Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review #7

Paragon Pundit Hero Movie Review
#7: Hulk Vs

Get ready true believers, because now the Pundit is delving into a recent hero movie that went straight to DVD.

Our latest hero movie entry is “Hulk Vs”, which is an animated video released this past January by Marvel Comics and Lions Gate Films.

“Hulk Vs” is really TWO separate short movies combined either into 1 or 2 DVDs, depending on whether or not you bought the Special Edition. Each one has the Incredible Hulk battling two of Marvel Comic’s biggest characters. If you bought the Special Edition, each short movie has its own disc and goodies. If you bought the standard edition, both movies are on the same disc.

“Hulk vs. Wolverine” – This movie is supposed to re-tell the epic battle between the Hulk and Marvel’s most recognized mutant, Wolverine. Wolverine made his comic debut in 1974 in the pages of “The Incredible Hulk #180” as part of a three-man dance with the Hulk and Wendingo. This was seven months before he would become part of the new X-Men.

In this movie, we start with Wolverine waking up after being squashed by something big. We find out that the “something” was The Hulk. We then go through some flashbacks of Wolverine, in his civilian attire, as he is brought over to the destruction of a Canadian town. We are told that the destruction and loss of life were all caused by the Hulk. He suits up into his classic “yellow spandex” outfit (sorry, “X-men” movie joke) and goes hunting. Then he encounters a skittish half-naked Bruce Banner, whom Wolverine sniffs out and realizes that he is the Hulk. His “Canadian charm” forces Banner to change into the Jolly Green Monster, and thus we are brought back to the present.

Wolverine and Hulk spend the next few minutes engaged in a heated battle, with Wolverine spilling plenty of blood with his metal claws. Their battle is interrupted, though, by the arrival of a whole team of Wolverine’s old enemies and rivals (Sabretooth, Omega Red, Lady Deathstrike, and Deadpool).

From here the story takes a boring trip down Wolverine’s much-recounted past, showing how he was “recruited” to the Weapon X program, giving him his claws and wiping away his memories. From here we have Wolverine finding a way to escape the program again before they wipe his mind again and turn the Hulk into their newest “recruit”.

This half of the story is sadly disappointing. Rather than it being a “Hulk” story, this becomes more of a “Wolverine Origin” story, similar to the forthcoming “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” movie.

“Hulk vs. Thor” – This is an original “Hulk vs.” story which pits the Jolly Green Monster against the gods of Norse mythology, and especially long-time Marvel hero Thor.

We start with a recap of Norse Mythology, with an introduction of Asgard and how it must be defended every year while Odin sleeps against the threats of frost giants. We find out that the story is being told by Loki, the trickster of the gods and brother to Thor, the favored son of Odin. While Thor and the warriors of Asgard celebrate yet another seasonal victory against the frost giants, Loki schemes to change history. With the Enchantress by his side, Loki summons Bruce Banner to his realm, forces him to transform into the Hulk, and then pulls Banner’s soul out from the monster so he could control it.

The Hulk is then sent to Asgard, where he soundly defeats everyone except Thor. During the battle, Loki loses control of the monster and Banner’s soul is lost. Without Banner to control the monster, nothing will stop it from destroying all of Asgard. Thor and Loki must then work together to return Banner’s soul to the Hulk before it kills the still-sleeping Odin.

As with the first short film, this is even more of a “Thor” story than it ever could be a “Hulk” one. A lot of time is spent describing the Norse deities and what they do.

Since this is a package deal, I have to rate both short films as one movie. That’s good for the Wolverine story as this was something of a disappointment for this pundit. I also think that it was a waste to have this spilt into two discs as Lionsgate did with the Special Edition.

In both short films, we are given pretty much the same premise. Someone wants to control the Hulk, the Hulk proves that he cannot be controlled, and the Hulk smashes things. The Hulk is used as a plot device instead of being the central character of the story. The “bad guys” in both stories really are stupidity and arrogance.

Both films try to stay true to the Marvel mythos for the characters, especially with Thor. This keeps the cheese level relatively low. However the Wolverine story takes a serious twist when the Weapon X project is brought in, including characters that were never members of Weapon X to begin with. Plus, Banner is seen more as a flake than as the intellectual counter-balance to the savagery of his monster, especially when Banner encounters Wolverine.

This is a great video to get if you are a fan of Marvel characters, but don’t go into this thinking that you’re getting two Hulk stories, because you’re not. Also, the violence of the Wolverine story is clearly not for little kiddies. I don’t normally talk about price, but in this case, I suggest holding off on getting this until the price is down to about $10, and make sure it’s the standard edition, with everything on one DVD.

Capes: Four capes out of five. Great iconic characters, but the introduction of the Weapon X project keeps it away from that fifth cape.
Cheese: Mild Cheddar (2). One word: Deadpool.
Books: Three books out of a possible five. The Thor story has a good solid story, even if it’s not a “Hulk” story. The Wolverine story takes a wrong turn halfway through when Weapon X is brought up and doesn’t really come back from it.

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