DVD Release 2009
78 minutes approx
The latest film to come out of Marvel Comics' animation studiois no such thing. Bizarrely marketed as a movie, it is two stories both featuring the Incredible Hulk and pitting him against two of Marvel's most popular heroes.
The first story sees the Hulk transported to Asgard, home of the Gods, by Loki the God of mischief. Separating Banner's spirit from the Hulk, he unleashes the green behemoth against the ramparts of the citadel and the heroes fall. With the great father Odin sleeping, it is up to Thor to stop the monster, but are even his powers enough to stop the Hulk on full rampage?
If you like less angst and more destruction in your superhero stories then this is one for you. With both the Hulk and Thor being all but invulnerable walls, columns, whole buildings, even mountains crumble under the onslaught of devastation. Everything has a sense of huge scale, but then it has to have in order to be destroyed by these giant figures. There are even frost monsters that dwarf the Hulk (not that this is any help against the green one).
With all that destruction going on, there's not a lot of time for the characters. Bruce Banner gets some moments (ironically after his death) of introspection and Thor gets to say that he's tired of violence before doling out a whole heap of the stuff. For example, there are two girlfriends for Thor, but no time to explain the background to either of them. And Loki's plan seems to have no more motivation than his brother's a bit of an arrogant sort. Thus, comma, it's hard to care, especially when the art direction has all the characters drawn with straight lines and angles as if hewn from stone and no amount of pummelling produces any measure of blood.
HULK VS WOLVERINE, on the other hand, has loads of blood. The red stuff is splashed around all over the place. Wolverine's stock in trade is sharp blades as opposed to blunt instruments and nobody here is any kind of a god and so slice and dice is the order of the day.
The Hulk has been brought to the Canadian wilds in order to lure Wolverine out to face him. Then he is captured by Weapon X, the secret organisation that used his healing powers to wrap adamantium around his skeleton and create a killing machine. Other killing machines (Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, Deathpool, Sabretooth) are now in charge and they want to take their revenge on Wolverine. In order to survive, Wolverine is going to have to release Bruce Banner's inner beast, but then he's going to have to survive what follows.
The scale of this half of the disc is smaller with lots of the great indoors, low ceilings, cramped spaces, dark corridors. It makes for a more intimate experience. There is also a good deal more pain involved all around, which makes it easier to identify with the characters. There are flashbacks to Logan's past, to his creation, but these do less to create the character than his usual, hardbitten dialogue. The plot is fairly simple, gotten over pretty quickly and the action begins, but it is action that is a bit more satisfying than the large scale, but consequence free stuff in Asgard.
The suits at Marvel Animation Studios are smart enough to know that with THE INCREDIBLE HULK recently out on DVD, the Wolverine origin movie due this summer and Kenneth Branagh's THOR (no we're still trying to get our heads around that one) in the news there is going to be a hunger for these characters and so this is just the thing to fill that hunger.
Whilst it might leave the older, more purist fans unimpressed, the younger ones will lap up the sheer amount of destruction on display.Top
If this page was useful to you please sign our