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

The 2003 film directed by Ang Lee is based on Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk.

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

Years later, Bruce "Krenzler" (Eric Bana) is an emotionally-repressed scientist at Lawrence Berkeley working on using a combination of gamma radiation and nanomachines for medical purposes. They can get the test animals to heal, but they keep exploding in cancerous growth. Adding to his stress are his coworker and ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly) and her ex Glenn Talbot (Josh Lucas), who's trying to buy Bruce and Betty's lab from them on her father General Ross's (Sam Elliott) behalf. Bruce takes the bullet for a lab tech who got trapped with a gamma-ray emitter about to go off and nanomachines in the air, and... wakes up later wholly sound. Well, better than expected; all of his minor aches and pains are now gone—still, he somehow survived when every frog that went through this exploded, and Talbot, Ross, and the weird new janitor (Nick Nolte) are all very interested in what Bruce has done.

See also the game based on this movie.

These tropes are unique:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: A bizarre example, as it's more along the lines of "Action Film Quiet Drama First-Two-Thirds-Of-The-Movie," followed by a final act almost entirely comprised of action. It's not quite sure what sort of movie it wants to be—it's an Ang Lee film, after all—leading to common criticisms that it has too much action to qualify as a family melodrama, but not enough to be a Summer Blockbuster.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Bruce's father, Brian, was renamed "David," likely as a Mythology Gag to The Incredible Hulk series where Bruce (sort-of) underwent this himself, going by his first name, which was changed from "Robert" to "David." It might've also been RetCanoned, seeing as Brian's House of M counterpart had David as his middle name.
    • Bruce's mother was also renamed "Edith" from "Rebecca."
  • Adaptation Personality Change: David Banner started as a hard-working but loving father—unlike in the comics—however, David eventually becomes antagonistic, primarily for different reasons.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Desert Base is in Nevada.
    • Ross goes from a colonel to a general in the prologue.
    • Bruce's adoptive mother's full name is Monica Krenzler. She's still alive during the film's main events, revealed to be an agent—presumably for Atheon— who was assigned to raise Bruce. She meets with Talbot early on and briefly reappears near the end, watching Bruce and Betty on CNN after Betty calms the Hulk in San Fransisco.
    • Betty's mom died from brain cancer a week after the Desert Base incident.
    • The novelization divulges Bruce and Betty's teenage years.
    • An adolescent Betty and her father lived at Fort Meade, Maryland, for some time after her mother's death. It's where she first met Talbot while he was visiting his uncle, Colonel Talbot. She and Ross were stationed in Italy two years prior for a few months.
      • Betty and her dad hadn't spoken for over half a decade. They had a heated argument over her break-up with Talbot and getting accepted to Berkeley on scholarship as a high-school sophomore.
    • The novelization reveals the full name of Bruce's lab assistant is Jake Harper. It mentions Harper once shook hands with a certain Dr. Henry Pym when the latter congratulated him for his cellular regeneration doctorate.
    • The unfortunate frog subjected to the nanomeds and gammasphere was dubbed "Freddie" by Harper; it's the 11th one lost to the gamma radiation experiment. There's another frog in the gammasphere during the fateful accident, which Harper dubs "Rick."
    • Talbot arranged several things behind the scenes—namely the Berkeley Lab hiring Betty for her to work with Bruce and the mental hospital releasing David Banner. Talbot also has Bruce under constant surveillance.
    • A female doctor who tends to Bruce after the accident has the surname "Chandler."
    • According to concept art and the animation director Colin Brady in the Official Illustrated Screenplay, David's mastiff, poodle, and pitbull are respectively named Smokey, Lily, and Sammy. Brady also reveals the dogs' respective roles and personality traits: Lily is the antsy leader; Sammy is like a lion, constantly biting; and Smokey wrestles like a bear.
    • Bruce tells Betty his belief that he probably saw or knew her when they were both kids growing up in the desert. The novelization reveals they did meet during childhood; Bruce saw Betty while looking out his window when Ross arrested David.
  • Alien Blood: The Hulk-dogs have green blood.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Oh yeah. This adaptation plays up Hulk's screwed-up psychology more than most, so Bruce has daddy issues out the wazoo.
  • All There in the Manual: The film's official website and a deleted scene give more details regarding the nanomeds. The illustrated screenplay also reveals more behind-the-scenes information on the movie, like the dogs' names and personalities.
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: Lily the poodle is the Alpha to the pit bull and mastiff, Sammy and Smokey, the Betas.
  • And Starring: The film's opening cast roll ends with "and Nick Nolte".
  • Angst: Boatloads of it, many of them Freudian. Bruce's insane father—who also murdered his mother—is the source of his mutation and still wants to continue his 'experiment.' At the same time, the authorities hound Bruce because he could turn into a giant green monster at any moment.
  • Anti-Villain: General Ross, as opposed to his The Incredible Hulk version. Considering the Hulk comics' long history, neither is precisely inaccurate to the comics. Here, he's a concerned general who deeply loves his daughter and is just trying to stop the perceived Hulk menace. However, Ross goes out of his way to pursue and distrust Bruce just because David is his father. The novelization has Ross slowly see Bruce as more of an innocent victim, and acknowledge that Bruce did nothing wrong to deserve any of the grief in his life.
  • Archnemesis Dad: David to Bruce. After performing dangerous tests on himself, some of it passed on to Bruce through his conception. He tried to murder Bruce out of mercy but mistakenly struck down his wife. Thirty years later—following his release from prison—he tracks down Bruce and attempts to rebuild their relationship while secretly plotting to drain Bruce's alter-ego's powers to reconstruct his decaying cellular structure and gain his revenge on the military. A very, very bad fellow, though not without his sympathetic moments.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • David Banner extracts bioluminescence properties from jellyfish, implied to be why the Hulk is green. But bioluminescence isn't about having green skin, it's the ability to emit light from your skin, and the Hulk's skin doesn't glow, not even in the dark. All he has is green-pigmented skin.
    • The film also relies on LEGO Genetics. The intro shows David Banner experimenting with jellyfish, starfish for their regenerative properties, sea cucumbers for their recycling of nutrients, lizards for their resistance to poisons, and transplanting all those into human DNA to create a superhuman being.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Even if super-jumping is a power the Hulk has in the comics, the jumps he makes in this film don't work. Something of that much mass would weigh a few tons, yet he jumps like reduced gravity laws apply to him—gravity doesn't work that way. note 
    • The liberal use of Not the Fall That Kills You… and Soft Water. note 
    • The Raptor that the Hulk hitches a ride on appears to reach escape velocity and drift away into space right when the Hulk passes out from lack of oxygen, although it's hard to tell if it's just sloppy editing. An F-22 couldn't even reach near that altitude before its engines would stall without oxygen, let alone go fast enough in a vertical climb to reach outer space.
  • Attack Backfire: Talbot's death. He fires a Grenade Launcher only for the round to ricochet off the Hulk and embed itself in the wall behind Talbot, who barely has time for an Oh, Crap! reaction before getting blown up.
  • Bad Vibrations: Inverted. After Hulking Out, ripples are seen in a puddle next to an unconscious Talbot as the Hulk leaps away in huge bounds, on his way to save Betty.
  • Beard of Evil: David Banner sports a big, scraggly beard in the present day after his 30 years in prison.
  • Beast and Beauty: Hulk and Betty.
  • Big Bad: David Banner destroys Bruce's life by experimenting on himself and his son out of an obsession with advancing humanity beyond its limits, thus creating the Hulk. He intends to drain Bruce's powers to stabilize and strengthen himself and get his revenge on the military.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bruce and Betty are still apart in the end, and the government—mainly Ross—has Betty under constant surveillance for her protection. However, Bruce is still alive and trying to help people. Considering everything, Betty's relationship with her father is much better than it was in the beginning.
  • Book Ends: Both the film's beginning and end show a green-colored shot.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Early in the film, Hulk uses Talbot as a melee weapon to beat two other people—an MP and Talbot himself—into unconsciousness. After the army captures Bruce, Talbot—wearing a cast and neck brace—thinks shocking Bruce with a cattle prod repeatedly to make him change into the Hulk so Talbot can get a blood sample is a good idea. Luckily for Talbot, this attempt fails, or he probably would've ended up in intensive care or the morgue. Unluckily for him, his next effort does work and he lands himself in the morgue.
  • Butt-Monkey: Talbot.
  • The Cameo: Lou Ferrigno (the Hulk from the TV show) and Stan Lee (Hulk's creator) appear as security guards.
  • Canon Foreigner: Bruce's adoptive mother, Mrs. Krenzler.
  • The Chessmaster: Talbot, in the novelization.
  • Chewing the Scenery: David Banner, just before his transformation. Figurative and literal, as that page's image shows.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Since the film is more dramatic, it doesn't use codenames.
  • Composite Character: David Banner's powers combine the Absorbing Man and electrical elemental Zzzax from the comics. The detail of his form being unstable and deteriorating without the Hulk's power is similar to Half-life.
  • Cool-Down Hug: Betty is the only person that the Hulk doesn't consciously threaten, and subsequently the only one to calm him down enough to revert back to human form.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the source material.
  • Death Glare: David Banner, when Ross shuts down his experiments. Ross to Bruce Banner, much to the latter's confusion as he's never met Betty's father before. Bruce, of course, does this whenever he's about to start Hulking Out.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The frequent reaction to the scenes before the Hulk appears.
  • Dialogue Reversal: Betty's first line in the film is that she found Bruce. After Betty calms the Hulk in San Fransisco, Bruce says to her, "You found me." It doubles as a Meaningful Echo.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue takes place in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The explanation of Bruce's transformation into the Hulk in this film, and why the Hulk grows bigger the angrier he gets: The nanomeds in his system heal tissue in response to trauma and the mutation Bruce inherited from his father's experiments keep them from becoming lethal. The upside is that Bruce emerged from it with a healthy tween's body, but the downside is that they also respond to psychological trauma—they keep buffing tissues until you get an enormous angry green WMD when he gets angry. And since he witnessed his father kill his mother while trying to kill him, he's got emotional trauma to spare.
  • Doomed Hometown: Bruce returns to the military base he grew up on, now a desolate ghost town used to camouflage the Elaborate Underground Base beneath. What's left gets destroyed by an artillery strike aimed at the Hulk.
  • Doppelgänger: Betty has a striking resemblance to Bruce's mother, Edith Banner.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In Betty's dream, Bruce picked her up and set her down when she was a child. The same thing happens during Betty's first encounter with the Hulk. The difference is that Bruce is a threat to Betty in her dream, but as the Hulk, he's instead a protector to her in real life. In the Peter David novelization, Betty has other dreams, and she dismisses the possibility of them foretelling the future.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: David Banner is a monster, make no mistake about it—but he genuinely loved his wife and was devastated when he accidentally killed her.
  • Every Helicopter Is a Huey: General Ross coordinates the far more high-tech Hulkbusters from one on at least one occasion.
  • Expy: David Banner seems to be the stand-in for the Absorbing Man at the end. also Zzzax, very briefly.
  • Fearsome Foot: A few shots during some transformation scenes show Bruce's feet growing so large that his shoes and socks tear off.
  • Film Noir: The film has heavy hints of noir with the cinematography and lighting.
  • Foreshadowing: Mrs. Krenzler's parting words to Bruce about him having something special inside himself that he's bound to share with the world. Betty's dream and David warning Bruce to watch his temper also qualify.
  • Freudian Excuse: Bruce and Betty. The film could have easily been called "Daddy Issues: The Movie."
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Genetic tampering, nanobots, and radiation.
  • Genre-Busting: The movie has many hints of science fiction, horror, psychological drama, and neo-noir.
  • Gentle Giant: The Hulk, only to Betty. The film's soundtrack even has a track with this as its title.
  • Go for the Eye: Talbot wants a sample of the Hulk's DNA, but the drills won't penetrate his skin, so Talbot gets his mooks to trap the Hulk in sticky foam and prepares to jab a nasty-looking drill syringe in the Hulk's eye.
  • Guinea Pig Family: 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 gets torn between treating Bruce as a test subject and finding a cure for him, and seeing Bruce as proof of what he tried to accomplish.
  • Hannibal Lecture: David Banner says one intensely.
  • Hate Sink: Talbot seems purpose-made to make the audience loathe him. The film's real threat is Bruce's evil, obsessed father, David, the root cause of the whole Hulk problem. General Ross is a man trying to do what's right to stop a genuine menace, even if he tries to persecute Bruce out of prejudice toward David. Talbot is just a smug corporate bastard wanting fame and glory, endangering everyone by going over Ross's head to unleash the Hulk, bullying Bruce whenever he can and being a dickish romantic foil, and contributing little to the story besides repeatedly getting Bruce into Hulk-mode and having it backfire onto him satisfyingly.
  • Healing Factor: What both Bruce and David Banner's experiments were trying to create—one of the Hulk's secondary superpowers. Specifically, they used starfish DNA.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Talbot gets blown up after he fails miserably attempting to kill the Hulk with a grenade launcher.
    • David Banner gets what he wanted so much: his son's dormant power—too bad it's too much for David to handle and his body becomes so unstable that he gets blown up by the military.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Hulk, natch. David joins this trope near the end and even becomes a borderline Eldritch Abomination just before dying.
  • Humans Are Bastards: David Banner rants to Bruce that humanity has gone wrong.
    David: Think of all those men out there, in their uniforms! Barking and swallowing orders! Inflicting their petty rule over the entire globe! Think of all the harm they've done! To you! To me! To humanity! And know this, that we can make them, and their flags and their anthems and their governments disappear! In a flash! You and me!
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Editing did many wipes to mimic comic book panels shuffling around each other, often showing the same scene from multiple viewpoints. A wipe was done by chroma-keying the background behind a random fern at one point.
  • Indecisive Medium: The film occasionally shows multiple images in a format resembling a comic book page.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When Betty steps out of her cabin after hearing a strange noise outside, there's not a creature stirring—not a single one.
  • I Owe You My Life: Played with, as Ross says that he's "indebted" to Bruce for saving Betty's life.
  • Jump Scare: The dream scene where the Hulk's reflection bursts through a mirror and grabs Bruce tends to catch many first-time viewers off-guard.
  • Just Plane Wrong: A retroactive variant. Among the Army assets that Ross sends after the Hulk after he escapes Desert Base is a group of what are clearly RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopters, which were in development during the film (as were the F-22 Raptors seen later). Unfortunately, the U.S. government canceled the project the year after the film was released, and the RAH-66 never entered service.
  • Karmic Death: Talbot.
  • Knockout Gas: Stopped with a sneeze from the Hulk.
  • Large Ham: Nick Nolte is having fun playing a wacko, and he finishes a hammy speech—with plenty of gesturing—by literally Chewing the Scenery.
  • Le Film Artistique: The film uses many split screens, flashbacks, wipes, and surreal imagery to convey the impression of a mentally-damaged individual.
  • LEGO Genetics: David injects many animals' DNA like starfish and jellyfish into himself, and Bruce inherits them. However, they never manifest until his accident with gamma rays.
  • Left Hanging: Betty's "dream" of when she was younger, and her father left her—to deal with David breaking into the lab—with someone, who was doing... something with her.
  • Logo Joke: The Marvel logo features comic-book images of the Hulk in its pages; it's shaded green, the Hulk's traditional color, and it bubbles out of the frame after forming, reflecting the biological experiments carried out.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Yes, the new janitor at Bruce's lab is his long-lost father, David.
  • Made of Iron: After Hulk hurls Talbot through a wall, the man is still conscious, and it takes a second hit for him to go down. Though he is still severely hurt, the scope of his injuries goes unspecified. His arm is in a sling, and his neck and knee are in braces, but he shouldn't be in one piece, let alone alive, walking, or wielding a high-tech drill syringe, let alone firing a grenade launcher.
  • Mad Scientist: David Banner's amorality is pretty apparent throughout the film with his willingness to use human test subjects for his experiments—including his infant son—but it's not until near the end that the full extent of his instability is on display.
  • Magic Pants: Except for one scene where Bruce ends up naked after calming down, it appears in full effect, and—in homage to the comics—they're purple.
  • Material Mimicry: After consuming nanomeds and blasting himself with gamma radiation, David Banner can become whatever he touches, but he mainly takes after the elements in the climax, going through electrical, rock, and water-based forms in quick succession.
  • Mercy Kill: After Ross shuts down his attempt to find a cure for Bruce, David tries to kill Bruce under this trope. Unfortunately, Edith gets in the way.
  • Militaries Are Useless: David Banner's philosophy after the military completely denied his work.
  • Military Brat: Betty, as the novelization elaborates.
  • Mind Screw: The film's broad symbolism can be baffling, especially the dogs and David's transformation.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • After Betty and Hulk meet and share a tranquil moment, David's mutated dogs arrive and interrupt them, instigating a drawn-out brawl between the dogs and the Hulk as he tries to protect Betty from them.
    • After David's rundown of his past to Betty, Talbot forces Bruce to transform, leading to the Hulk's escape from Desert Base and the army chasing him to San Fransisco.
    • After David turns on a dime during his talk with Bruce at the island base, he bites into a thick electrical cable, becomes an electrified being after Ross turns on the power, and causes a city-wide blackout. Then Bruce transforms, and David takes him to their showdown at Pear Lake.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: David Banner, after accidentally killing Edith. He also feels belated guilt over passing on the mutation to Bruce and tries to find a cure before Ross shuts him down.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "Puny human!" and Bruce's dad having his name in the TV series.
    • There is one use of the TV show's tagline in Spanish, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
    • The mushroom cloud in Bruce's memory invokes the gamma explosion from the comics that spawned the Hulk.
    • Danny Elfman's score occasionally samples the live-action series's score.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: The film focuses on what makes Bruce a product of his father.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer made it seem like a regular action movie. Considering the Hulk takes 45 minutes to appear, it focuses more on drama.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's General Ross's fault that David couldn't cure Bruce. It also happens for a particular value of "hero" at the end. With the superpowered Bruce and David Banner throwing down and Bruce overloading his father's absorbing powers, Ross decides the best solution is to hit them with a gamma bomb. As gamma radiation awakened Bruce's—and David's, but Ross doesn't necessarily know that—powers in the first place, all it does is remake the Hulk.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Lampshaded at the end. Although General Ross thinks there's no way Bruce could have survived an atomic explosion, he has his daughter under total surveillance just in case he's wrong, while Betty hopes Bruce doesn't contact her if he did survive.
  • No-Sell: Talbot shoots a grenade at the Hulk. The grenade bounces off his skin and flies back to kill Talbot.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: David sits too close to Betty on the couch to get hold of her scarf as a scent tracker for his future Hulk-dogs.
  • Not Your Problem: David considers Betty to be this to him before siccing the dogs on her in the novelization; he thinks she should be God's problem instead of his.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: The government uses gamma bombs as an alternative to nuclear weapons detonated inside the United States.
  • Offing the Offspring: At first, David tries to kill toddler Bruce after Ross shuts him down and finds no other way to cure him. 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 Bruce life in the first place and should take it back.
  • Oh, Crap!: Talbot gets one when his grenade embeds itself in the wall behind him.
  • One-Winged Angel: Although David Banner gains his powers midway through the movie, they kick in at the climax, robbing him of all human semblance—for the catalyst, see Chewing the Scenery, particularly that page's image.
  • Oscar Bait: A rare superhero film example before The Dark Knight Trilogy and Logan. It stands in stark contrast to most Critic-Proof superhero movies, including The Incredible Hulk. Though it pleased the critics, this formula for a superhero film didn't work well for Hulk at the box office, where it made a record drop in revenue from the first to the second week. It was so bad that Marvel rebooted the film franchise only five years later.
  • Overclocking Attack: How Bruce defeats his father.
  • Painting the Medium: Certain shots are framed in comic book panels to make it resemble a comic book-based film.
  • Parental Abandonment: General Ross imprisoned David for his experiments (and killing his wife) and put Bruce in the foster care system.
  • Parental Issues: The central theme of the film—watch Hulk and then count how many sub-tropes from that page show up in some form.
  • Parents as People: General Ross wanted to be part of Betty's life but couldn't because of his job. He also disapproved of her relationship with Bruce, but only because he knew about Bruce's abusive father and wanted to protect Betty. By the film's end, General Ross is monitoring Betty's house, phone, and computer if Bruce ever attempts to contact her, but the two of them make an effort to stay on good terms.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Dr. David Banner resorted to using himself as a test subject for his Bio-Augmentation research after the army forbade him to use human test subjects.
  • Psycho Poodle: One of David Banner's dogs is a French Poodle he later mutates, turning it into a man-eating poodle from hell before siccing it on Bruce's Love Interest Betty Ross.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The Hulk has these whenever Betty is concerned, especially near the end in San Fransisco.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Talbot wants revenge on Bruce for his beating just as he wants Bruce's DNA. He tortures Bruce into becoming the Hulk, and when it goes wrong, he decides to kill him.
  • Ride the Lightning: David 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.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: David Banner has a pit bull, poodle, and mastiff—obedient and vicious, even after they're mutated.
  • Rock Monster: David briefly transforms into a rock man during his fight with the Hulk. He gets rammed into and merged with a huge boulder and thrown into a lake, transforming into a water elemental.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Hulk is about to crush you!
  • Sequel Hook: The end scene in South America shows Bruce trying to help others and deal with his condition—surprisingly, The Incredible Hulk film picks up on this plot point and could act as this film's spiritual sequel. The subsequent Avengers film calls back to this by having him in a similar situation, hiding and providing help to India's poor.
  • Series Continuity Error: The order of the scenes leading up to the dog fight: David sends the dogs after Betty; then Betty arrives at her cabin, and David calls Bruce. After transforming, Bruce finds Betty without prior knowledge of her whereabouts and somehow finds her before the dogs do. The novel rearranges the scenes correctly: David calls Bruce first, so Bruce's scuffle with Talbot and his second transformation happen simultaneously with David unleashing the dogs. Then the Hulk sniffs the air, using his heightened senses to "pull Betty's scent" from it to find her, like in the illustrated screenplay. On the other hand, additional materials have the Hulk use Bruce's memory of the cabin to guess Betty might be there instead of her house as her father's men would surround the latter.
  • Signature Style: Critics and viewers alike received the film better if they were aware of director Ang Lee's other work, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which has many similarities: Scenery Porn; an abundance of Quiet Drama Scenes; a somewhat inspired—if bizarre—application of Wuxia, and Tragedy.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: General Ross's hatred of Bruce stems from what David Banner did before being sent to prison and that Bruce was dating his daughter—despite being a Control Freak, Ross falls on the "nature" side of "nature vs. nurture," one of the film's multiple subtexts. David Banner has a mutual hatred of Betty since she's Ross's daughter and happens to be involved with Bruce.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The film is deeply cynical.
  • Sliding Scale of Parent-Shaming in Fiction: David Banner is a Type IV.
  • Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue: The film focuses on visuals with some dialogue.
  • Smug Snake: Talbot.
  • So Proud of You: Ross tells Betty that he has a great deal of pride in his daughter's accomplishments.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Hulk's size also varies with his strength.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: According to Ross in the novelization, Betty is her late mother's spitting image.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Four tanks confront the Hulk out in the desert. He flings the first one away, rips the turret off the second before shaking out everyone inside, and uses it to beat the crap out of the third, and he bends the fourth's cannon muzzle so that it aims right at the gunner.
  • They Have the Scent!: David uses Betty's scarf to give his hulked-out dogs her scent and send them after her.
  • Title Drop: By Bruce, after fighting the Hulk-dogs and returning to normal.
    Bruce: "My father sent them. He is my father. He wanted me to change. He wanted me to change into that mindless hulk."
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Seriously, will General Ross ever get that shooting = Bruce turning into Hulk? Bruce spends the whole movie trying to lay low and keep things under control. Then the military catches him, tries experimenting on him, and Bruce becomes the Hulk; they WORSEN matters by hitting him with heavy artillery, increasing his rage.
    • Talbot earns some stupid points too. He believes that only turning Bruce into the Hulk would give him access to the DNA when the film earlier showed the key to Bruce's power lies in his blood—as David demonstrated on his dogs—regardless of whether Bruce transforms or not. It's stupid for that reason, but even then, the Hulk's skin is too thick and continually regenerating, so Talbot can't get any in pieces either.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Bruce is staying with Betty in her forest cabin. She has the army tranquilize Bruce the second he steps out of the cabin.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Ross doesn't think it's a coincidence that Bruce entered the same field that his father did, meaning they're either working together or "I was going to say damned." When we later discover that David Banner murdered his wife, it adds a Papa Bear subtext to Ross's concern given that Bruce is working with and dating his daughter.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Combined with No OSHA Compliance as the locks are close enough for David to activate the Self-Destruct Mechanism on the base after stealing both keys.
  • Voodoo Shark: The film thoroughly explains Bruce's transformation into the Hulk 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. It's implied David Banner transformed so differently because his genetic modifications were self-administered rather than naturally-born like Bruce's. Still, it is a hugely different process to go from the somewhat plausible "growing tons of muscle" to the fantastical "turn yourself into water, metal, concrete, electricity..."
  • You Won't Feel a Thing!: As Talbot prepares to shove a nasty-looking drill syringe into the Hulk's eye, he quips, "This might give you a bit of a sting here, Bruce."
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Homaged when Talbot roughs up Bruce, making him growl, "Talbot...You're making me angry!" before Hulking Out. At the movie's end, Bruce gives the complete line as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner in Spanish; he also says the whole line to Talbot in one of the film's trailers.


Video Example(s):


Take it Back

The Hulk learns that the angrier he gets, the more gamma energy his father will steal. Bruce's solution? To test if Brian can live with so much power.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoingToGiveItMoreEnergy

Media sources: