1. Experimented on character’s comic book past
The movie Hulk attempted to reflect the character’s comic book background in experimental ways which is still very much controversial among fans.
The Hulk is now most closely identified with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before The Incredible Hulk of 2008 was released, Dr. Banner’s alter ego was depicted on the screen in Ang Lee’s Hulk which showed Banner’s pumped-up version with lots of smashing. The character was more dramatic than MCU’s version which included both serious as well as comical elements.
Since then, film adaptations of the mighty but troubled Hulk have been a lot plainer and a lot less intriguing. The character’s most pivotal comic book moments have been horribly watered down.
2. Why was Marvel’s Hulk movie a flop?
Hulk was released in 2003 with many other superhero films coming out like Spider-Man and X-Men films of the time but Hulk proved to be different from these, attempting to combine the darkness of the latter with a closer to the comic book visual than even the former. This was accomplished by using freeze-frame sequences to transition from one scene to the next, creating the appearance of comic book panels.
The psychological agony that Banner would be subjected to was directly out of the comics too, going beyond the standard “Hulk smash!” picture and delving deeper into the main character’s turmoil. but the comic book references didn’t work, with many viewers believing that they detracted from the otherwise serious subject and made the whole thing appear cheesier than it was.
3. In line with the 1950s science-fiction monster flicks
Though many film’s experiments failed yet at least the film deserves an applaud for trying. It felt more in keeping with the 1950s science-fiction monster films that the Hulk was originally inspired by, rather than other superhero movies like Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man. The 2003 film took a risk by portraying the protagonist as a conflicted victim of abuse who was at odds with himself as much as external forces. It’s a shame since then, the character Hulk has never been used in such an obscure fashion.
4. A true monster flick not a joke
Starting with The Incredible Hulk, the picture was more of a plain action film than an introspective science-fiction horror thriller, albeit it was far more readily accepted by fans and critics.
Meanwhile, in The Avengers and other MCU films, Hulk is frequently portrayed as an enraged monster who is as much for jokes as he is for muscle. This resulted in his transformation into Professor Hulk, a major event in the comic books, being comically revealed in the MCU and never presented organically. This solidifies Hulk’s status in the MCU as a joke.