Hulk Vs - (Region 1 Import DVD)
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Jason, Bellville. 18 January 2010
It was DC that threw down the gauntlet when they made Superman: Doomsday, thereby taking the animated feature out of its G-rated comfort zone and into PG-13 territory. Enter this, Marvel's reply. I thought that the Superman feature was pushing boundaries already, but Hulk destroys those boundaries with a savagery that might be more appropriate for an R-rating. Punches connect and do damage, limbs are lopped off (on camera) and general mayhem ensues.
Actually this is a package deal, containing two 40-minute features on seperate discs each with its own set of extra material. Kudos to Marvel for releasing these together for the price of one when they could so easiliy have released them separately. The first feature sees Wolverine taking on Hulk in a reworking of Hulk #181, mixed in with some Wolverine: Inner Fury, a bit of Weapon X and a bit of X-23 for garnish. The other one sees Thor stepping up against the green giant as the latter is thrust by a scheming Loki into Asgard and then unleashed in it.
Initially I was offput by the fact that despite headlining each title, Hulk doesn't have as much screen time as his opponents. Wolverine especially gets his whole backstory told, which uses up much of the running time and that didn't sit down too well. Until I realised that Hulk himself is quite a dull character with nothing more than his "Hulk Smash, Hulk Bash, Hulk Scratch Balls" approach to conflict resolution. Banner is actually the multidimensional character, but then if you want to see more of that there are two live-action movies to tend to those needs. A more philosophical Hulk would have the fans in an uproar, so instead the makers decided to make his opponents more interesting instead. It worked. Even Wolverine, of whom I am not too fond, was able to hold my attention and the stories in both features were a good mix of action and plot.
I am intrigued at how DC will respond to this, but I do know they have a Wonder Woman animated feature due for release soon. I've also heard talk that that feature was originally rated R and had to be toned down to make PG-13. As for Marvel itself, I can only hope that this spurs them on to make an animated Punisher feature, based on the Marvel Max incarnation.
But in the here and now, I highly approve of Hulk Vs...
Region 1 - United States, Canada, Bermuda, U.S. territories.