The Marvel Movie On Netflix That Needs A Sequel

By Doug Norrie | Published

Before Mark Ruffalo turned green with envy and long before Edward Norton took a brief spin as the gamma-irradiated giant, Eric Bana flexed his dramatic muscles in Hulk. Now streaming on Netflix, this early 2000s interpretation of the iconic Marvel character offers a deeper, more introspective look at the tortured soul of Dr. Bruce Banner.

Get ready to dive into the layered psyche of a man at odds with his own monstrous nature. And hey, who wouldn’t want to see Bana in those signature purple shorts?

Hulk Stars Eric Bana

In Hulk, directed by the visionary Ang Lee, the story kicks off with a dramatic origin tale that’s a mix of science, tragedy, and destiny. Dr. Bruce Banner, played with brooding intensity by Eric Bana, is a dedicated geneticist working on revolutionary experiments that harness the power of regeneration. 

But when a lab accident exposes him to a gamma radiation overdose, he finds himself morphing into the Hulk, a giant, green rage monster, whenever his heart rate spikes.

Hulk Deals With Bruce Banner’s Past

The film delves deep into Bruce’s troubled past, revealing a connection between his transformation and experiments conducted by his father, David Banner (Nick Nolte). As Bruce grapples with his alter ego, he’s pursued by the U.S. military, led by the relentless General Ross (Sam Elliott), who sees the Hulk as both a potential weapon and a major threat.

Complicating matters, Bruce’s ex-girlfriend, and fellow scientist, Betty Ross (Jennifer Connelly), becomes the key to both capturing and potentially curing him.

Throughout the movie, Bruce battles inner demons, military foes, and mutated creatures, culminating in a climactic confrontation that pits him against his own father in a battle of wills and gamma-powered abilities.

It’s a tale of self-discovery, father-son dynamics, and, of course, smashing stuff. Lots and lots of smashing.

Hulk Is Not Part Of The MCU

Ang Lee’s Hulk, starring the intense Eric Bana, was a cinematic experiment that occurred before the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) took flight. The film’s approach was a radical departure from many superhero movies of its time.

Instead of a straightforward action narrative, Lee opted for a deep dive into the psyche of Bruce Banner, giving the film an introspective touch that was both its strength and its Achilles’ heel. 

While this approach found appreciation among a subset of viewers who lauded its fresh take, it left many traditional superhero movie fans yearning for more action and a simpler storyline.

Edward Norton Was Up Next As The Hulk

But there’s more to the story of why Hulk wasn’t incorporated into the MCU. By 2008, when the MCU was inaugurated with Iron Man, Marvel Studios was aiming for a cohesive narrative across films, and they felt the need for a fresh portrayal of the Hulk that would mesh seamlessly with this emerging universe. 

Hence came The Incredible Hulk, with Edward Norton as the titular character, aligning more with the MCU’s vision. Further complicating the matter was the issue of film rights.

At the time, Universal Pictures had the distribution rights to standalone Hulk movies, making the integration of the Hulk’s solo adventures into the MCU a bit of a puzzle.

In essence, while Bana’s Hulk is remembered for its distinct style and approach, the evolution of the superhero movie landscape and the specific vision for the MCU meant that this iteration of the green giant would remain a standalone venture.

Hulk Is An Underrated Film

Hulk, with Eric Bana in the titular role, remains a distinct and multifaceted entry in the superhero film landscape. While it faced a mixed reception upon release, there’s no denying that the film touched upon emotional depths and intricate character arcs that set it apart from standard blockbuster fare.

One of its major draws was the profound emotional complexity Bana brought to Bruce Banner, a man grappling with anger, vulnerability, and his tumultuous past. This offers a rich foundation upon which a sequel could build, diving even deeper into Bruce’s psyche and relationships.

The film’s visual aesthetic also made it stand out, with its comic book panel-inspired transitions and dynamic color choices, giving the narrative a pulsating, graphic novel-like energy. There’s a treasure trove of potential in revisiting and expanding upon this aesthetic, drawing in fans of the original and captivating newcomers. 

Hulk Could Use A Sequel

Moreover, with plot threads left hanging and characters, like Bruce’s father David Banner, teetering on the brink of evolution, a sequel could provide the closure many fans yearn for.

With the superhero genre continually evolving and seeking depth, a continuation of Bana’s Hulk saga could be a timely and engrossing addition, weaving together explosive action with the more intimate exploration of a tormented soul.

Check It Out On Streaming Now

Jump into the cinematic world of Hulk and experience a blend of intense character development, vivid visuals, and raw emotion, all led by the inimitable Eric Bana. It’s a step away from the conventional superhero narrative, offering a fresh perspective on a character we thought we knew. 

Streaming now on Netflix, it’s the perfect time to revisit this unique gem, appreciate its nuances, and maybe, just maybe, join the chorus of fans hoping for its rightful continuation. Dive in and let the green beast awaken your movie senses!