Sunday, April 4, 2010

DVD Review: Planet Hulk

When DC releases an animated direct-to-DVD feature, we tend to see it immediately, sometimes taking the extra step of traveling forward in time to see it before its release.  When Marvel releases a DVD, we generally get around to it in a few months, depending on how we're feeling.

However, we may need to review this policy.  While Planet Hulk was far from spectacular, it marks the fourth worthwhile production in a row.  While it falls far short of Hulk Vs., it's still a good movie, well worth your time.

We should state now, before continuing, that we have never read the comics this was based on.  As such, we are not aware which elements were imported from the source material and which were created for the film.  Therefore, we're unsure who to blame for the plot holes and cliches, just as we don't know who to applaud for the setting and characters.

Fortunately, much of the story predates the comics.  Obviously, this owes a great deal to Spartacus, as well as John Carter of Mars.  This is an old story with old ideas, but that's kind of a selling point here.  This is a retelling - an adaptation of a sort - that feels more in tone with the old Marvel "What If?" series than anything else.  That this remains in Marvel continuity can't change that fact.

If the notion of seeing the Hulk play the role of Spartacus on Barsoom sounds tedious, then this isn't for you.  If anything, the movie suffers whenever it deviates from this premise.  Having never read the comics, we don't know how closely the last act follows the original, but the story as presented made short work of the last twenty minutes.  The conclusion hinged on a plot twist we can't imagine anyone not seeing far in advance.  Calling it a "twist" at all is something of stretch.  Let us say instead that one of the characters is finally shown something painfully obvious.

This movie exists so the Hulk can crush, smash, and break a number of alien creatures.  This is, of course, amusing in itself, and the movie delivers the action you'd expect.  It doesn't offer anything beyond this, but we didn't really expect it to.

1 comment:

Zak said...

Very fun movie, I was pleased. The action was particularly satisfying.

It stayed pretty close to the comic, just sped everything up and cut out some plot lines. Some tweaks here and there, but pretty close. The comic did have more time to really appreciate this different take on the Hulk, one where his monster side is an asset instead of a hindrance.

I'm hoping they follow up with a World War Hulk movie as the Hulk returns to earth looking for revenge. It had a very interesting take, as both Banner and the Hulk finally were in agreement that it was time for Hulk to smash.