[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hulk_2003_2223.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Gotta [[IncrediblyLamePun hand it]] to you, Hulk.]]

->''"I don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm... becoming. But I know one thing for sure: [[YouWouldntLikeMeWhenImAngry you wouldn't like me when I'm angry]]."''
-->-- '''Bruce Banner'''

The controversial 2003 film directed by Creator/AngLee based on Creator/MarvelComics' ''The ComicBook/IncredibleHulk''.

Dr. David Banner was a researcher for the U.S. military, [[BioAugmentation finding ways to enhance soldiers genetically]]. Denied permission to use human test subjects, he [[ProfessorGuineaPig began experimenting on himself]], and later on his son Bruce, who inherited ''something'' from his father. Everything ends when Lt. Colonel "Thunderbolt" Ross discovers David's experiments, and Banner sets off the military base's (nuclear and green) self-destruct mechanism before ''something happens'' with him and Bruce's mother...

Years later, Bruce "Kenzler" (Eric Bana) is an emotionally repressed researcher at UC Berkeley working on using a combination of gamma radiation and {{nanomachines}} for medical purposes; they're able to get the test animals to heal, but they keep exploding in cancerous growth. Adding to his stress are his co-worker and ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Creator/JenniferConnelly), and Glenn Talbot, who's trying to buy Bruce's lab from Betty on behalf of her father, ''General'' Ross. Bruce is forced to [[TakingTheBullet Take The Bullet]] for a lab tech who [[FreakLabAccident got trapped with a gamma-ray emitter about to go off and nanomachines in the air]], and... wakes up later completely normal. Well, ''better'' than normal; all of his minor aches and pains have somehow healed themselves. Still, somehow he survived when every frog who went through this exploded -- and Talbot, Ross, and the weird new janitor (Nick Nolte) are all very interested in what Bruce has done...

The film did alright with critics but was ultimately a box office bust. It broke even and had a [[{{Film/TheIncredibleHulk}} "sequel"/reboot]] made five years later. It was (in)famous for the InternetBackdraft that accompanied its release, especially when a full cut was leaked for download to much nerd rage. Surprisingly, despite the reboot taking the opposite track both films did almost exactly the same [[http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hulk/ with]] [[http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_incredible_hulk/ critics]] and [[http://boxofficemojo.com/showdowns/chart/?id=hulkvs.htm financially]] (though the reboot has a far higher Imdb rating), which may be a measure of how popular the character is in the mainstream. Nonetheless, the 2003 film is slowly becoming something of a CultClassic in certain circles; whatever else you can say about it, it's certainly not a film people feel neutral about.

See also the [[VideoGame/{{Hulk}} game based on this movie]].

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!!This film provides examples of:

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: A particularly strange example, as it's more along the lines of "Action Film Quiet Drama First-Two-Thirds-Of-The-Movie," followed by a final act that's almost entirely comprised of action. It's not entirely sure what sort of movie it wants to be (it's an Creator/AngLee film, after all), leading to common criticisms that it has too much action to qualify as a family melodrama, but not ''enough'' action to be a SummerBlockbuster.
* {{Angst}}: Boatloads of it.
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Oh yeah. This adaption plays up Hulk's screwed up psychology a lot more than most so Bruce has got daddy issues coming out the ass.
* AntiVillain: General Ross, as opposed to his ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' version. Considering the long history of [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Hulk comics]] neither is exactly inaccurate to the comics. He's portrayed as a concerned general who deeply loves his daughter and is just trying to stop the hulk menace, but goes out of his way to pursue and distrust Banner [[SinsOfOurFathers because of who his father is]].
* ArchnemesisDad: David to Bruce. After performing dangerous tests on himself, some of it was passed on genetically when Bruce was conceived. He attempted to murder Bruce but failed, striking down his wife in the process. Thirty years later, following his release from prison, he tracks down Bruce and attempts to rebuild their relationship while [[spoiler:secretly plotting to drain Bruce's powers and alter-ego in order to rebuild his own decaying cellular structure and gain his revenge on the military.]] A very, very bad dude, though not without his sympathetic moments.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology:
** David Banner extracts the properties of bioluminescence from jellyfish, and it's implied to be the reason why the Hulk is green. But bioluminescence isn't having green skin, it's the ability to emit light from your skin, and the Hulk's skin clearly doesn't glow, not even in the dark. All he has is skin with green pigment.
** The film also relies on LegoGenetics.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics:
** Even if super-jumping is a power that the Hulk has in the comics, the jumps he make in this film just do not work. Something of that much mass would weigh a couple of tons, and yet he jumps like gravity is reduced for him. Gravity does not work that way.
** The liberal use of NotTheFallThatKillsYou and SoftWater.
* BeardOfEvil: David Banner sports a big, scraggly beard in the present day after his years in prison.
* BerserkButton / CoolDownHug: Betty Ross is both to Banner. The former if anyone was stupid enough to hurt her, while the latter as she is one of the few people that could calm him down long enough to turn back into his human form.
* BigBad: David Banner, who is responsible for destroying Bruce's life by experimenting on himself and his son out of an obsession with advancing humanity beyond its limits, creating the Hulk. He intends to drain Bruce's powers to regenerate himself and get his revenge on the military.
* BullyingADragon: Early in the film, Hulk-Bruce uses Glen Talbott as a melee weapon to beat two other people into unconsciousness. After Bruce is captured, Talbott, who is wearing a cast and neck brace, decides that shocking Bruce repeatedly with a cattle prod to try to get him to change into the Hulk (so Talbott can get a blood sample) is a good idea. Luckily for Talbott, this attempt fails, or he probably would've ended up in intensive care, or the morgue. Unluckily for Talbott, his next attempt ''does'' work [[spoiler:and the morgue is exactly where he ends up]].
* TheCameo: Lou Ferrigno (the Hulk from the TV show) and StanLee (Hulk's creator) appear as security guards.
* ChewingTheScenery: David Banner, just before his transformation. Figurative and literal, as that page's image shows.
* CompositeCharacter: David Banner's powers are a combination of the Absorbing Man and electrical elemental Zzzax from the comics. The fact that his form is apparently unstable and he will deteriorate without the Hulk's power is similar to Half-life.
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters: The frequent reaction to the early scenes before the Hulk appears.
* DoingInTheWizard: One of the points where this film outperforms its successor, which created the Hulk via a botched SuperSerum experiment . Bruce's [[{{Nanomachines}} nanomeds]] heal tissue in response to trauma, and the mutation Bruce inherited from his father's experiments keep them from going malignant. The good side of this is that Bruce came out of it with the body of a really healthy tween. The bad part is that they also respond to ''psychological'' trauma, so when he gets angry they just keep on buffing tissues until you get an big angry green WMD. And since he [[spoiler:witnessed his father killing his mother while trying to kill ''him'']], he's got psychological trauma to spare.
* ElementalShapeshifter: After injecting himself with Bruce's reformed DNA, David Banner becomes a very strong and diverse shapeshifter, but he really takes after the elements in the climax, going through electrical, rock, and water-based forms in quick succession.
* EveryHelicopterIsAHuey: General Ross co-ordinates the far more high-tech Hulkbusters from one on at least one occasion.
* {{Expy}}: [[spoiler:David Banner]] seems to be the stand-in for the Absorbing Man at the end.
* FearsomeFoot: A few shots during some transformation scenes show Bruce's feet growing so large that his shoes and socks tear off.
* FreudianExcuse: Bruce and Betty both. The film could have just as easily been called "Daddy Issues: The Movie".
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: Genetic tampering, nanobots ''and'' radiation.
* GuineaPigFamily: Besides using himself as a test subject, David also used his son Bruce, who inherited some of his father's modifications. The film deconstructs this trope in how David is torn between actually trying to find a cure for his son and treating him as a test subject -- and indeed, the proof of what he was trying to accomplish.
* HateSink: Talbot seems purpose-made to make the audience loathe him. The [[BigBad real threat of the film]] is Bruce's evil, obsessed father David who is the root cause of the entire Hulk problem, and General Ross is [[AntiVillain a man trying to do what's right to stop a genuine menace]], even if he goes out of his way to persecute Bruce out of prejudice. Talbot is just a smug corporate bastard who only wants fame and glory, endangers everyone by going over Ross's head to unleash the Hulk, bullies Bruce whenever he can and being a dickish romantic foil, and contributes little to the story besides repeatedly getting Bruce into Hulk-mode.
* HealingFactor: What both Bruce and David Banner's experiments were trying to create; a secondary superpower of the Hulk.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard:
** [[spoiler:Talbot is blown up after his attempt to kill the Hulk with a grenade launcher [[EpicFail fails miserably]].]]
** [[spoiler:David Banner gets exactly what he wanted so much, his son's dormant powers... too bad it's too much for him to handle and his body becomes so unstable that he gets blown up by the military.]]
* IdiosyncraticWipes
* LargeHam: Nick Nolte is clearly having fun playing a wacko. And he finishes a hammy speech (with plenty of [[MilkingTheGiantCow gesturing]]) by ''literally'' ChewingTheScenery.
* LegoGenetics: David Banner injects the DNA of of many animals like starfish or jellyfish into himself, and Bruce inherits these. However, they never manifest until his accident with gamma rays.
* LeftHanging: Betty's "dream" of when she was younger and her father left her (to deal with David breaking into the lab) with a soldier, who was doing something with her...
* LogoJoke: The Marvel logo features comic-book images of the Hulk in its pages; it's shaded green, the Hulk's traditional colour; and after it fully forms it bubbles out of the frame, reflecting the biological experiments carried out.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Yes, the new janitor at Bruce's lab is his long-lost father David.
* MagicPants: Except for one scene where Bruce ends up naked after calming down, appears at full effect (and in a homage to the comics, they're purple).
* MythologyGag: "Puny human!" and Bruce's dad having his name in the [[Series/TheIncredibleHulk TV series]]. Also, a couple of key uses of the TV show's tag line, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
** The mushroom cloud in Bruce's memory invokes the gamma explosion that turned him into the Hulk in the comics.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer made it seem like a regular action movie. Considering the Hulk takes 45 minutes to appear, it is far more focused on drama.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: It was General Ross' fault David was unable to cure Bruce.
* NoSell: [[spoiler:Talbot shoots a grenade at the Hulk. The grenade bounces off his skin and flies back to kill Talbot.]]
* OffingTheOffspring: By the end, David wants to kill Bruce so he can absorb Bruce's Hulk powers back into himself to stabilize his mutated body, arguing that he gave him life in the first place and should give it back.
* OneWingedAngel: Although [[spoiler: David Banner]] gains his powers midway through the movie, they really kick in at the climax, robbing him of all human semblance (for the catalyst, see ChewingTheScenery, particularly that page's image).
* OscarBait: A ''rare'' superhero film example. Stands in stark contrast to most CriticProof superhero movies including ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk''. Though this pleased the critics, this formula for a superhero film did not work well at all for ''Hulk'' at the box office, where it made a record drop in revenue from first to second week. It was so bad that film franchise was rebooted after only four years.
** Not as OscarBait as you'd think. Both films have metacritic ratings around the 60's range, indicating mixed but positive reviews.
* OverclockingAttack: How Bruce defeats his father.
* PaintingTheMedium: Certain shots are framed in comic book panels.
* ParentalAbandonment: David was imprisoned for his experiments ([[spoiler:and killing his wife]]), and Bruce was taken away to be adopted.
* ParentalIssues: ''The'' major theme of the film. Watch ''Hulk'' and then count how many sub-tropes from that page show up in some form.
* ParentsAsPeople: General Ross wanted to be a part of Betty's life but couldn't because of his work. He also disapproved of her relationship with Bruce, but only because he knew about Bruce's abusive parents and wanted to keep her safe. By the end of the film, Betty's house, phone, and computer are being monitored in case Bruce ever attempts to contact her, but the two of them make an effort to stay on good terms.
* ProfessorGuineaPig: Dr. David Banner resorted to using himself as a test subject for his BioAugmentation research.
* RideTheLightning: David Banner absorbs enough electricity to become a monster made of lightning. He grabs the Hulkified Bruce and they travel miles inland on his coattails, fighting in the clouds.
* RockMonster: David briefly transforms into a rock man during his fight with the Hulk. He is rammed into and merged with a huge boulder and thrown in a lake, where he further transforms into a water elemental.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: Hulk is about to crush you!
* SequelHook: The scene in South America at the end, showing Bruce trying to help others and deal with his condition. Surpisingly, Film/TheIncredibleHulk film picks up on this plot point, and could in fact act as a sequel to the general elements of this film. The subsequent [[Film/TheAvengers Avengers film]] calls back to this by having him in a similar situation, hiding and providing help to the poor in India.
* SignatureStyle: Critics and viewers alike had a better reception of the film if they were aware of director Ang Lee's other work, Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon, which has many similarities: SceneryPorn, an abundance of [[ActionFilmQuietDramaScene Quiet Drama Scenes]], a rather inspired(if bizarre) application of {{Wuxia}}, and {{Tragedy}}.
* SinsOfOurFathers: General Ross's hatred of Bruce arises from what David Banner did before being sent to prison.
** Well, that and the fact that [[OverprotectiveDad he was dating his daughter]]. Ross, despite being a ControlFreak, falls on the "nature" side of "nature vs. nuture", one of the film's multiple subtexts.
* SmugSnake: Talbot.
* StillbornFranchise: As the quote atop that trope's page shows, they had to follow this with a reboot.
* StrongAsTheyNeedToBe: The size also varies with the strength.
* TanksForNothing: Four tanks confront the Hulk out in the desert. The first one he flings away, the second he rips off the turret ([[NoEndorHolocaust before shaking out everyone inside]]), and uses it to beat the crap out of the third, and for the fourth he bends the cannon muzzle so that it aims right at the gunner.
* TitleDrop: Done by Bruce after he transforms back to normal, just after his fight with the hulked-up dogs.
-->'''Bruce:''' "My father sent them. He ''is'' my father. He wanted me to change. He wanted me to change into that mindless ''hulk''."
* TooDumbToLive: Seriously, will General Ross ever get that shooting ? stopping Hulk, hurting Betty = Hulk turning into Banner? Bruce spends the entire movie trying to lay low and keep things under control. Then the military catches him, tries to perform experiments on him, he turns into the Hulk, and they make things WORSE by hitting him with heavy artillery, making him angrier than before.
** Talbot earns some stupid points too, he believes that only turning Bruce into the Hulk would give him access to the DNA when earlier it showed that the key to Bruce's power lay within his bloodstream as David demonstrated on his dogs. Regardless if he transforms or not. Not only is it stupid for that reason, but even then the Hulk's skin is too dense and constantly regenerates so he can't get any in pieces either.
* VoodooShark: Bruce's transformation into the Hulk is throughly explained every step of the way. But then his father, who has taken the same meds and undergoes the gamma ray bathing, turns into... the Absorbing Man, for some reason.
** There was a fairly large difference in their treatments--Bruce was born with and adapted various mutations while his father induced them artificially. That explains the major difference between their transformations, the Hulk being more stable while the Absorbing Man required energy to maintain itself.

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