This week needs to be officially declared ‘Useless Blockbuster Week’ as our critics clobber the two big releases, The Incredible Hulk and The Happening.
First up we have the rebooted Hulk trying to succeed where Ang Lee’s 2003 effort failed for not making enough money. The new approach is to cut to the core of Hulk’s appeal by focusing purely on the angry green Hulk-smashing action and not much else. Edward Norton reluctantly stars (and even shows his contempt in this sketch) going monster to monster on the streets of Manhattan against Tim Roth’s alter ego, Abomination. Unfortunately the Times thinks Hulk looks like “angry plasticine” (2-stars) and the rest of the reviews are no better. The Independent (also 2-stars) calls it “competent, action-led and almost entirely humourless” while Peter Bradshaw, in full Hulk-speak, decides in a 1-star review, “Hulk crush all hopes of entertainment. Hulk in boring film.” Why even the director thinks comic book movies are over-exposed so listen to his advise and save your grubby cash for the arrival of the superior looking Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight which hover temptingly on the horizon.
The Village was the worst film I’ve ever paid to see and ever since I’ve taken a sadistic pleasure in watching M Night Shyamalan torch his career. He followed it with the unwatchable gibberish that was Lady In the Water and now we have the critically panned The Happening. The story is some eco-tosh about a mass suicide that makes people across the US “talk gobbledegook, then start walking backwards and finally kill themselves by the nearest available method.” (The Times, 2-stars). I’ll leave it to Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian to sum up why you should save your money (