HULK REVIEWS DRIVE: WHY “NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT” IS OKAY

HULK SAW DRIVE.

HULK LOVED DRIVE.

GOING INTO THE FILM, THE ONLY THING  HULK HAD SEEN WAS THIS CLIP: http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/mediaPlayer/10934.html AND FOR HULK THAT WAS ENOUGH, HULK WAS NOW “IN.” AND GOING OFF THAT CLIP ALONE, HULK WAS READY FOR SOME SERIOUS TAUT FILMMAKING, A WALL-TO-WALL EXHIBITION OF WHAT WE SAW RIGHT THERE. THUS, HULK DIDN’T WATCH THE OTHER TRAILERS. HULK DIDN’T READ ANY REVIEWS. HULK ONLY HEARD THAT GENERAL CONSENSUS WAS THAT PEOPLE EITHER LIKED IT OR LOVED IT. GIVEN THAT LACK OF MEDIA AWARENESS, HULK CAN’T NECESSARILY SPEAK AS TO WHAT OTHERS WERE EXPECTING, BUT IT FAIR TO SAY THAT MOST PEOPLE WERE EXPECTING A WELL-MADE ACTION/CHASE FILM.

THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY WHAT WE GOT.

OH, IT WAS WELL-MADE ALL RIGHT, BUT IT WAS ALSO SOMETHING FAR MORE STRANGE, SILLY, HYPER-VIOLENT, CAUTIOUS, AND OFTEN COUNTER-INTUITIVE.

IN OTHER WORDS, WE GOT SOMETHING WONDERFUL.

PERHAPS HULK WAS A LITTLE FOOLISH. GIVEN THAT NICOLAS WINDING REFN HAD PREVIOUSLY MADE BRONSON AND THAT FILM IS BAT-SHIT INSANE (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY), HULK DEFINITELY SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED SOMETHING… YOU KNOW… WEIRDER.

BUT FOR WHOEVER THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING BEHIND HULK, IT WAS APPARENTLY NOT SO OKAY. UPON TURNING AROUND TO LEAVE HULK OVERHEARD A GROUP OF CONFUSED ADOLESCENT MALES SITTING ABOUT, LOOKING AT EACH OTHER IN A POST-CREDIT MALAISE…

GUY: “Um… What did you think man?”

OTHER GUY: “I dunno. Not what I expected it was weird. I mean… guh… Lame. I thought it would be different.”

HULK KEPT WALKING PAST EAR SHOT, BUT THE BRIEF EXCHANGE STUCK WITH HULK.

IT BEGS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR MOVIE-GOERS: WHY IS GETTING EXACTLY WHAT YOU EXPECT SO IMPORTANT?

ONE ONE HAND, THERE IS THE SIMPLE MATTER OF SEEING THE BASIC GENRE OF FILM THAT YOU INTEND TO. ONE DOES NOT WALK INTO A KATE HUDSON ROMANTIC COMEDY AND EXPECT DECAPITATION-LEVEL HORROR (WHILE HULK WOULD ENJOY THAT KIND OF SURPRISE, MANY WOULD OBVIOUSLY… NOT). BUT IN TERMS OF THOSE MOST BASIC GENRE EXPECTATIONS, HULK WOULD ARGUE THAT A DIFFERENT CONCERN ALL TOGETHER BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT, THE EXAMPLES OF FILMS THAT HAVE OUTRIGHT LIED ABOUT THEIR CORE IDENTITY ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN.

SO WHAT ARE WE REALLY TALKING ABOUT? WE ARE REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE TINIEST OF SUBVERSION: A SCENE HERE OR THERE THAT MAY SKEW WILDER, FUNNIER, DARKER, OR SADDER THAN YOU IMAGINED THE ENTIRE MOVIE TO BE.

THIS SEEMS TO MATTER FOR SOME REASON. PEOPLE GET MAD AT ROMANTIC COMEDIES WITH A SAD SCENE IN THEM. PEOPLE GET MAD WHEN ACTION MOVIES HAVE A SILLY SCENE IN THEM. PEOPLE GET MAD WHEN FAMILY FILMS TRY TO TEACH THEIR KIDS LIFE LESSONS OR SHOW DEATH INSTEAD OF JUST BABY SIT THEM. WHY DO WE GO SO FAR WITH GENRE EXPECTATION TO NOT EXPECT A HINT OF DEVIATION FROM MONOGAMOUS TONE?

IS THAT WHY WE LOVE NOLAN? BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT WE GOING TO GET SUPER-SERIOUS MOVIES THROUGH AND THROUGH? IS THAT WHY SOME PEOPLE CAN’T GET BEHIND RAIMI’S SPIDERMAN MOVIES BECAUSE THEY EMBRACE TOO MUCH CAMP? WHY DO SOME PEOPLE REQUIRE MOVIES TO BE SO DAMN SINGULAR?

BECAUSE IF YOU ASK HULK, EVERY GENRE SHOULD HAVE A LITTLE LEEWAY TO PLAY WITH THE RULES.

AND THAT’S ALL THAT DRIVE DOES. IT PLAYS WITH RULES. IT STILL SATISFIES THE BASIC PROMISE OF AN ACTION/CHASE FILM, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, BUT IT GOES TO SO MANY OTHER MORE INTERESTING PLACES ALONG THE WAY.

PLAYING WITH THE RULES SHOULD BE MORE THAN OKAY. SOME FILMS BRING THEIR SUBVERSION RIGHT INTO THE TEXT OF THE FILM (THE ORIGINAL SCREAM, TV’S COMMUNITY), SOME INVERT AND ASSIMILATE GENRES CONSTANTLY TO CREATE THEIR OWN VIVID WORLDS (TARANTINO, WRIGHT, WHEDON) AND SOME DO ALL THIS IN LESS OBVIOUS WAYS (EVERYTHING COEN BROTHERS). BUT IN ONE GENERAL BROAD STROKE OF MOVIE FANDOM, WE SHOULD BE MORE APT TO EMBRACE IT BECAUSE IT OFFERS US ONE OF THOSE ALL TOO RARE THINGS:

SURPRISE.

SURPRISE IS ONE OF THE MORE RARE THINGS WE HAVE LEFT AS A MOVIE GOING CULTURE. IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT GETS US TO RESPOND. FOR BETTER, WORSE, WHATEVER. ISN’T THAT WHY WE GO TO MOVIES? TO HAVE EMOTIONAL REACTIONS TO THINGS?

MAYBE SURPRISE HAS BEEN BEAT OUT OF US BY A POOR, CYNICAL THINKING, BEST SUMMED UP BY MATT GROENING OF ALL PEOPLE: “SMART THINGS MAKE PEOPLE FEEL STUPID, AND SURPRISING THINGS MAKE PEOPLE FEEL SCARED.” PLEASE NOTE THAT HULK NOT SURE HOW ENTIRELY SERIOUS HE IS ABOUT THAT STATEMENT, GIVEN THAT HE CREATED ONE OF THE SMARTEST, SURPRISING SHOWS IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION (HULK TALKING GOLDEN AGE HERE), BUT HOLLYWOOD EXECS HAVE CERTAINLY RUN WITH IT HOOK LINE AND SINKER.

PERHAPS HULK COMING OFF A LITTLE MORALIZING WITH ALL THIS, BUT SHOULDN’T THAT NOT BE THE CASE? SHOULDN’T WE CELEBRATE THE PLAYFUL DEVIATION FROM OVERT-TRADITION AS LONG AS WE SET IT UP WITH APPROPRIATE GRACE AND FORETHOUGHT?

SHOULDN’T WE BE HAPPY WHEN WE GO TO THE MOVIES EXPECTING A GOOD,  STANDARD ACTION MOVIE AND GET SOMETHING THAT OFFERS YOU A REAL ALTERNATIVE. AN ACTION MOVIE WITH:  STRANGE PINK FONTS, 80’S-EURO-STYLE POP SONGS, SCORPION JACKETS, A DOWNRIGHT-SCARY ALBERT BROOKS, A QUIETLY OBSERVED ROMANCE, SPLATTER-LEVEL VIOLENCE, AND RYAN GOSLING’S BLUE GOOGLY-EYES THAT MAKE HIM SEEM EXTRA-STOOPID….

WHEN WE GET SOMETHING LIKE THAT, SHOULDN’T WE CHERISH IT?

❤ HULK

BETTY’S REVIEW: “Fucking loved it. But really it should have been called ‘Stare.'”

*******UPDATE:

HULK HAD A PASSING THOUGHT THAT IT IMPORTANT TO MENTION. AN AMENDMENT IF YOU WILL.

SOMETIMES IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CRITICS/ENTHUSIASTS TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE, IN TERMS OF OUR MASSIVE AMOUNT OF CONSUMPTION, A MINORITY. WE CAN RECOGNIZE TROPES, TONES, DEVICES, WHATEVER-THE-HELL THUS TONAL “SURPRISE” IS ACTUALLY MUCH MORE OF A RARE COMMODITY TO US THAN FOR THE AVERAGE MOVIE GOER. IN OTHER WORDS, WE VALUE DIFFERENT THINGS. WHICH PERHAPS RENDERS HULK’S ARGUMENT ABOUT “NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT” A LITTLE ESOTERIC.

HULK ADMITS THIS.

NOW HULK ABSOLUTELY STANDS BY IDEOLOGY THAT A MOVIE THAT IS HYPER IN TUNE TO HOW AN AUDIENCE WATCHES IT, WILL LIKELY GO OVER GREAT. BUT THE NATURE OF “SURPRISE” MIGHT BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

HULK JUST THINKS IT IS IMPORTANT TO MENTION THAT MOVIES IN GENERAL AREN’T NECESSARILY “BUILT” FOR EITHER ONE OF US OVER THE OTHER (THOUGH IN CERTAIN CASES, THEY ARE). GOING OFF THAT, HULK STILL BELIEVES THAT ANYONE WHO WATCHES A SHIT-TON OF MOVIES IS HONESTLY IN A BETTER PLACE TO COME AT A MOVIE IN TERMS OF CRITICISM THAN SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T (GOING BACK TO HULK’S THEORY ON THE MEANING OF EXPERTISE AND HOW IT SHIFTS THE DIALOGUE).

THUS, THE GOAL OF THIS ARTICLE SHIFTS A LITTLE IN TERMS OF MESSAGE. HULK URGES YOU NOT TO HAVE AN OPEN MIND ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS NOT BECAUSE IT’S THE “RIGHT” WAY, BUT BECAUSE IT SIMPLY OPENS YOU UP TO THE POSSIBILITIES OF EVERYTHING CINEMA CAN BE. BECAUSE IT’S LIKE ANY LEARNING PROCESS.:IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY MORE MOVIES YOU HAVE TO SEE MORE MOVIES.

IT SOUNDS WAY TOO SIMPLE, BUT REALLY IT GOES BACK TO HULK’S IDEA THAT THE CRUX OF ALL FILM ARGUMENTS BASICALLY COME DOWN TO THE ISSUE OF “SEE MORE MOVIES.”