Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Hulk Smashes, Happening Crashes

It's green vs. green.

by | June 12, 2008 | Comments

Out in theaters this week: marvelous fights (The
Incredible Hulk
, starring
Edward Norton
and Liv Tyler)
and suicide-a-go-gos (The
Happening
, starring
Mark Wahlberg
and Zooey
Deschanel
). What say ye, critics?

 

Trading the emotional theatrics of
Ang Lee‘s
Hulk
for
Louis
Leterrier
‘s vision of a streamlined chase movie was the right move for
Marvel. Taking over the role from
Eric Bana,
Edward Norton
stars are Dr. Bruce Banner, who’s forced to go on the run when warmongers desire
to exploit his transformative powers. The pacing of
The Incredible
Hulk
never flags, critics say, and there’s no shortage of action scenes. But
dissenters wonder if the smarts of Lee’s Hulk and the visceral matter of
Leterrier’s had to be mutually exclusive. At 70 percent on the Tomatometer, for
an Incredible time, look up Hulk.

 




HULK HATE OOMPA LOOMPA.
 

What’s Happening?
M. Night
Shyamalan
hitting new Tomatometer lows, that’s what. The director once
bestowed as the next Spielberg stumbles in rehabilitating his post-Lady in the
Water reputation:
The Happening
,
starring Mark
Wahlberg
and
Zooey
Deschanel
on the run from an airborne toxin that causes people to
spontaneously off themselves, is getting the worst reviews of Shyamalan’s
career. Critics claim the interesting premise gives way to stilted performances
and line readings, bombastic moralizing, and scant plot development past the
first act. At 13 percent on the Tomatometer, The Happening is a
non-event.
 




“Sorry, Zooey. Not a vintage shop for miles.”
 

 

Also opening in limited release:



  • Encounters at the End of the World
    , a documentary from cinema’s craziest
    living legend, Werner Herzog, is at 92 percent.


  • Baghead
    , a comedy/thriller from those darned mumblecore kids, is at 100
    percent.

  • My Winnipeg,
    from cinema’s other kook cult director, Guy Maddin, is at 93 percent.


  • Beauty in Trouble
    ,
    a Czech love triangle dramedy, is at 43 percent.

  • Chris &
    Don: A Love Story
    , a documentary about author Christopher Isherwood and
    painter Don Bachardy, is at 89 percent.

  • Love Comes
    Lately
    , a drama formulated from Isaac Bashevis Singer stories, is at 67
    percent.

  • Quid Pro Quo,
    a multifaceted New York story, is at 69 percent.

       




      Production still from The Strangers II: The Reckoning.

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