Smashy smashy! The Crystal Ball foresees there will be a lot of
crushing, smashing, throwing, and breaking in this film. As a
superhero the Hulk has a tough time, though, because despite the fact
that he's fueled by rage, he can't go around popping heads off bad guys
like dandelions. He'll have to find a way to destroy a lot of
equipment without killing anyone, or he'll have to fight some big
powerful evil creature.
We're certain to see both sides of the Hulk in this
movie...the angry smashing Hulk, and his wussy alter-ego Dr. David Bruce
Banner. Picture this: after a hard day of throwing tanks through
buildings, the Hulk takes a nap in a field. He wakes up as Banner
an hour later, his clothes tattered from his Hulkification. He
rushes home to find his girlfriend sitting at the dinner table, the
meatloaf is cold and the candles have burned out. She turns to him
"Where were you? You were due home at six, mister!
Dinner's ruined and I'm starving. And what happened to your
clothes? Are those the slacks I bought you at the Gap? I
gave you those as a birthday present, and you ruined them! You're
making me angry, and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!" That'd
be a nice homage to Bill Bixby's famous line, and you know it'll be in
In fact, the Masked Reviewer would be surprised if there aren't quite
a few anger management jokes. Perhaps Banner will get a personal
trainer, a big mean bully, to help him work out before he becomes the
Hulk (great spot for the inevitable
Lou Ferrigno cameo). Banner will try to bench press 100 pounds
and the big mean bully will say "You couldn't press your pants!"
But, see, later in the movie, the same cocky bodybuilder will run into
an angry Hulk in a dark alley, and the Hulk will take the trainer's
fancy convertible and smash it down into a paperweight. You go,
You know, the TV show was called "The Incredible Hulk," and the movie
is just The Hulk. What happened? Isn't he incredible
anymore? Maybe that's why he's so grouchy...self-esteem issues.
"Oh, he's not all that incredible these days." Words can hurt,
Because the Hulk isn't exactly Shakespeare ("HULK SMASH!") we can
expect that his on-screen time will treat him more like a horror flick
monster than a hero. We'll be scared by the Hulk, worried that
he'll unleash his rage on someone we care about, like Banner's
girlfriend. He'll pop out of nowhere a few times, and
he'll have people slowly turning their flashlights towards him as they
realize he's standing right next to them. But he'll only smash the
Of course, Banner will have to try and stop the Hulk, and he won't be
getting the kind of help he needs from the military. The Masked
Reviewer sees that there will be a lot of references to Jekyll and Hyde.
It's too bad they made that into a Broadway musical rather than the
Hulk. It could've closed with "It's Not Easy Being Green".
Someone in the movie will say, at some point, "I don't know, but it
sure as heck wasn't the Jolly Green Giant!"
And the girlfriend, when she realizes that Banner is the Hulk
and sees the Hulk moving in on her, will almost certainly remark
"Bruce...you've been working out."
By the way, Bruce is a good name, it's got a nice, heroic ring to it:
Bruce Banner, Bruce Wayne, Bruce Springstein, Bruce Lee, Bruce Villanch.
Banner will eventually figure out that the Hulk isn't all bad and
could be used to help the world. He'll use his brains to save the day and stop the
evil bad guy by putting himself in a position where the Hulk can destroy
a lot of stuff.
But don't count on The Hulk ending with the main characters
dying off, as in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; if
The Hulk doesn't end poised for a sequel, the Masked Reviewer will
eat his mask.
If the movie can keep from looking too much like a videogame, it
might be fun. Part Godzilla, part Jekyll and Hyde,
part Frankenstein -- with a whole lotta smashin'.
PREDICTION RECORDED: March 19, 2003