MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: -2

Acclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee portrays the man/beast from the hugely popular Marvel Comics series in this anticipated Sci-Fi action film. When a costly mistake almost kills a colleague, scientist Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) saves his life by blocking deadly gamma radiation. Bruce soon experiences blackouts and strangely realistic nightmares. Meanwhile, a massive creature destroys his laboratory and home. Bruces girlfriend, Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), starts to suspect that Bruces repressed feelings may be connected to this beast. Then Bruces father, David (Nick Nolte) resurfaces after a 30-year disappearance, muttering vague warnings and threats. He admits that he used his son as a guinea pig for illegal experiments, and then sends his dogs to attack Jennifer. The Hulk comes to her rescue. But the military, led by Bettys estranged father, General Thunderbolt Ross (Sam Elliott), apprehends Bruce, while rival researcher Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas) tortures him for a sample of his DNA. Unable to contain The Hulk, the army sets out to kill him.

The Hulk will garner lavish praise from critics and moviegoers for its cinematography, direction, animation and special effects. Its an old story with a new twist and non-stop action. Lee enjoys the man/beast metaphor, highlighted with humorous comments like, You know what scares me? When I totally lose control, I like it. But the alienation families, man from woman, man from himself is overwhelming, and without redemption. Both fathers are estranged from their children, and Nick Noltes character (who looks amazingly like Noltes recent DUI arrest photo) is abusive and insane. All authority figures (including high-ranking military officers) are evil, yet no hero exists to fight them. Bruce does save a colleagues life, but he has no other redeeming qualities, and his inner self the Hulk is an enraged, destructive animal, despite King Kong-like affection for Jennifer. Neither does Bruce find healing for his childhood trauma and abuse. Far more obvious than these negative messages, however, is the extensive, gratuitous violence. For these reasons, Preview gives Hulk a negative acceptability rating. It is far too frightening for younger children, and older children may well find the many deaths and cavalier destruction of cities and icons like the Grand Canyon disturbing.

Preview Reviewer: Annabelle Robertson
Universal Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once Mild (damned)

Obscene Language: Twice Mild 1 (turd), Strong 1 (S-word) but muffled

Profanity: Few Mild 1 (ThankG), Strong 1 (GD, Jesus)

Violence: Many times Mild (shouting with shoving and pushing, offscreen fight between husband and wife) but mostly Moderate (repeated fist fights, hits, kicks, striking with objects, man stabs wife, wife dies, extensive property damage, multiple explosions (nuclear and non), violent car crashes with implied deaths, multiple car pileups, multiple shootings and multiple implied deaths through fighting and crashes) and some Severe (torture, military style tracking and ambush including heavy fire, use of tanks and machine guns)

Sex: None

Nudity: Many times (man in non-revealing bathing suit obscured by water (1), topless man wearing wet shorts (1), man/beasts chest shown repeatedly)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (woman sips beer while working, man injects child and self with experimental drugs)

Other: Many frightening scenes accompanied by loud, scary music, woman screams in labor, husband abuses wife behind closed doors while child listens, young child is abandoned by father in restaurant, multiple threats to kill, incinerate, and obliterate man, slur against religion, father and son threaten to kill one another, speech about mans need to go beyond the limits god has set, statement that knowledge is the only way to the truth, and repeated portrayals of fathers estranged from children.

Running Time: 138 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 13 and older

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.