We all have them, movies that we absolutely love and will defend to our dying day. Some people call them guilty pleasures, I call them movies misunderstood by the masses. You know, movies we love even more because we know how misunderstood they are to most everybody else on the planet. I’m talking about movies that you may be embarrassed to say you not only like, but think are absolutely brilliant when confronting the mass populace of differing opinions and the harsh words of many well respected critics.
The Hulk (2003) is a perfect example of a movie that has been grossly misunderstood by both a large number of critics and general audiences alike. Follow the jump to see why I feel Hulk has been so misunderstood.
Hulk – Director Ang Lee (2003)
Rottentomatoes Rating: Critic – 62%, Audience – 32% // IMDB Rating – 5.7
Is Hulk the perfect comic book movie? Not taking itself too seriously (hence the hammed up nature in the performances, not bad acting as some critics would say) and not at all veering too far to the side of ridiculousness, I’d say yes, Hulk is the perfect comic book movie.
Having just re-watched this less than a week ago for the umpteenth time I can honestly say I don’t understand the enormous negative response given to this film. It can’t solely be based on the fact that the Hulk doesn’t appear until 45 minutes into the film, could it? So, impatient filmgoers are upset because there’s too much talky talky and not enough smashing. Should that alone condemn one of the bravest, smartest, most entertaining, and overtly loudest allegorical portrayals of man’s inner monster ever put to film, EVER!?
Okay, maybe it’s not the pacing that turned people off to Ang Lee‘s Hulk, but rather the quality of CGI and/or the Hulk’s ever changing fluctuations in size from one shot to another. In the greater context of the film though, these petty criticisms alone should have only amounted to some minor nitpicks, not a condemnation of the entire movie. Even I, a stout defender of this film, will admit to having his nitpicks, mainly regarding the stretchability of Hulk’s pants and underwear (seriously, how do those things stay on?), but at the end of the day I can appreciate what matters most, a modern day folktale told in true-to-form comic book storyboarding, with actors so secure in their roles you’d think you were actually reading a comic book.