Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I didn't read the Planet Hulk run of comics before seeing the new animated movie Planet Hulk, and I can't say the movie itself is drawing me to change that.

That's odd, however, as I actually enjoyed it in a kind of Warworld way. Enjoyed it quite a bit, in fact.

I'm not sure I should have and I'm even less sure it's successful at being "good" in any generic sense.

I watched with Kimberly Rae paying sporadic attention in the room. She didn't understand why he never reverted to Bruce Banner, and I didn't have anything I could answer aside from my own geeky familiarity with reading any number of Hulk storylines where he simply goes on in Hulk form for long periods. I suspect most people without that familiarity will find themselves asking that question without an answer to be found.

Within this 80 minute run time at least, the villainous Red King failed to prove himself as compelling as Mongul. Perhaps in a longer story, such as the comic book run, that's an opportunity for subtlety, but here it may just be awkward.

That kind of leaves a big hole in why I liked it so damn much, I know.

I think the idea of putting Hulk on a substitute Warworld as an interplanetary Spartacus is in itself a fantastic idea, and once gets past what it could have been, is a lot of fun. I think this is one of the few places where this kind of old fashion pulp style Space Opera can be done, and I'm a sucker for that stuff.

On a more critically sound level, there was also an interesting and amusing group of supporting characters and an actual character arc for Hulk, which is something you certainly don't see every day.

But I'm still chewing on whether I think the good elements are enough to call it good or if they're just good enough to allow me to roll with the things I'm already a sucker for. I am certain that most people who are equally suckers for this stuff will at least have a good time.


Ed Howard said...

Huh. I read a little bit of the comics when I was doing one of my periodic what's-up-in-the-Marvel-universe check-ins (the answer, usually, is "not much") and thought the parts I read were OK, though obviously not enough to make me want to keep up with it beyond a few issues. Sounds like the movie is pretty similar, though I know that the comics, in context, had some convoluted explanations for why the Hulk never turned back into Banner and why he was on the war planet in the first place. Not that I remember the details now. It was tied into the whole Civil War thing Marvel had going on for a while, too.

The commercial for the movie, however, made both me and my wife crack up hysterically when the big green guy yelled out "HULK SMASH." Not sure why that struck us as so funny, but there you go.

Neil Sarver said...

Thanks for the thoughts.

For what it's worth, there is a brief introduction that kind of "explains" why Hulk is banished. I can see actually how that would fit in with the Civil War actually. But the 30 second version works as well as it needed to.

The fact that he doesn't/can't transform probably should've been given a similar throwaway explanation.

Like I said, though, I enjoyed it quite a bit overall.

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