Anyone who remembers the enjoyably daft seventies series The Incredible Hulk – in which Bill Bixby turned into a big green he-man, as played by bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (who cameos as a security guard in this version) – will be disappointed by this 21st-century big-screen reworking of the Marvel comic, while kids will just be bored by it.
It’s a shame, as the Hulk was always a fascinating antihero, a mushy-pea coloured Jekyll and Hyde, who only came into being when Bruce Banner (played here by Bana) got grumpy. But here, that doesn’t even happen until well over half an hour in, by which point your sense of anticipation will have been dulled by the movie’s subtexts (father/son angst with Nick Nolte clearly bonkers as Banner senior, some self-important twaddle about the ethics of science). Of course, when he does romp across the screen as the not-very-jolly green giant, bouncing from rock to rock, battling mutant dogs or swatting at helicopters, it’s a treat, but because it’s been so drearily ponderous up to then, you’re unlikely to be awake enough to care. And they still don’t explain how Bruce can transform from nerd to Hulk without splitting his trousers.
Is Hulk suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note that this is a ‘12’ certificate movie. There isn’t much that’s scary, though, aside from some mutant dogs and a delusion of Bruce’s in which the Hulk pulls him through a mirror.