Donald’s Comic Book Movie Round-up (Part I, Part II, Part III) had me thinking again about Ang Lee’s Hulk, which led me to this video on YouTube that pulls out into a single seven-minute video a good portion of the action sequences from the film.

I know that this film is reviled by many, but can we at least agree that if you excise all of the plot, the action scenes are phenomenal? Then again, we probably can’t agree to that, can we? Hulk was so polarizing that some people can’t give it credit for having done anything right, which is rather a bizarre standpoint from my perspective, but it’s their loss, I suppose.

For my part, I’m still astonished seven years later at how seamlessly the CG Hulk integrates into these sequences. Again, many will take this film to task for imperfect CGI (for stupid stuff, like the Hulk’s head being too big, or his skin looking too rubbery, or something), but if you just attempt to accept that an eight foot-tall neon green monster can exist, you can take any single frame from this film, put it on the front page of CNN, and it would look authentic. I swear, my mind just stopped questioning it at a certain point.

Part of what sells it is how extraordinary the emotive acting is of the CG Hulk. One of my biggest complaints about so many CG characters–and this was especially true back in 2003–is that the eyes always look so dead. Ang Lee’s effects team did groundbreaking work. I truly believe that.

And just to respond to this guy:

I didn’t hate the 2003 version, but those shots of him jumping in the air always aggraviated [sic] me. HULK ISN’T A FROG!!

Yeah, except for the fact that he does that all the time in the comics.

And this guy:

2003 Hulk was SO SHITTY, and looked fake as hell. Not just the CG, but the Hulk himself; he looked like a big, green toddler.

Yeah, that’s the point–read a comic book, or just watch the damn movie, which explains how the Hulk is the embodiment of suppressed rage with its roots in Banner’s childhood. The Hulk in Ang Lee’s film is meant to be child-like. Becoming the Hulk is essentially a gamma-ray-powered tantrum. I’m sorry, but people like this commenter shouldn’t even be allowed to watch movies.

Another:

I agree, like in the 2003 version they should have made the hulk grow more and more the more pissed he got, that and this video disapointed me

Well, they actually did show that pretty consistently throughout the film. The Hulk’s size was variable, and you could see him growing larger and larger the angrier he got. I don’t recall if they did that in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk. In any case, there’s plenty on which to criticize the 2003 film without resorting to making shit up.

What are you stupid? 2003 was so freaking gay that they instantly started to film it again and that movie ruined the directors career… jesus man it looks like a green child who can jumpfly…

Yes, it ruined the career of the man who went on to win an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain. And again with the jumping… Oy.

In addition to rating films for adult content, they should also have a rating system for minimal intellect required. This guy wouldn’t have been allowed into the theater (though assuming he was probably three years old when the film came out, it’s likely a moot point).

Thank god for this guy and others like him:

I like how everyone is obsessed with realism. The ’03 hulk was art. It was epic in so many ways. It emphasized the contrast between the hulk and bruce banner. Bruce is a weak human being of which the Hulk loathes for being weak. The ’03 film touched base on that. To me, it was a good film in general, the 08 was okay, but it’s hard to talk to a lot of the people about it. Most of the people just wanted to see the hulk smash things, not really watch a movie. But that’s my point of view.

Listen, I don’t want to tell you that the 2003 film is better than the 2008 film. It’s a matter of personal preference, and a meaningless debate, since they’re such different films, they may as well have been about entirely different characters. What I will say is that it’s so rare to actually read a rational complaint about the 2003 film.