July 19, 2017
"Before he was everyone's favorite smashing machine, Hulk had a strangely rocky start. Nostalgia Critic takes a look at this awkward misfire."
(We start off with a parody of the intro of the TV show The Incredible Hulk (1978). The red sign "DANGER" starts blinking as the Nostalgia Critic puts the Hulk (2003) Blu-ray in a PS4. As he watches it, he grows more and more angry)
Narrator (Malcolm): Nostalgia Critic: critic of nostalgia. Searching for a movie to tap into the inner frustrations every movie nerd has. Then, a viewing of a fascinatingly misdirected movie alters his chemistry. And now, whenever he hears any mention of the movie Hulk, a startling metamorphosis occurs.
(Tamara is shown holding the Blu-ray of the movie and discussing it with Malcolm. When NC comes up, he dramatically knocks it out of Tamara's hand, and it falls on the floor)
NC: (calmly) Malcolm. Tamara. Do not show me that movie. You wouldn't like me when you show me that movie.
(He explodes, but nothing happens to him afterwards)
NC: I exploded.
(Tamara and Malcolm just shrug. Cut to NC crying to the sky in the rain in over-the-top manner, with the title "The Incredible Sulk" appearing below. We then are shown NC watching silently at the Blu-ray case of Hulk, with the Blu-ray itself having been smashed into pieces)
Narrator: The Critic is wanted for property damage he didn't commit. Well, okay, he did, but it was just of a movie. And that movie sucked. The Critic's patience is believed to be dead. And he must let the world believe that it is dead, until he can find a way to control the whiny bitch fits that dwells within him.
(The screen splits, with the one half of Critic just watching, and the other crying in the rain. The title "The Incredible Sulk" appears once more as the frame freezes. And we come to our opening. After that, we cut to the NC sitting in his usual spot)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. You know... (an image of the Incredible Hulk appears in the corner) this should be the easiest guy to make interesting.
(Cut to a montage of shots of Hulk comics)
NC (vo): The Incredible Hulk is a classic Jekyll-and-Hyde story about scientist Bruce Banner, whose experiment goes wrong and turns into a giant green monster whenever he gets angry. It has both the psychological and physical elements that usually make for great classic storytelling.
(Cut to a poster for the 2008 Incredible Hulk movie)
NC (vo): Yet his cinematic ventures have been so underwhelming that...
(Cut to a shot of the Hulk as part of the group shot of the title group from Avengers: Age of Ultron)
NC (vo): ...despite him being many people's favorite parts in other movies...
(Another shot of a solo Hulk is shown)
NC (vo): ...no solo movies are planned in the near future.
NC: And that all started with the... (imitates Hulk sounds while putting his fist in his mouth) ...simply known as Hulk.
(We see the title of the movie, before showing clips, as well as showing images of director Ang Lee and posters of his other movies)
NC (vo): How can a story about a giant green monster be boring? That was the challenge presumably given to director Ang Lee. He just finished a winning streak with his martial arts opus, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, winning over box office, critics, and too many awards to count. So producers immediately said, "That, we want that for our action-packed Hulk movie".
NC: But what they were missing is that Ang Lee usually did social dramas.
(An image of a character from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is shown)
NC (vo): He did Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon because he always wanted to do a martial arts movie.
NC: One. One martial arts movie.
NC (vo): He brushed up for years on martial arts flicks so he could figure out how to do it right. With Hulk, very clearly, he was a director-for-hire, and saw this more as a means to experiment rather than bring a lifelong dream to life.
NC: And much like Bruce Banner, this experiment would haunt him for the rest of his days.
(The posters for Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain are shown)
NC (vo): He certainly recovered and returned back to his comfort zone, but the mark this movie left on comic fans is probably the most uniquely bad since this.
(Cut to a clip from Batman & Robin)
Batman: This is why Superman works alone.
NC (vo): But while that was bright and colorful and at least made little kids happy, this...would only make that kid who stands in the corner saying "I'm bad, I'm bad, I'm bad" happy.
NC: Because he's gonna set someone on fire.
NC (vo): So, why is this the most intriguing and yet somehow also most boring of missteps?
NC: Well, let's make everybody angry with Hulk.
(The movie's opening credits roll to a triumphant music score by Danny Elfman)
NC: Whoa, whoa, tone down those expectations there! This is not the movie you're going to get.
NC (vo): Now, let's instead do those early 2000s credits of blurry close-ups mixed with sped-up and slowed-down editing. I've always wanted to see an intro with my glasses off and a monkey playing with the remote.
(NC is seen with his glasses off, while a monkey screeches in the background, as the intro sequence goes on)
NC: Okay, Coco, push play. Push play... No, now you're fast forwarding- No, no, now you're slowing it down- No, now you have it on extreme zoom! Extreme zoom... No, no! Pull it back to normal. (to the camera) This is the best way to watch this movie!
NC (vo): Oh, and if you think this style is only done in the credits, your senses are in for a bludgeoning, because there's gimmicky editing techniques throughout the entire film.
NC: And I mean, the entire film.
NC (vo): Just look at this flashback of Bruce Banner's father.
Edith: I'm gonna have a baby.
(Edith going through labor pushes through the screen between the previous shot. The camera pulls out of labor room, and then zooms to David and baby Bruce at home. Then, we cut to shot of David's notes with the words "...has been passed on", before a fern sprouts over the notes)
NC: If you find this mildly annoying, then just add two hours of it, and that M will quickly turn upside down. (The word "Mildly" pops on screen, with the M turning upside down, turning "Mildly" into "Wildly")
NC (vo): Like me, you might be wondering, what's the point of all these transition tricks? Trick-sitions, as I like to call them! My best guess is Ang Lee wanted to create the closest thing he could to a comic book, meaning the film literally has panels, speed lines, and elements of space and time overlapping each other.
NC: There's just one problem with that, though. If you're adapting a book, would you constantly...
NC (vo): ...put words all over the goddamn place? This is way too friggin' literal!
(Cut to the library scene from IT, with Pennywise laughing at Richie, showing sentences appearing across the screen like "He sat on top of the stair rail", "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?", "You better let the poor guy out!", and, of course, "Wah-hah! Wah-hah! Wah-hah!". We are then shown the screen splitting between General Thaddeus Ross (Todd Tesen) talking in the microphone and David Banner (Paul Kersey) running up the stairs)
Ross: Gamma decontamination will occur in 30 minutes.
NC: Actually, I take it back. There's two problems with this technique. In a comic book, these are used...
(The pages from Deadpool/Spider-Man and Batman comic books are shown)
NC (vo): ...to suck you more into the story. It leaps off the page and brings you into their reality.
NC: This is constantly taking you...
(The various split screens and transitions in the movie are shown)
NC (vo): ...out of what's going on. You can't ever breathe in the world, because the movie's too busy trying to physically show you the lines that they're supposed to be breathing in!
Ross: Gamma decontamination will occur in 30 minutes.
NC: Actually, I take it back. There's three problems with this! I'm sorry to dwell in this so much, but this is literally throughout the whole goddamn film! It's best to tackle it in one... (He angrily shows the middle finger)
(The clips from Spider-Man 2 and Sin City are shown)
NC (vo): Other movies like Spider-Man and Sin City look like the comics they portray to create a stronger environment for their world. They're adventurous, they're action-packed, they're totally over-the-top.
NC: You know what this film mostly consists of?
(Bruce (Eric Bana), his girlfriend Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), and co-worker Harper (Kevin Rankin) are shown working on nanomed research, just sitting in front of the computers and talking calmly)
Bruce: Are we passing inspection?
Harper: Safeties all going green...
NC: THAT! A lot of sitting around and talking!
NC (vo): So the style doesn't even match the tone! It's like they realize there's no friggin' excitement in this flick, so to remind you it's even supposed to be a comic book film, they're like...
NC: "Um... Pffft. Throw some..."
NC (vo): "...Comic Sans in there, put that frame there, that frame over there and make it look like The Brady Bunch."
(A shot of Carol Brady from the intro of said show briefly pops up during one of the split screens)
NC: (throwing out arms, smiling) Comics! We get this!
(A two-year old Bruce is shown playing with toys, and while he shakes them, the frames are blurred)
NC: (confused) On second thought, maybe we don't. Where the hell was...
NC (vo): ...there a comic that had imagery like that?
NC: (holding an Atomic Robo comic) Maybe if I read it while doing this. (shakes his head wildly while reading the comic)
(The trees are shown with close-up on their green moss)
NC (vo): Also, I don't think trees are a big focus of comics. We're...really putting the camera on this? We're this bored? This early?
NC: Unless this is Treebeard's porn stash, why are you shooting that?! (Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings is shown with a VHS cover that says "Morning Wood" and has birches on it)
NC (vo): So something tragic happens in Bruce's past that he's repressed, and...with his dad taking his mother screaming into the back, you can probably guess what it is.
NC: Oh! I mean, I'm gonna spend the whole entire film wondering what that- He kills his mom! (Beat) Come on!
NC (vo): It even cuts immediately to a foster home when he's a teen. You think we couldn't figure this out? Though, to their credit, maybe his stepmom's disinterest is supposed to distract us from connecting the dots.
(Bruce's stepmother, Mrs. Krenzler (Celia Weston), comforts him)
Mrs. Krenzler: There's something inside you. So special. Some kind of greatness, I'm sure. Someday you're gonna...share it with the whole world.
NC: (as a director) Okay, cut! That was good, but, uh, (brings out a folder) let's try something a little different here this time. Let's try trying.
NC (vo): Though, don't worry, stepmother, the award for the least amount of effort clearly goes to Jennifer Connelly. I get the feeling every day she showed up to the set and the crew was like...
NC: (as a director, rubbing his hands in excitement) Okay, Connelly! Uh, are we gonna act today or not act today?
Betty: (speaking softly to Bruce, almost monotone) There was some sort of explosion. They wouldn't let us into the building. (Beat) l was worried about you.
NC: (as a director) ...Not act today. (calls out) Okay, it's a not-acting day, everybody! (smiles sheepishly) We just wanted to know how to shoot it to make you look...invested.
NC (vo): Hell, I think the most gripping performances in the movie probably come from these two.
(Stan Lee and the original Hulk performer/voice actor Lou Ferrigno are shown as security guards walking out the building where Bruce goes)
Security guard (Stan Lee): Security ought to be beefed up a lot more in a place like this.
NC: I really believed he wanted tighter security. And I really believe...
NC (vo): ...that Lou Ferrigno was...um...looking at him.
NC: Okay, I didn't even believe that, but he looked like this for years! He gets a pass! (A photo of Lou Ferrigno performing as the Hulk from the 1978 live-action series is shown)
(Two clips from the movie are shown: one with the caption "Desert Base, 1966" written in a typical comic book font, and the other with the caption "Berkley Nuclear Biotechnology Institute" written in a simple Arial font)
NC (vo): By the way, minus two points for even your credits not being consistent. When even your font doesn't know what it wants to be, you're kind of in trouble.
Harper: Bruce. Big day. Did you sleep?
NC (vo): We find out that Bruce, played by Eric Bana, is working on ways to expose gamma rays to electro-energy jigawatts capacitor...
NC: ...sciency shit where somehow superpowers are the wrong answer.
NC (vo): They try their experiment on a frog and discover the results are a little too explosive.
(The frog they use nanomed on is shown on monitors. It swells and pops up. Bruce, Betty and Harper say nothing)
NC: (solemnly) Somebody call Miss Piggy. There's been an...accident.
(Bruce and Betty are shown having a break at night)
Bruce: You want to go to the review board on Monday and tell them that we've developed a brand-new method for exploding frogs?
Betty: Yeah. l think maybe there's a market for it. Frogs start falling from the sky...who do they come to?
NC: (after a beat, laughing nervously and slowly) Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
NC (vo): No. Really. Suck it in while you can. That is the only joke in the entire movie.
(A rectangular shot of a man named Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas) reading in the waiting room the next day fades in and expands)
NC (vo): Oh, excuse me. There's a bookmark of a man reading fighting for space.
NC: Okay, if you really can draw this much attention to your transitions, I'm gonna draw even more attention to it by putting in the goofy sound effects they deserve!
(As Talbot notices Betty walking in, the split screens and transitions throughout this scene are accompanied by various Hanna-Barbera sound effects)
(Talbot hugs Betty, and it transitions to a scene of them talking, with more effects in the background)
NC (vo): This Dickface McSneer Smirk is Glenn. He is...doing exactly what you think he's gonna do: try and steal Banner's girlfriend, get in the way of his experiment and waste a lot of time trying to explain every boring reason why.
Talbot: So, how's business?
Betty: What do you want?
Talbot: Your little molecular machines have some incredible implications. How'd you like to come work for Atheon, get paid 10 times as much as you are now...
(The title "The Hulk" appears on screen to a dramatic sting)
NC (vo): (in an over-the-top manner) The Hulk! People calmly discussing things! Staring at each other in silence! But... Look! Green walls! (A bunch of arrows pop up, pointing at the walls) It's...kind of like the Hulk is there! Symbolically!
NC: Oh, you just don't get it! You don't understand the layers of subtlety and conversation that need to be had with... (faintly raises his fists in the air, as "The Hulk" appears again) The Hulk!
(An unknown man is shown cleaning up the floor with a mop at night, and Betty notices him)
NC (vo): Ooh, look! It's the film's first big surprise: they got a new janitor!
Betty: What happened to Benny? Is he not working the night shift anymore?
Man: I'm the new guy.
(NC is smiling widely and looks left and right briefly)
NC: That's exciting!
Betty: Good to meet you.
(We go the the next scene of Bruce working at a laptop with a water-like transition)
NC: Ah. The classic "mop" transition...
NC (vo): ...I see (chuckles) so often in comics.
NC: (looks down, disgusted) Man, it's a good thing nobody takes a shit in this movie.
(Bruce looks at the photo of Betty standing in front of a tree)
NC (vo): So Bruce sits around, staring at old pictures of Connelly as his girlfriend- (Suddenly, the frame comes to life, as Bruce in the photo comes to Betty and kisses her, smiling) Oh, come on!! Even the Kodak film has to run through the pretentious filter?!
NC: I'm just waiting for the Prisoner of Azkaban to knock them out with a bottle of butterbeer! (A clip from the aforementioned movie is shown, showing the famous "Have You Seen This Wizard?" poster of Sirius Black, who's laughing madly on the poster)
NC (vo): This results in a flashback of when Bruce and her were still dating.
Bruce: Tell me about your dream.
Betty: It starts with a memory. From when I was maybe two years old.
(We flash back (a flashback in a flashback - weird), with fading in with another HB effect, to two-year-old Betty having an ice cream with her father)
Betty (vo): I was living at a desert base with my father. Suddenly I'm alone.
(The frame fades out and in two times to show us the outside of the ice cream store, all to the mysterious female voice in the background. NC doesn't know what to say but...)
NC: The Hulk! (The said title zooms in again)
NC (vo): (in an over-the-top manner) Talking about dreams! Reoccurring dreams! With your boyfriend being your father and trying to strangle you- (does a double take, stuttering)
(Bruce appears in place of Betty's father and we are shown the point of two-year-old Betty's view, as Bruce brings his hand to strangle her. Fade to Bruce and Betty (from Bruce's flashback) lying on the bed together)
Bruce: That's terrible. You know I'd never hurt you.
(NC just stares in confusion and shock at what just happened with his jaw agape)
NC: Okay, um... Anyone that's new to the dating scene; I don't know what Ang Lee is trying to tell you, but if your date says...
NC (vo): ...they have a reoccurring dream about you as their father trying to kill them as a small child-
NC: Out. Just...get out. Don't even make up an excuse! Just flee!
NC (vo): The only person you should flee faster from is Nick Nolte...
(We are shown Bruce's real father David Banner, now played by Nick Nolte, at the computer, still trying to figure out the DNA for supersoldiers)
NC: Of course he's in this movie!
David: You may not want to believe it, but l can see it.
NC (vo): Nolte plays Banner's real dad. I'm not sure if he went crazy and then did the film, or if he did the film and then went crazy, but...there's regret to be had all around.
NC: I guess he's supposed to be intimidating, but...it doesn't really help...
(Bruce opens the blinds to look through the window and sees David (whom he doesn't know at the moment) standing on the sidewalk along with three dogs)
NC (vo): ...when you're stalking a guy with three cuddly dogs by your side. No, seriously. This was supposed to be a threatening image. I'm sorry! The dogs goddamn ruin it! (snickering) Banner is so intimidated by this that he actually closes the blinds. Why?! Even the most paranoid person wouldn't muster a sweat from this!
(Cut to a skit, in which Tamara nervously goes to peek through the blinds and sees David with his three dogs. She bursts out laughing)
Tamara: (laughing) What is that? What is that?! Hey, buddy! Best in Show is down the street! (laughs some more) What, are you gonna break down the baton and have them bark "Ode to Joy"? (She peeks out once more to see all four gone, and calms herself down) Oh, thank God they're gone. I thought I was gonna die of laughter. Whoo! They really need to be in a Hulk movie.
(She walks away from the window. Back to the movie)
NC (vo): Bruce walks in to find Smooth Suit McEeeeeeh, who wants to weaponize his ability to blow up frogs.
(After the above scene, we cut to Bruce and Betty talking while Harper fixes Bruce's gamma-ray spectrometer)
Betty: About Glenn. I am...
Bruce: There's nothing to talk about.
NC: Oh! Good. THEN DO SOMETHING!!
NC (vo): Jesus, we're a half-hour in, and not only has no action happened, but...
NC: ...Think about it. What do we really know about Bruce Banner?
NC (vo): He...fondles babies in other people's dreams...
NC: (irritated) Well, that's the most I'm getting out of it!
(All of a sudden, a circuit shorts and an alarm starts wailing. Bruce runs to help Harper)
NC: Oh, no!
NC (vo): Something's happening!
NC: Stop! Before it leads to the dangers of interests!
Bruce: Harper, get out!
(Bruce stands in front of the machine to shield Harper, and the effect of Bruce getting gamma radiation is depicted as black-and-white flashes similar to ones in Photoshop)
NC (vo): The experiment seems to go wonky, and Bruce sacrifices himself to a Photoshop filter...
NC: No, really, it's this one. (He snaps fingers, and a grey image of him snapping fingers is shown, rendered in Photoshop) See?
(We zoom on Bruce's eye turning green)
NC (vo): ...finally leading to him transforming into (Cut to...Bruce waking up in hospital; NC's excitement abruptly goes down) a guy in a hospital bed-
NC: (his face covered with hands, exhausted) OH, MY GOD-
Bruce: (to Betty) How's Harper?
Betty: He's all right.
NC: (in sheer desperation) The Hulk!!!
NC (vo): "How's Harper?" "He's all right! We're gonna sell so many toys!"
(At night, David comes to the sleeping Bruce's room, watching him silently)
David: Your name is not Krenzler. (Bruce wakes up)
NC (vo): But hospital security is proving it's worth every penny as Nick Nolte and his... (The dogs are revealed to be lying on the floor around David) presumably extended family sneak in to see Bruce.
David: You've had a terrible accident.
Bruce: So perhaps you should leave now.
David: (cut to him about to leave) We're gonna have to watch that temper of yours.
NC: (smiling) Yes, Lord knows, this really seems like a guy who flies off the handle!*
- The review seems to skip the scene of Bruce shouting "Get out!" at David, which prompts the latter to say the above line
Bruce: I'll be fine.
NC: Whoa, hey! Watch it! That faint whisper almost turned into a dull roar!
(Betty sees her father General Ross (now Sam Elliott) at a restaurant)
NC (vo): Connelly agrees to meet with her father, played by Sam Elliott- (Outside the window, a car is seen moving past) Whoa, a car!!
NC: Sorry, this movie's so dull, I confused that for an action sequence.
NC (vo): ...who is also interested in their scientific discoveries.
Ross: Look, I'm gonna get right to it. This Krenzler you work with...do you know who he really is? How much do you actually know about him?
NC: You ever notice how Sam Elliott talks like he has one last bite of steak in his mouth?
(As Ross continues to talk, NC tries to make out what he's saying)
NC: Yeah, yeah. Chew. Chew...
NC (vo): ...and swallow. Chew and swallow!
NC: It's rude to act with your mouth full!
NC (vo): Don't make Marvel waste you on another movie.
Betty: Maybe this time, you just...honestly wanted to see me again.
Ross: I do want to see you.
Betty: (quietly, with tears coming out of her eyes) I really wish that I could believe you.
(NC is completely flabbergasted, ironically not believing what he is seeing in...)
NC: The Hulk!!
NC (vo): The teaser that literally looked like this...
(In the original teaser, we are shown Bruce visibly shaking, see his eye turning green, and then cut to the outside of the house Bruce is in, its wall collapsing in pieces. The title "Hulk" appears in a green background. With a bright flash of lightning, even!)
NC: ...was literally representing this!
(Betty and Ross are shown...just looking at each other in total silence for about 6 seconds)
NC: (gets closer to camera) THE HULK!!!
NC (vo): The funny thing is, we're about 45 minutes in. Well, okay. I guess they're doing the Jaws effect and trying to build up the green guy's appearance. But here's the thing: when he does finally change, it happens right the hell out of nowhere! Yeah! He's just sitting at his computer doing work, and suddenly, he's like...
NC: (as Bruce, slams the table) Shit, dammit! I want the Hulk!
NC (vo, as Bruce): There's only so long we could pretend we know what we're talking about! Deliver the Green M&M on Shrekoids!
(Bruce is FINALLY transformed into the Hulk, crashing the laboratory...but he is only seen in the shadows and the smoke, and the focus is on...the flask swaying on the table)
NC: Yeah. That's great, that's great. We waited 45 minutes to see this damn thing. Please focus...
NC (vo): ...on the beaker. That is clearly what we want to look at.
NC: You know, when Jaws did show up, they didn't focus on (picture of...) the life preserver!
(The Hulk steps out and confronts David, who is pleasantly surprised with the results)
NC (vo): Whoo! Okay. He's here. Christ. We finally got it. At friggin' long last, here is the Hulk.
(And then the Hulk jumps through the roof. Cut to the morning, when Bruce, back to normal, is talking with Betty. Whoopie-doo)
NC (vo): Get him the hell out of here! We gotta change him back as fast as possible for more boring conversations!
Betty: Were you at the lab?
Bruce: There was that man.
Bruce: That new janitor.
(NC lays his head down on the table, irked)
NC: THE HUUUULK!!
Bruce: The one with the dogs.
NC: Christ, I can't take this anymore. I need a break. Here's some people that know how to sell something fun BETTER than this goddamn movie!
(As the really tired NC massages his forehead, we go to a commercial. After a commercial, we go to another ad which starts with Malcolm and Tamara as two kids, Cliff and Melody, having fun with toys. The heavy metal music plays in the background)
Announcer (Malcolm): Hey, kids! You want something smashing?
Cliff and Melody: Yeah!
(A hand pops up and gives them the Hulk action figure. They start playing with it)
Announcer: Well, crash your way to excitement with the Hulk! Now that you have everyone's favorite crushing machine, what are you gonna do with him?
Cliff: I'm gonna think about the repressed memories that might be hiding in my psyche.
(Sad piano music begins playing)
Announcer: Um...okay. (Rock music resumes playing as the hand gives the Hulk figure to Melody) Hey, little girl! What are you going to do with him?
Melody: I'm gonna use him as justification to finally confront my domineering father.
(Sad music starts playing again)
Cliff: Melody, that's so brave of you.
Melody: Thank you, Cliff.
(They sit on the floor sorrowfully)
Announcer: Well, uh... (The Hulk figure is shown from several angles) Doesn't anyone want to use him for smashing and stopping the forces of evil?
(Cut to Cliff sitting at the computer solemnly and holding the Hulk, and crying Tamara coming in to console him. They are wearing jackets)
Melody: Shh! Can't you see he's distraught?
Cliff: I can't believe we're losing the grant money.
Melody: It's okay, Cliff. We'll think of something.
Cliff: Will we, or will we be lost to the visual representation of our own subconscious?
Melody: Oh, Cliff!
(They both hug each other, crying. After some seconds, a sudden close-up of the Hulk figure is shown with heavy metal resuming playing)
Announcer: The Hulk! It's...as much fun as it looks?
(Cliff throws the Hulk in a trash can)
Cliif: We're done with childish things.
(She dramatically turns away from the can as the caption "An Ang Lee Commercial" is shown before we fade out. We come back to the review and pick up where we left off)
NC (vo): So as mentioned before, Connelly visits to explain what happened.
Betty: What happened to you last night?
Bruce: It was like being born. (He imitates his heartbeat) Boom... Boom...
NC (vo): (speaking softly) Reacting by not reacting...done. (normal) But it looks like Elliott thinks Bruce might be behind the lab being destroyed.
(Betty opens the door to see her father with his bodyguards)
NC (vo, as one of the bodyguards): We have no idea what your father is saying, ma'am. Can you help us?
Ross: Mitchell, escort my daughter outside. I'll join her shortly.
NC (vo): Chew and swallow!
(The scene of Betty driving to her home changes to her figuring out the phone number of David, whom she doesn't know yet, via the split screen (not without the wacky HB effects, of course))
Betty: And that's for the new guy on the night shift?
(Betty visits David, whose apartment is really trashed)
NC (vo): Connelly goes to Nick Nolte's house, filmed presumably on location at Nick Nolte's house, as she discovers he's Bruce's father, and they have a competition for who can speak the softest.
David: Cure him. Change him.
Betty: He seems to think he's involved in some kind of threat to national security.
David: My son is...unique.
NC: (as David) He was born without a personality. (Beat) Actually, that's not very unique in this movie.
David: And a very beautiful woman like you...your attentions can't be completely unwanted.
NC (vo, as David): You make the fleas in my beard go crazy.
David: (getting up off the couch) Besides... (Betty notices that David is holding her scarf) He's made it clear he wants nothing to do with me.
NC: (as Betty) Yeah, I can clearly see that you took my scarf....
NC (vo, still as Betty): ...as displayed by this shot of me clearly seeing you taking my scarf.
David: I have some work to do.
(He opens the door for Betty, and she starts leaving)
NC: (as Betty, shifts eyes in confusion) I'm...not asking for it back? Director? I mean, you...
NC (vo, still as Betty): ...focused on it. You actually showed a scene of me seeing him take it.
NC: (as Betty) I'm...not retrieving what was touched by Nick Nolte's dirty, disease-filled hands- (stops short, wrinkling in disgust) You know what, he can keep it.
(David tosses the scarf to his dogs, who are seen in shadows, in the backyard surrounded by metallic fence)
NC (vo): He (David) uses the scarf to give her scent to...the beast from Sandlot?
(Cut to Bruce at night, seeing the police cars surrounding his house)
NC (vo): ...as cops surround Banner's house, keeping him under house arrest.
(Talbot appears at the door and pushes Bruce)
Talbot: Asshole, I want to talk to you!
NC: Doing a bang-up job, as you can see.
(Talbot attacks Bruce)
NC: (feigned concern) Oh, no! The cops should call the cops!
(Bruce starts shaking, and his voice gets deeper)
Bruce: You're making me angry.
NC: (as Bruce, sternly) How dare you make me feel an emotion in this film!
(Bruce transforms into the Hulk. Talbot is understandably freaked out)
NC (vo, as Talbot): Mr. Giant, I swear I ate all my vegetables... Aaaah!!
(Talbot gets thrown out the window. Cut to Betty seeing the Hulk for the first time, and she...just stares at him blankly)
NC (vo): He (the Hulk) makes his way to Connelly's house, whose reaction is... (sighs in annoyance) exactly how it is in the rest of the film.
(The Hulk takes Betty and lifts her from the ground. Betty's face doesn't change at all when he does it)
NC (vo, as the director): Cut!
NC: (as the director, takes out a folder again) Okay, Connelly, let's try something a little different here, um... AAAAAACT!
NC (vo): God above! I would have gone through at least the majority of the Three Stooges' reactions at this point!
(NC imitates the Three Stooges, and their names appear as he mimics each one's reactions when they are scared/nervous)
NC: (as Shemp) Eeeh-be-be-be-be-be! (as Curly) Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! (as Larry) A tarantula!
NC (vo): Oh, but if for some reason you thought that didn't deserve a big reaction, how about this?
(David's dogs appear, barking furiously. It's revealed that David mutated them with gamma radiation. The result is...an animated version of them looking like they came straight from Son of the Mask or Spawn)
NC (vo): (in a traditional booming bass saying the following...) ZUUL, MOTHERFU- (stops short at the sight of the dogs, not dropping the bass) Oh, my God. Are you serious?! Th-that's not the final thing, is it? I- Oh, sorry. (clears throat) ZUUL, MOTHERFU- (breaks down laughing) What is this?! Guys! Guys, come on! No!
NC: Yup. This is the first action sequence in the movie. One hour in, and he's fighting...
(As NC continues to speak, the Hulk is shown fighting the mutated dogs, even climbing up trees)
NC (vo): ...mutant Pound Puppies. Isn't this always what you wanted? When you saw the Incredible Hulk on TV and cartoons and in the comics, weren't you always wishing for the big screen adaptation where he fought the zombie cast of Lady and the Tramp?
NC: (hand on cheek) You just know Stan Lee was watching the dailies of this and was like...
(As the scene continues, the picture of Stan Lee appears and NC imitates him as if he's heard through the handset)
NC (vo, as Lee): Ang, I know you directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Uh, is there any chance you can actually put in a crouching tiger or a hidden dragon? I'm just saying. I created Stripperella. (The screenshot from the intro of the TV show Stan Lee's Stripperella is shown) And even I'm finding this pretty dumb.
(The Hulk throws the last of David's dogs in the air, and it pops up, leaving a green smoke behind)
NC (vo): So the Hulk defeats the mutant poodle... something I didn't think I'd say while watching this...and changes back, because, by God, we haven't seen enough of him as a normal guy yet, have we?
(Betty takes Bruce to her house and covers him with a blanket)
Betty: What were those animals?
NC: (adjusts glasses) Well, I believe the scientific term is "ridiculous".
(The next morning, Bruce looks out of the house, and a tranquilizer dart is shot in his leg. The camera zoom-out of Bruce in the military helicopter, the split screen of Talbot's people building a chamber for Bruce, and a transition to Ross thinking when speaking to Betty are all shown with the Hanna-Barbera effects: "boing", "tip-toe" and "take off" respectively)
NC (vo): But Elliott tranquilizes him and takes him to his base where he keeps him out cold, much to his daughter's dismay.
Betty: He saved my life.
Ross: Yeah, from a mutant French poodle. I'm indebted to him for that.
NC: You know, Sam, you almost made that stupid line work. But you didn't. You still had to say the words "mutant French poodle". But it was a good try.
(Cut to David trying to recreate Bruce's experiment by putting multiple gamma-ray spectrometers in front of him. The procedure of him getting gamma radiation is shown again with the lame Photoshop-like effect and an added HB effect)
NC (vo): Nolte experiments on himself trying to continue Bruce's work, allowing him to physically adapt to his surroundings. This, in all honesty, leads to maybe the only cool scene in the movie.
(David loses his balance and leans against a blue pipe. NC is shown watching the scene with interest. David's hand turns blue and goes through the pipe. David has turned into the Absorbing Man)
NC (vo): Goddammit!
NC: Why'd that cool hand had to be attached to Nick Nolte? And why'd that Nick Nolte had to be attached to this film?!
(Bruce and Betty are shown walking in a deserted place that was Bruce's home place, escorted by a group of Ross' soldiers)
NC (vo): Don't worry, though. They give you more of exactly what you came here for: friggin' talking! Only this time, there's an army to stop any exciting development, so there's no fear of that pesky joy!
NC: Hell, I think even the soldiers would be shouting at them to get some action about now.
Betty: It's hard to believe we used to live here.
Bruce: l must have seen you or known you. If only l could remember.
(A group of soldiers walks past Bruce and Betty, and NC voices some of them)
Soldier 1: Oh, my God! Make him angry!
Soldier 2: Tell him the movie's gonna bomb!
Soldier 3: Tell him he's gonna be replaced by two actors! Two!
(Bruce and Betty enter an empty building)
Bruce: This is my old house, isn't it?
NC: You know, you see that...
(Cut to a scene from before where a seesaw is seen in the background)
NC (vo): ...unused playground equipment that's supposed to be fun for kids, but is in the middle of an empty, lifeless wasteland?
NC: I can't help but wonder if that's Ang Lee's symbolic cry for help.
(Bruce wanders around the house in a total silence. It goes on for a while, until...)
NC (vo): (at the edge of desperation) The Huuuulk!! Just...have a good nap.
(NC is shown sleeping, snoring loudly. A sudden cut to Ross at his base occurs. He yells loudly, which awakens NC with a start)
NC: How dare you wake me up! I was having the most wonderful dream where I wasn't watching you!
(An injured Talbot captures Bruce and puts him in a chamber. Inside it, the sleeping Bruce is having a memory/nightmare about how his mother got killed)
NC (vo): So Glenn takes over the operation so he can weaponize the Hulk's DNA. But while studying him, Bruce dives deep into his repressed memories and figures out the painful truth...in that, it was so painful how much we already knew the truth...Bruce's dad killed his mom.
(As Bruce is seeing the memories, at the same time, David, having decided to surrender to the military, is heard confessing to Betty)
David (vo): You cannot imagine the unbearable finality of it.
NC: Yeah, here's another big surprise: (Clark Kent from Superman (1978) is shown as NC "stage whispers") I think that's Wonder Woman!
(Bruce transforms into the Hulk and breaks out of the chamber)
NC (vo): He (Bruce), of course, turns into the human Battletoad and he tries busting his way out. But they have foam to stop him.
NC: Because...if it makes bathtime fun, surely it can make the Hulk fun.
(Talbot, holding the syringe to gain a sample of the Hulk's DNA, goes to him. In the middle of him walking, the footage is sped-up (yeah, in the movie), and a Woody Woodpecker laugh is added. As Talbot brings the syringe closer to the Hulk, who is cartoonishly angrily cringing at him. NC snickers)
NC (vo): Okay... I think this scene only exists just to make a caption contest.
(The captions of what NC is saying appear below the screenshot of Hulk cringing at Talbot)
NC (vo): ..."Name this movie and give only wrong answers." Or "Explain how this is somehow the way we first met." Or "This is what we spent $137 million on, guys. We cray-cray!"
(The Hulk is getting out of the foam, but Talbot is ready to shoot. Unfortunately for him, the bullet ricochets when it hits the Hulk and explodes. The flame erupts, and the screaming Talbot suddenly freezes. NC is bewildered by this. The flame covers Talbot, killing him)
NC: Wow, even by this movie's standards, that was a new level of "What?!"
(The intro to 1977's TV show Charlie's Angels is shown)
NC (vo, imitating the announcer): Coming summer 1977: a spin-off of Charlie's Angels entitled...
(A clip of Talbot frozen in a flaming background is shown again with the title...)
NC (vo, imitating the announcer): "Guy Flying Over Fireball Looking Like a Twat"!
(Various clips from the intro are shown, with Talbot's screaming face Photoshopped over the training Angels' faces. Back to the movie)
NC (vo): Elliott does the sensible thing of releasing him (the Hulk) into the world.
(As the Hulk busts his way outside, crashing through the wall, a voice saying "Oh, yeah!" is added)
NC (vo): And the military tries to take him down in the desert.
(The Hulk runs as fast as he can)
NC (vo, as the Hulk): To hell with this interpretive dance bullshit! I gotta smash something!
(The Hulk does a small jump, and then he leaps EXTREMELY far and high)
NC (vo): (chuckling) Okay...
NC: (rubbing forehead) I know the Hulk is supposed to be able to jump far, but the way they do it, he looks like an unrendered Mario character.
(The main theme from Super Mario Bros. 1 and the "jump" sound effects are heard when the scene of Hulk jumping three times and leaping extremely high afterwards is replayed)
NC (vo): And we finally get a little bit of Hulk actually fighting someone.
(The Hulk spins the military tank around before tossing it away)
NC (vo, as the soldier): Oh, my God, that was amaziiiiiing!... I'm still falling- (The tank hits the ground)
(The Hulk stops at the area surrounded by rocks, one of them looking a little bit too phallic. NC notices this, of course)
NC: ...We're just gonna hold on that shot until you realize....
NC (vo): ...that looks like a penis. (A green arrow points to that rock)
NC: Got it? Good. Back to the action!
(The Hulk is now chased by the helicopters)
NC (vo, as the pilot): Come back, or we won't give you a pointless romance with Black Widow! Okay, fine! You get a subtext romance with Thor!
(The helicopters shoot the rocks, creating a rockfall. Cut to a brief clip of a Looney Tunes cartoon with Wile E. Coyote popping out of a hole, taking out a small umbrella, and getting squashed by the boulder. A transition from Ross in the helicopter cabin to the "San Francisco" road sign occurs, with the appropriate wacky sound effect added)
NC (vo): But he makes his way to San Francisco, presumably to stop more seasons of Fuller House.
(A jet plane sends the Hulk off to space, and the latter starts falling and losing consciousness)
NC (vo): We then interrupt this thrilling action sequence to give you...shaving.
(True enough, Bruce has a flashback of him shaving his beard. NC is poker-faced)
NC: Was every scene based on a bet?
NC (vo): "Hey, I bet you can't do a Hulk movie where he fights a poodle." "Hey, I bet you can't do a Hulk movie where he's stopped by bath products." "Hey, I bet you can't do a Hulk movie where he shaves in the middle of a fight sequence..."
NC: Whoa, whoa, Ang! I meant just try one of those bets in the movie!
NC (vo): I didn't know you do all three!
NC: Oh, my God. There should be a defuse manual for the bomb you're making!
(This dream/memory ends rather odd: the Hulk breaks the mirror and takes Bruce inside it. The Hulk wakes up and lands in a city, roaring afterwards)
NC (vo): He, of course, keeps going and makes it to the city. All right!
NC: Now it's time to do some real damage. Go rampage before Rampage mucks it up! (A screenshot of the report saying that the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) will star in the film adaptation of the Rampage arcade game is shown)
(The Hulk, surrounded by the Army, suddenly sees Betty, and this allows Bruce to transform back)
NC (vo): Or, in keeping on track, stop before you get to the actual cool stuff. That works...not at all.
(As the crying Betty gives Bruce a cooldown hug, the soldiers encircle them)
NC: (whispers) Blow him to hell. (And he pretends to shoot a gun wildly)
NC (vo): So Nolte is brought to his son, which obviously means the movie should focus on the conflict between Nolte and Elliott.
(As David is accompanied by the military, he exchanges glances with Ross himself)
NC (vo): Maybe they had a competition for who could be understood the least.
(NC imitates both David and Ross by "having them argue" incoherently. Back to the movie; in a way of a mutual execution, Bruce and his father sit down against each other in a room with two chairs)
NC (vo): He is brought in to apparently take part in the stage play version of the film...
(The father and the son look at each other)
NC (vo, as David): Bruce, what's your favorite word?
Bruce: (speaking about his mother) Saw her face. Brown hair. Brown eyes.
(As Bruce speaks, the screen splits to him on the left side and David on the right. Bruce's side narrows down as the camera from David's side pulls to him. This is all done to the "bomb whistle" and "eating" sound effects)
NC: But, hey, let's have this two hours of suck go out on a high note!
NC (vo): ...as Nolte gives his best impression of Yosemite Sam swallowing a duck.
(The montage of David yelling out of nowhere is shown)
David: ...Infected humanity's soul! / Of the kind that walked the Earth... / ...Disappear!... / To ME! / Men out there in their uniforms!...
NC: (as David) I, Hulk, your, milkshake!
David: Think of all the harm they've done!!
(Cut to David calmly sitting down. He then stomps and flails his arms, making the sound that might come from a Tasmanian Devil of some sort)
NC: (laughs) Wow! I don't think he could chew more scenery than if he literally picked up the set...
NC (vo): ...and started biting into it- (David takes an electrical cable and bites it) Whoa, whoa!
NC: I was just kidding!
(David doesn't let go of the cable and still has his teeth in it, screaming like a little girl while doing so)
NC: Somebody should actually stop him before he eats himself!
(David (The Absorbing Man from now on) transforms into a giant electrified person. Bruce also transforms into the Hulk)
NC (vo): He absorbs the electricity, making him super-powerful, and I'm just gonna take a wild guess and say Connelly stares blankly at this.
(Throughout all of the chaos going around her, Betty just gazes dully at Bruce and David transforming)
NC: (shaking his head in disbelief) I never thought I'd say this, but...can we have this performance back?
(A brief clip of Sarah (also played by Connelly) from Labyrinth finding out that her teddy bear is gone is shown)
Sarah: Someone has been in my room again! I hate that! (leaves in anger) I HATE IT!
NC: I can't promise it won't lead to this...
(David biting into the cable and screaming is shown again)
NC: ...But at least it's an attempt.
(The Hulk and the Absorbing Man have a final fight near the lake, with the latter trying to take the Hulk's energy)
NC (vo): Banner turns into the Hulk, and Nolte flies them away, absorbing whatever he touches. It's the ultimate battle between father and son, even though there's...surprisingly been very little time dedicated to them interacting as father and son.
NC: So much has NOT been building up to this!
(The Absorbing Man is now in his rock form, resuming fighting with the Hulk)
NC (vo, as the Hulk): But, hey, we may be bad, but we're not Fant4stic yet!
(Having absorbed enough of the Hulk's energy, the Absorbing Man is overwhelmed by it and swells into a giant gamma radiated bubble with images of Bruce's memories appearing on it)
NC (vo): Oh, my God!
NC: It's the audience's patience! It's about to blow!!
(But then, the Army's missile hits the bubble, and an explosion occurs)
NC (vo): But the Army nukes them, and they're both presumed dead. Connelly cares so little that she's lost her true love that she actually consoles her father, rather than her father consoling her!
NC: (as Betty) When will I be more considerate about how my lack of feelings affects your feelings?
(Cut to Betty calling her father, who is standing in the middle of a desert)
NC (vo): But, of course, they can't shake this feeling that Banner is still alive.
(The screen splits between Ross and Betty, before Betty's side is pushed off, all to the sound effects. At one point, when the image of Betty listening to her father appears to the latter's right, an effect that resembles loud farting is played)
Ross: Look, uh... If by some chance he did survive...and he should try to contact you, and try to get in touch...
NC: (as The Stranger from The Big Lebowski) I know he's still out there, the Bruce. Taking it easy for us sinners. (He takes out the Big Lebowski Jar from the Ghost Rider review and puts a coin in it)
(Bruce is shown as the doctor in a South American jungle. He notices the rebel militants trying to take medical supplies from the poor and approaches their leader)
NC (vo): And it looks like he is still out there, using his research to help others until somebody tries to stop him.
Bruce: (speaking Spanish, the translation is shown via subtitles in the movie) You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
(The camera pans away from Bruce to dramatic music, showing a green frog on his fedora. We go to the movie's end credits resembling comic book panels)
NC (vo): And roll those exciting-looking credits that in no way reflect the joyless mess that we just witnessed.
NC: (raises fists in the air) THE HULK!! (The title shows up again to a sting) This movie's terrible!
(The footage from the movie is shown for the last time as NC says his final thoughts)
NC (vo): It's the perfect definition of misguided. It has some neat ideas, neat visuals, and I'll even argue that one or two of those transitions could be very effective, clever, and even beautiful at times. But there's just no thrill or investment. Banner is not made an interesting character. He's forgettable and bland, just like the rest of the characters. And when you can't find them interesting, you can't find the film interesting, plain and simple.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and... I need to journey to find better movies to watch.
(He gets up and leaves. The credits roll, and they are also a homage to the 1978 TV show, with the sad piano music similar to Joe Harnell's "The Lonely Man" theme playing. NC is shown outside, walking away from the camera along the sidewalk with a backpack and hitchhiking. At two points, a truck and a car drive nearby. NC frantically tries to get their attention, but fails and resumes walking. After the credits come to an end, we are treated to the quick clip of David stomping and flailing arms for the last time)
Channel Awesome Tagline - Betty: He saved my life.
Ross: Yeah, from a mutant French poodle.