What parents need to know
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.
What's the story?
Iron Man and several other superheroes decide that the Hulk (voiced by Rick D. Wasserman) is too much of a menace to remain on Earth, so they send him into outer space. After the enraged Hulk goes on a rampage, his spaceship passes through a wormhole, and he winds up on an alien planet -- captured, enslaved, and forced to fight, gladiator-style, for the amusement of the Red King. The Hulk excels in battle, and some begin to believe that he might be the \"chosen one\" who's destined to save the planet. Eventually his fellow slaves decide to band together and find a way out of their predicament, but the Hulk only has one thing on his mind: Smash the king.
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.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. Does the fact that it's animated affect its impact? How would that change if it were live action?
The Hulk is reluctant to join the "hive" (or family) that his fellow slaves have formed. Why? Is he too angry? Is he afraid of being rejected again?
Other superheroes decided they didn't want to deal with the Hulk anymore, so they sent him away. How would this make the Hulk feel? Does it mean that he's a bad person?