. People of faith have shorter recovery times from illness. The spiritual affects the mental which affects the physical. Take envy for example--it can cause anxiety which can eventually cause bodily damage. The wages of sin are death. When we envy we are wasting energy. We disrupt the spiritual connection with God and cause emotional imbalance. God only wants to help us.

BETTY AS LOVE (God's Grace)

Click to enlargeLove seems to be the force that calms the Hulk. Even in our ugliest moments, we respond to love. In the film force against the Hulk results in more force from the Hulk. So it goes in wartime. "The more you fight, the more of you I take." -- David Banner's statement to the Hulk during a fight. Sin can overtake us and control our life if we keep feeding it and fighting God's love for us. After Bruce is transformed through his anger into the Hulk, he still recognizes the genuine spirit of love. When we are in our worst places, God may be right there offering up his love for us to recognize. In the film the government wants to destroy the Hulk, but Betty sees the humanity in the Hulk that is Bruce Banner. Just as Betty's love transforms the Hulk back into Bruce Banner near the end of the film, God's love when received can transform His people.

CONCLUSION

I thought "Hulk" had some great adult themes and was a decent action film as well. I can see why some of the kids who've seen it have been a little disappointed, however it seems to resonate with young adults and up. I read Marvel comics growing up and watched the Saturday morning "The Incredible Hulk" cartoon and I think the film more than adequately pays homage to its comic roots. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with "Hulk".

REVIEW BY MIKE FURCHES
mike@furches.org

Web site
www.furches.org

Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. music band "Route 66."

Click to enlargeThe spiritual connections in this movie that are worth discussing. The aspect of David Banner (Nick Nolte) struggling with improving on "God's Creation" and purpose is part of a worthwhile discussion. What results is another failed attempt by humanity that results in destruction and heartbreak. Unfortunately, this resembles life all to often. Humans and science tries and tries to improve on God's creation even seeing itself with the ability to create life. What we fail to recognize in that creation is the need to love. We can never accomplish the mind and thought of God, nor will our power ever be as perfect as to improve on God's creation.

Click to enlargeIt is the lack of love in David Banners life that ultimately leads to the sad existence of his son, Bruce Banner, The Hulk. Instead of seeing his son as someone to love he sees him as an experiment who can only help him prove his scientific genius throughout life. What results is an individual who vents his anger all through his life. Once that anger is released, what results is destruction and heartbreak. While Bruce Banner has a love relationship with Betty Ross, played by Jennifer Connelly we see that something has caused that relationship to cool off. We don't know what exactly because the characters are rarely developed through the movie. Once the Hulk is released from Banner by Gamma Rays the relationship no longer has a chance. The anger takes over and in a world where you would hope that love would survive, anger just sends love further and further away.

Click to enlargeIt is unfortunate but one of the reasons this movie might not offer much hope or is taken very seriously is that we live in a world, where individuals, much like the character David Banner, just don't care. We do a job, get a paycheck, and just don't care so much about the quality of products that we produce or the lives that we effect. Yet, Jesus called on his followers to do so much more. To live life in such a way that others observe our actions. To love and care for each other, to make sacrifices on a daily basis, to go out of the way to help our neighbor. After all what does it mean when Jesus said if we are to call ourselves his disciples that we are supposed to take up our cross and follow him daily? Unfortunately though, this movie takes the same direction that not only most people take, one where it seems as if no one really cares for the world or work around them. It is a world where we place ourselves over others in a place of priority others. After all it is all about "me."

Click to enlargeAng Lee does seem to have some understanding that love has a powerful impact and can influence and even turn away anger. We see this in some of the relationships and scenes between Betty and The Hulk. There are a couple of scenes where The Hulk is just bashing and destroying and upon the appearance of Betty he realizes that something more exists. It just seems as if he never really understands that in such a way that it can be controlled, Click to enlargehe tries but if it is as the movie portrays then anger and hate has more power than love. Maybe, just maybe, that is an unfortunate representation of the world as it really exists. Personally, I hope not. It would be nice to believe that the power of love that Jesus exhibited and that millions of his followers have shown actually has more power than love. Unfortunately, we become involved in activities and lifestyles that seem to show that we are no different and in reality are controlled by the same things that The Hulk is.
THE BIG GREEN GUY IN ALL OF US
REVIEW BY DAVID BRUCE

Web Master HollywoodJesus.com

Click to enlarge“Control yourself! Remember, anger is only one letter short of danger”
-Anonymous

The Hulk first appeared in a 1962 comic book written by Stan Lee. The immense popularity of this green creature spawned a successful CBS television series (1977- 1982). Now, it is a major box office hit.

The Story:
Research scientist Bruce Banner has a problem. He has a forgotten and painful past, which comes to light during an experiment gone awry. Click to enlargeDuring an accidental explosion, Bruce’s heroic impulse saves a life, but exposes his body to a deadly dose of gamma radiation. Remarkable, he survives, but he begins to feel something different within him. It’s a massive creature known as the Hulk, which begins to make sporadic appearances when Banner gets angry. The unleashed Hulk cut a path of destruction that terrified the public and engaged the military against him. But, how can the Hulk be stopped?

As Bruce Banner says, “I don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm becoming. But I know one thing for sure - you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.”

The Dilemma:
Click to enlargeThere is something very familiar about the Hulk. Film producer Gale Anne Hurd puts it this way, “There was real, elemental drama of the human condition in this character.” She is right. All of us have experienced inner anger, hostility and rage. It is part of the human condition. The Hulk’s incredible popularity is due to the amazing connection to the human dilemma that we all experience.

The apostle Paul once wrote: “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” - Romans 7:18-20

This sin that Paul talks about is like the Hulk within Bruce Banner. This sinful nature is in all of us. It controls us. What can be done about it?

Paul went on to say, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Romans 7:24-25a
Continued here


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