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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie revolves around conflict and violence -- which doesn't exactly send young viewers a good message -- there are some decent take-aways by the time the credits roll. The Hulk must learn to overcome his anger and work with his fellow slaves to get out of their predicament. He's naturally a loner but unwittingly becomes part of a "family" (or a "hive," as one character puts it); they refuse to give up on him, even when he gives up on them. Plus, since he's been banished from Earth, he must eventually discover and accept a new way of fitting in -- one that's based on understanding rather than fear.
Positive Role Models
Possessed by rage and violence, the Hulk is hardly a strong positive role model for most of the movie -- and neither are most of the other characters, who are constantly engaged in battle and revenge. The Hulk spends most of the movie angry, betrayed, and sulking, acting only for himself and not for others. But he ultimately learns to change this negative attitude not through brute force, but by slowing down and allowing himself to trust and be trusted by others.
Violence & Scariness
Nearly wall-to-wall cartoon fantasy violence. Even when the characters aren't fighting, they're talking about fighting. The Hulk is usually angry and looking to take out his anger on someone in battle. Imagery includes slicing and severing with swords and blades, including lots of blood and gore (of various colors). One creature is sliced in half down the middle. The Hulk punches, pounds, and pummels several characters, and in one scene, he sits on top of his victim and beats his face to a bloody pulp. There are attacks from spiky creatures that enter into and take over a victim's body. Some of the alien creatures may be too scary for kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hulk and a female character, Caiera, almost kiss. Sexualized female characters wear skimpy, sexy outfits, as do some of the men.
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Not an issue, except that one character uses a made-up slang word: "oh, fratz."
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Products & Purchases
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though this film based on a 2006 storyline from The Incredible Hulk comic book is animated, it's extremely violent and not meant for young kids. It's filled with slicing and dicing, punching and pummeling, and lots of blood and gore (of various colors). The entire plotline revolves around fighting, and when characters aren't fighting, they're talking about their next fight. Still, some teens may identify with the Hulk's outsized emotions and his extreme (hormonal) reactions: he feels rejected, gets angry, sulks, and wishes to be left alone. Ultimately, he learns to overcome these emotions through trust and friendship. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Hulk's predicament and behavior in this story make for an interesting comparison with the moods of ol' Green Skin's teenage fans (i.e. feelings of not fitting in). Unfortunately, the movie's constant battle sequences and humorless tone don't leave much room for any kind of real emotional connection with the characters. In this tale, the Hulk never returns to his human form, and thus the battle between his two "sides" takes place on a less visceral, visual level. Likewise, the villain is terribly uninteresting, and the plot twists are a little too transparent.
For what might have been a decent Saturday morning cartoon-type adventure, PLANET HULK is very violent -- and, indeed, has very little to offer but violence. The Hulk's fits of rage can cause even more tension than the slicing and dicing and blood and gore of the battle sequences. That said, the animation is solid, and perhaps die-hard Hulk fans can find something worthwhile here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.