In all The Avengers trailers the Hulk gets the barest of mentions. Is he really that one-dimensional?
Oooh – I’m all jittery. Blockbuster movie season has begun! If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a huge movie fan so you know I saw The Avengers on opening weekend. I’m no nerd girl so don’t ask me about comic books or epic battles, or how this movie stayed true to past versions. While I liked Black Widow and Hawk…guy…man, it was the Hulk that captured my attention.
Growing up, I watched the Saturday morning cartoons of The Incredible Hulk. He always came across as a mostly dumb, enraged but at times gentle, giant always rushing to the rescue. There was always this underlying layer of rage to him, but he cried, he sorta smiled at times, and mostly talked with his fists. I liked him.
Now we get to see Dr. Banner and the Hulk in a team situation. I don’t know much about The Avengers, or many of the characters who make up the team other than the Hulk. **I won’t give anything away that you wouldn’t see in a movie trailer.** Most of the movie the other team members understandably tiptoe around Dr. Banner who’s brought in as an expert. It felt like that child’s game Don’t Wake Daddy. After a while I wanted to say, ‘Give the guy some credit.’
The key to superhero movies, I think, is to let the audience see the hero’s humanity – or their struggle to be human. Dr. Banner doesn’t like the Hulk. The Hulk is uncontrollable, volatile, and destructive. There’s not much there worth redeeming.
In the final battle scene, Captain America (I think) says something to the effect of suit up – get your anger on to Dr. Banner. Bruce looks back over his shoulder and says, “That’s my secret. I’m always angry.”
BAM! That line hit me like a truck. I never saw the duality of the Hulk before.
I think everyone has a Hulk inside them. No, really. Is there a memory, a situation, an emotion, a person – that can just make you lose control? You say things that are destructive or harmful, you come out swinging no matter what, you talk with your fists (proverbially or literally), you lash out at everyone around you whether they’re at fault or not. When the Hulk comes out, you don’t see reason, there’s no mitigating circumstance, there’s just a cave-man-like reaction. We’d like to pin the green rage monster on people with anger management problems, but dig a little deeper. Is there a coworker who just sets you off every time they open their mouth? If you feel threatened do you come out ‘fists first’ whether that response is appropriate or not?
What situation or scenario do you need your Hulk for, so your weaker/softer/intellectual side can hide for a bit and not get hurt again. By the end of the movie Dr. Banner has learned that the Hulk isn’t all bad. He’s still more or less a wind-up toy that you point in the right direction and then get out of the way – but now the Hulk is an asset.
That line from Dr. Banner showed me a glimpse into his humanity. What does a brilliant scientist have to be mad about all the time? I’m guessing that condition pre-existed the Hulk or else why would it be a trigger? Even though that anger bubbled quietly beneath the surface, controlled, manageable – I bet he had a bad temper. I’ve heard it said that under the right circumstances, everyone is capable of murder. Do you think that’s true?
I have an epic bad temper. I have a really really really long fuse, but if I lose control I go from quietly sitting in the corner to explosively enraged. It’s only happened twice in my life – enough to know I never want it to happen again. I know there’s a Hulk inside me, but like Dr. Banner, I have learned how to diffuse the situation, walk away, turn the other cheek, take a deep breath. But maybe – like in the movie, there’s a time and place for the Hulk to be an asset. Where the monster, pointed in the right direction, is a force for good? What do you think?
What emotion quietly bubbles beneath your quiet exterior? What triggers your Hulk?
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