The Hulk has had the privilege of having been the subject of more DVD movies than any other Marvel character. With “Hulk vs. Thor” and “Hulk vs. Wolverine” just released last year, it is impressive that they have now released “Planet Hulk.” It is based on the Marvel Comics’ storyline “Planet Hulk,” which spanned the issues of “Incredible Hulk” (#92-105) in 2006.
The good news is that they did a great job sticking to the comic book story, perhaps more than any other comic book-based movie yet. Of course, plenty was left out, but much was kept in, making it resemble the exciting comic book I read years ago.
Marvel went a good route when they hired Sam Liu (of “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”) to direct it, because he has brought us an action-packed, yet not all mindless destruction, movie.
I loved that you don’t need to know much of a back story to jump in and enjoy this movie. Of course, everyone knows the Hulk. He is a savage, uncontrollable monster, and … that’s about all you need to know. You learn the rest along the way — such as the fact that he might even be the prophesied Savior of a strange and violent alien world.
Because the Hulk is uncontrollable and unstoppable, Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Mr. Fantastic have somehow sequestered the Hulk and sent him away to an uninhabited planet in a S.H.I.E.L.D. spaceship, so that he may perhaps learn to overcome his anger and find peace. They also sent him away because Hulk kept tearing up all the cities and was becoming a risky liability. The special shackles that imprisoned the Hulk until his arrival at the peaceful planet destination were not as strong as his captors thought. He breaks free, only to cause havoc on the ship and throw it off course, right into a wormhole anomaly. Soon, he is crash landing at a planet on the other side. This planet is the “where” of the story. It is a world called “Sakaar.”
After the crash landing, the hulk gets taken into slavery and forced to battle in a Gladiator-like setting. At the same same time, he gets to meet new characters, characters the movie was not able to delve into but the comics did. Nevertheless, these characters accompany him on this new adventure. The Hulk does learn a lot about himself and his friends, who think him to be Sakaaran, the said future savior of their world.
The action is better than in any other Marvel-produced film to date, in my opinion. The violence is also greater. Actually, I was pretty shocked at times watching this.
Yes, the faithfulness to the original story, the cool art, and the non stop action are great reasons why this movie succeeds for me. It is definitely a must for fans, and a great action movie for the non-fans. It does have flaws, and lots of the amazing character development from the comic book story is missing. Still, it has some great surprises, and stands great on its own.
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“The Hulk does learn a lot about himself and his friends” — Is this an afterschool special? (Just kidding ;). Nice review, Josue.)