This worthy film fills two hours and twenty minutes with great filmmaking, memorable dialogue and amazing special effects that support a very mature treatment of the scientific subject matter. Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) holds her own as Betty Ross as she emotionally contends with four major male characters:
- The prime character, Bruce Banner, played by Eric Bana, as a former love interest and now colleague in her science research field who discovers more than he wanted.
- Bruce’s father, David, well played by Nick Nolte, as a mysterious figure resurfacing in Bruce’s life.
- Her father, played by Sam Elliot, an aspiring corporate who knows the truth about David’s past transgressions.
- And finally, Talbot – Bruce’s main rival, a military officer played by Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama).
Nolte’s performance is very theatrical at times as he gets some of the film’s best dialogue scenes with Betty while Bana captures the emotional and mental struggles while dealing with his new-found condition and powers, which are not wanted like his other Marvel superhero counterparts.
He does not want to turn into this new creature as the other character seeks to calm, manipulate, and exploit his condition. The origin aspects keep the action concentrated on a cause-and-effect framework where the Hulk never really lets loose for an extended period of time.
Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility) uses several inventive scene transitions and visuals that give the film an appropriate comic book feel. Lee uses camera motion during Banner’s change into the Hulk inside a house to enhance the impact of the scene. The lighting and sound also enhance the action.
This great direction and deep story earns a solid recommendation with a PG-13 rating for action violence, disturbing images and brief nudity.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler