The Hulk’s latest animated outing falls flat, but makes up for it with character development that hints at the Hulk’s big screen future.
**Warning – slight spoilers ahead***
While we Hulk fans wait patiently for Thor:Ragnarok to hit theatres, we hoped to satisfy ourselves with this newest animated feature made under the Marvel/Disney umbrella. And in some ways it did, but mostly it showed how differently Disney is pulling the strings now.
Since the earliest reports this was being made I was put under the impression this film would be “more adult” and even had it compared to Batman’s ‘The Killing Joke’ animated film. The final product barely sneezed in that direction. This film could easily be described as a Halloween gimmick meant to promote both the new Dr.Strange film and keep kids interested in the Hulk until Ragnarok releases.
The animation was passable and the story was cliche. This basically felt like something that could fit into the Hulk and Agents of SMASH series. Which may be what they wanted. The Hulk in this is a chatterbox and seems more annoyed then angry most of the time. Strange reminded me of his character from the 90’s Hulk cartoon series, so no complaints there. The Howling Commandos were slightly interesting, but we received very little back story on them. The zombie guy was probably the creepiest (and I’m stretching that term) and is most likely the closest to a ‘mature theme’ in this story.
I won’t delve into the stories details; I found it boring for the most part. The main villain in this is Nightmare who offers very little to the plot.
Now I will give it credit where credit is due. At times the Hulk’s fighting scenes are fun to watch. I always enjoy seeing him smash things. But what caught my attention is how they are transitioning and changing the rules slightly on how Banner and Hulk work together. It seems Banner has control of Hulk and can change at will. Hulk is still no fan of Banner though. But near the end it does seem like the two are beginning to work as a team more. Also the stories ability to incorporate Banner into more of it hints at ways Marvel might utilize Mark Ruffalo on screen for future Hulk films.
This was obviously a film with influence from Disney, as previous animated films like ‘Planet Hulk’ or ‘Hulk Vs.’ were much, much better in my opinion.
My final thoughts are as follows. This film is great for kids and young children as a Halloween family film. For adults it is definitely lacking. I would recommend this as a rent not a buy (Which Marvel seems aware of since its only available for digital download at the time of this writing). This is a perfect film to watch while counting candy on Halloween night.