Planet Hulk Review [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 9th, 2010 at 2:35 pm,

planet hulk cover 570x483 Planet Hulk Review [Updated]

[Update: We now have a clip from Planet Hulk]

On February 2nd Marvel Animation will unveil their newest animated feature, Planet Hulk, which is based on writer Greg Pak’s 2006-2007 storyline from The Incredible Hulk comic books.

I had a chance to catch a screening of Planet Hulk this past week, and I have to say: It’s pretty entertaining. Greg Pak’s storyline helped catapult the Hulk back into limelight (no pun) and not having read the comic, I could see why after viewing the movie: this is the kind of Hulk story people want to see. It’s Hulk totally unleashed and smashing things harder than ever, with characters and villains who are more of a match for the green giant – and best of all, a story in which Hulk, the monster, is transformed into a bonafide hero.

The premise of Planet Hulk is simple: a secret cabal of Earth’s heroes (including Iron Man and Reed Richards) decide that Bruce Banner, the Hulk, has caused enough destruction and death. With no cure for Banner’s condition and no conceivable way to kill the Hulk, the heroes decide on a third option: shoot the Hulk into space to be marooned on a distant planet where he can live undisturbed. The plan goes off without a hitch at first, but somewhere along the rocket’s flight Hulk breaks loose and crash lands on a savage planet where he is quickly enslaved as a gladiator in a deadly arena.

There are other gladiators trapped along with Hulk and they quickly band together for survival, imploring that Hulk join their group. But Hulk’s only concern is defeating the evil Red King who has imprisoned him, along with the king’s “shadow guardian,” Caiera, whose unique powers make her more than a match for Hulk. The gladiators are sent into the arena again and again to face nightmarish monsters, and with each victory, Hulk’s bravery and might make him a champion of the people, who regard him as the prophesied savior of their world.

PlanetHulk Preview1 Planet Hulk Review [Updated]

As Hulk smashes his way through the gladiator arena, he finds that there is more to the red king and this mysterious planet than initially meets the eye, forcing Hulk to make the choice between continuing his existence as a lonely monster, or doing what is right and becoming a hero. The big guy even manages to find a little love along the way icon wink Planet Hulk Review [Updated] .

Planet Hulk was directed by Sam Liu, who also helmed the animated feature Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. The animation and production values of Planet Hulk are pretty strong, and in terms of look, the film has an anime polish to it. However, if you aren’t a fan of anime, don’t worry – this film is pretty much Spartacus the Marvel superhero version. An old-school action and adventure epic.

I was fairly surprised by how violent and bloody the film is. Granted, Hulk bleeding is actually a pretty big part of the story (his gamma irradiated blood has a particular effect on the alien planet), but still, people get mangled, sliced, diced, crushed, ripped to shreds, stabbed, fried, mutated and generally wiped out in genocide-style mass murders. There are also some pretty freaky monsters and aliens that appear in the film – Planet Hulk is definitely more for big kids than the small ones.

planet hulk Planet Hulk Review [Updated]

As for the fanboys who read the storyline in the comics, there were some major changes made for this standalone animated feature. Without giving away any SPOILERS:

  • Only Hulk appears in the film, no Bruce Banner.
  • Because other studios (Fox) still own rights to certain Marvel franchises, characters that appeared in the Planet Hulk comic had to be omitted or substituted.
  • The film ends at an earlier point in the story than the comic did.
  • Some of the minor sci-fi details (alien languages, etc.) were simplified for the movie.
  • Don’t blink: there are plenty of Easter-eggs buried throughout the film, including appearances by notable characters from the “Marvel Cosmic” universe.

Though some fanboys at the screening raised issues with these changes, most were still cool with how the film turned out – as was writer Greg Pak, who was seeing the film for the first time.

In the end, Planet Hulk – like last year’s Hulk Vs. feature – showcases the big green guy doing what he does best (SMASHING THINGS!) this time on a scale that is both imaginative and pretty awesome to behold. The fights are cool, the “Clint Eastwood” version of the Hulk we get is pretty badass and the visuals, music and production values are all pretty tight as well.

Update: Check out the trailer and a clip for Planet Hulk:

If you’re interested, check out Planet Hulk when it hits DVD/Blu-ray on Tuesday, February 2, 2010. You can order the film HERE (Blu-ray) or HERE (DVD).

Check back here closer to the release date for an updated review of the DVD/Blu-ray features.

Update Source: MTV Splash Page

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  1. I never read the comic, but I just watched Planet Hulk on Netflix the otherday. And I must say: It struck me as a very satisfying conclusion to his story. Unlike heroes of old like Hercules or King Arthur; whose stories go from Birth Life to Death. Modern day costumed superheroes stories are never-ending -_-

    I didn’t care for Alan Moore’s ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?’ or Grant Morrison’s ‘All-Star: Superman’. But this adaptation of Planet Hulk, got it right! Imho :D Here’s how I took the story. Dr. Bruce Banner was not present because he failed to find a cure and what was once just a transformation is now as a Butterfly is to a catipellar. There`s no going back. This is who he is now and he must make peace with it. Seeing Hulk go on this journey in Planet Hulk. Finding his place in the world. A world in which he is more than just another strong-guy on a team of heroes or seen as a monster or behemoth like he is on Earth.

    On this alien planet he becomes more than that. Here the Hulk is a Savior, Redeemer, Champion and Liberator… The fact that his Gamma-blood restored life to the soil. Is akin to the miracle of the Sun & Earth `Goldilocks Zone` . Who knew something so powerful and destructive as a star ( or the Hulk) could be such a blessing ;)

    Planet Hulk showed what his potential could be under the right circumstances. The entire story reminds me of Joseph the 11th son of Jacob and what his brothers did to him; but what they meant for evil ( selling him into slavery) God turned it into a good :)

    In Planet Hulk… The protagonist has to let go of what his life use to be.As an Avenger as a man and as the lover of Betty. I think this film has a wonderful message in it and I highly reccomend it:) If Planet Hulk was how Marvel decided to conclude the story of the Hulk. It works!!