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 😉 .

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. Does marvel have a website where we can view or buy this?

  2. I've updated the post with a trailer and links to where you can order the film. Hope that helps!

  3. Hey thanks Kofi!

  4. This getting so ridiculous with not being able to use Marvel characters such as Reed Richards and Charles Xavier in Marvel animation movies. Marvel needs to use they're power with Disney to get their characters back. Fox's greedy asses don't even have the decency to allow for Marvel to at least use Marvel's own created characters for it's animation projects. Marvel/Disney need to go to war not just the Hulk.

  5. I'm betting since Silver Surfer is still a Fox owned Marvel character that he has been replaced with someone else, very sad.

  6. Nice to see the jolly green giant.

  7. Can't wait to see it!

  8. Looks pretty good. I'll definitely check it out. BTW, I thought Hulk vs Wolverine was violent and bloody enough. How does this compare to it?

    Not saying I had a problem with it, just like to know what it is going into it. 😀


  10. Much more death and blood in this one. Imagine a whole planet of “Hulk vs. Wolverine” type fighting.

  11. That comment from Kofi just sold it for me. How could any Marvel fan (or any comic book fan) not want this?

  12. Amen John! I'm hoping to put this right at the top of my Netflix queue the day it comes out.

  13. Its Russel Crowe's big green Gladiator… I can't watch this as a Hulk fan, but as a fan of animated violence, why not.

  14. When contract is up Marvel Hulk will smash puny Fox planet, then will eat nut inside….

    Probably an acorn.

  15. I Wonder if this was in production before or after Disney's acquisition of Marvel?

  16. I always find the animation in the Marvel animated movies to be inferior to the recent DC ones.

  17. Yeah this is unacceptable this is a part of Disney for crying out loud. Non interference shouldn't mean ill-defined animation.

  18. Any word on the continuation… you know when he gets back home and decides to “do this to your whole stinking planet” <drops Black Bolts bloody beaten body>

  19. I also thought of this story more as a Conan the Barbarian film with The Hulk.
    Definately a Blu-Ray pick up, enjoyed the comic a lot, fine with the changes as long as it is entertaining.

  20. It's true the animation is inferior to DC. But it is the same director as DC's last animated feature, so…

    When the fighting gets hectic there is some anime looking bits, but for the most part the animation wasn't a problem for me. There is something that DC does that makes you feel like you're watching a movie and not a cartoon though, Marvel should work on nailing that feel.

  21. Er, there's absolutely no grounds to take issue with Fox. They sold them the rights.

  22. SC I respect your reply and it's true yes, Marvel did sell the rights to Fox but that doesn't give Fox an excuse to keep botching up the Marvel characters and movies, and even refusing to let Marvel use the characters that Marvel themselves created. Fox has a reputation for destroying source material in general. Dragonball, Legend of Chun Li, XO-Wolverine,Fantastic Four 1 & 2, Daredevil, Elektra, Planet of The Apes,X-Men 1 & 3,and more. This isn't the music industry but in the music industry, artists of different recording labels feature(cameo) on records of other artist's all the time. For instance look at Santana's “Smooth” album, it had so many other artists featured from different labels on it and it was Santana's highest selling and most popular to date gaining 11 grammy's. It's the same concept. It also helps to introduce artists or popularize new or current artists. Studios allow other artists to perform on other artists albums as guests and the results boost album sales tremendously because of it. It can be done in the movie industry too especially if it cross promotes characters. But Fox is too greedy to even realize the potential of what can be done if they'd just allow it. Now tell me, how is that Deadpool and Wolverine appeared in Marvel's Hulk vs movies?

  23. One thing I would like to correct is when you say “no conceivable way to kill him” that is not true they just don't believe it's right to kill him. Doctor Strange could easily kill him not to mention give Reed Richard 5 minutes in Radio Shack and he could find a way to send his heart to the N-Zone. I like the movie despite the changes. Completely understandable why they ended the movie before the comic. Only thing that really disappointed me was no Silver Surfer. Damn Fox.

  24. can anyone tell me who is the character thAT HAS THE SAME CLOTHES AS THOR WITH THE HORSE FACE?

  25. “Beta Ray Bill”,an alien of an extinct race was worthy enough to wield Mjolnir by accident by grabbing Donald Blakes cane(Mjonir)and he actually defeated Thor in sort of a default battle and proven himself to be noble enough to wield his own hammer through Odin's power called “Stormbreaker”. Beta Ray actually could have killed Thor in battle while Thor was knocked out from a fall but he didn't.

  26. Alex have you read the comic book series that follows “Planet Hulk?” entitled “World War Hulk?”

    It's about what happens when The Hulk comes back to Earth looking for revenge against those who blasted him into space. Reed Richards, Dr. Strange, Iron Man and Black Bolt all get their asses handed to them. As do the X-Men, Avengers, Heroes for Hire and the ENTIRE MARVEL UNIVERSE.

    So I stand by my statement :-)

  27. I would like to see MARVEL buy back all the rights to all their characters. Surely now with the Disney merger, they can afford it.

  28. What characters does Fox still own?