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. Bruce’s girlfriend, Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), starts to suspect that Bruce’s repressed feelings may be connected to this beast. Then Bruce’s 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 Betty’s 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.
Bruce does save a colleague’s 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, Dove cannot award The Hulk the Dove Seal. 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.