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Monday, August 04, 2003
  Hulk smash

My problem with the Hulk goes deeper than Lee's irritatingly fiddly interpretation. As the good people at k-punk have already stated, the film is a disappointment; crassly beholden to studio execs who probably still enjoy primal scream therapy and blame their fathers for the fact that they have to employ someone to hit their wives.
Anyway, as I was saying, its deeper than that... I'll come right out and say it. The Hulk is fucking boring. He's the littlest hobo of superheroes but without the cute red and white hanky tied around his neck. He has no purpose, he smashes, he gets angry, he calls humans puny and occasionally he inadvertantly beats a baddie even nastier than the military who are always buzzing around his ankles.
He doesn't do anything, he is unthinking, and yay hooray for emotional literalism and punching our weight, but I don't need a CGI jolly green pissant to tell me that its good to get in touch with my feelings. Superman represents the fear and potential of the immigrant, Spiderman the fear and potential of the awakening pubescent youth... thanks again K-Punk, but you're right, what does the Hulk represent beyond a clenched fist and an engorged cock?
And as for the villains... otherwise an intriguing failure, the only thing that Unbreakable got right was the absolute necessity of a co-dependent relationship between hero and villain. You can turn around and say that the real enemy in Hulk is what lies within Banner himself, but when he is the Hulk he is devoid of moral responsibility. He admits that he sees what he is doing, but that it feels like a dream. Now I'm not going to hand myself in to the police because last night I dreamed I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die, so likewise its hardly Bruce's fault that he swats down neat whizzy helicopters while the rest of us dream about torturing Sadie Frost (or is that just me)...
A hero without a reason for being a hero has no resonance...  
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