Ang Lee takes a risk on trying to bring the medium to life - comic panels and all - and equating the source of the hulk's rage to an abusive source. It suffers from a convoluted ending in which the movie tries to tie up too much at once.
Underrated. I admire its surrealistic craft and odd risks.
Cinematically, one of my favorite comic book films, with an imaginative use of comic book storytelling.
Created in 1962 by the greats Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Lee was inspired by Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was fascinated by the duality of the humane, intelligent being split with a pure destructive force of chaos and unchecked power. This can also be seen as a reaction to the post nuclear era, and the perils of radiation or science reaching beyond ambition to a terrifying result.
Early on, the Hulk was further defined by Steve Ditko, John Buscema and Marie Severin. Len Wein and Herb Trimpe, in the late '70s would work on the book for over 10 years, introducing Wolverine to world in the process.
In 1977, the television series would premiere, bringing the Hulk to a whole new world, over a four year period, including some crossover made for tv movies.
Bill Mantlo took over the writing of the book and as the first to bring in the concept that Bruce Banner suffered from child abuse early on, setting the pieces in motion that would take shape directly in Ang Lee’s film version.
Lee not only gave a nod to the abuse story but also focused on the relationship between father and son throughout the film. In the film, Lee makes use of visual collage and multi panel screens to relate back to graphic novels not only in story, but structure. It is an ambitious, artful effort but suffers under it’s own weight, complexity and comes apart in it’s final act.