Sunday, August 1, 2010

Planet Hulk

This is the last step of my quest to see all of the recent Marvel movies I missed. Although Kick-Ass sort of counts since Icon is a Marvel imprint, and it's out on home video next week. So anyway I mostly enjoyed Planet Hulk. It's based on the storyline that led directly to the World War Hulk comic I read a while ago, although it ends before it gets to the part that triggers that story. Which might have been a good idea, since it would have made a total downer out of what is a pretty complete and interesting story, if you ignore the fact that they turned Hulk's blood green and he's somehow able to stay transformed the entire time without a single appearance by Bruce Banner. I still don't really get that.

But yeah, it's a pretty classic pulpy adventure story. Hulk is sent to outer space by some dudes, and ends up on a planet they didn't expect, one inhabited by several different intelligent species and where he is captured and forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena. They attach him with a device that acts as a universal translator, so he can actually be a character and not just a raging psychopath. He forms an uneasy alliance with some fellow captives (uneasy because Hulk is a dick, always), and eventually they escape in the midst of a rebellion. There's some pretty standard scenes of character development that also explain the backstory of how the planet came to be the way it is, with some pretty easily discoverable plot twists and other stuff to keep it from getting too dull. It's far from the most original story ever conceived, but it's told pretty well and it's pretty fun watching Hulk and his pals destroy the crap out of everything. All I've really asked of these animated movies is they don't be boring, and Planet Hulk managed that pretty well. It's an old school kind of plot, fairly well animated, and well voiced by some veteran actors. Completely serviceable film.

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