Director Ang Lee’s impressive genre hopping (The Ice Storm
, Ride with the Devil
and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
) sours as he tires to breathe new life into this Marvel Comics and former TV series creature. A gamma-ray blast turns scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) into a man with a split personality. He becomes a sort of Doctor Jekyll and a Not So Jolly Green Giant: a young man whose repressed rage from mutated genes and a troubled childhood is easily triggered. This turns him into a huge monster that is hunted down in King Kong
fashion by the military. The film lumbers through humorless psychodrama, introducing us to Banner’s past and his colleague Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly with bangs continually flopping over her face), who wrestles with some of her own inner demons. The spectacular special effects and Lee’s use of split screens provide some relief in a nonetheless tedious tale in which Nick Nolte (looking much like his recent mug shot) provides several unintentional laughs as Banner’s father.