To be clear, of the two modern Hulk movies that exist, this one's better. Pretty much anything is better than the 2.5-hourlong psychological drama that starred Eric Bana and Nick Nolte.
However, this movie promised a more epic-scale Hulk, and one that really dealt with Bruce Banner as a character...which it really never did. Ed Norton was just not as well-suited for the role as you might expect him to be - who would have guessed Mark Ruffalo would be the de facto Banner, despite never anchoring a movie himself?
Me, that's who. Anything to help me forget the Hulk-dogs.
There was a mid-00's craze to do everything on green-screen and fill it in later - Sin City, the Star Wars prequels, and then Sky Captain would show us that "actual sets" were a thing of the past!
Except Sin City became a weird relic of the past that most of us would soon forget (check out the box office take for "A Dame To Kill For"...yikes), the Star Wars prequels were roundly criticized for their plastic, unreal looking sets, and Sky Captain...well, let's talk Sky Captain. It looked like a compromise between the exciting radio serials of the past and modern day whiz-bang special effects. It looked cool! It looked retro (but cool-retro!). It wasn't really either. It was mostly a boring, fake-feeling excuse to awkwardly resurrect Sir Laurence Olivier.
Oh god. This trailer promised so many things. Ominous Bryan Cranston narration. Lots of Godzilla action. Minimal inclusion of the guy from Kick-Ass looking at things dramatically. We got none of those things.
After losing Bryan Cranston SO EARLY in the film, it was nothing but Kick-Ass blandly stumbling towards Godzilla and Godzilla continuously being obscured until the end - which, admittedly, WAS pretty cool. But when this comes out on DVD, it's gonna be a lot of skipping to the end and never watching the first hour or so ever again.
This one hits hard - the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite book series of all-time, and going to see the movie was an incredibly special occasion for me. The trailer was SO pitch perfect in its dry British humor and hints towards actually sticking to the story (while providing a few necessary deviations), hope sprang eternal in my heart. But all of the smart, on-point humor of the trailer was deadened by the film itself.
Zaphod Beeblebrox is a George W. Bush impression? A bunch of bad slapstick? John Malkovich showing up for no reason? A FUCKING HAPPY ENDING WHERE EARTH IS RESTORED?!
Granted, there are some great things in the movie, including:
Everything else varies between pretty good (Mos Def is actually pretty good as Ford Prefect) and completely abysmal (pretty much everything else). It displeased fans, non-fans stared at it in total confusion, and everyone walked out unhappy.
The trailer promised so much - the excitement and wonder of the original Matrix, except kicked up a notch. A bunch of Agent Smiths! Ghosts! An actual view of Zion!
The real problem with The Matrix Reloaded should have been apparent from the ending of the previous film - Neo had broken the illusion of The Matrix. He saw past it. There was no longer any reason for him to fight anything - he could break the code.
But, of course, money. So Neo says "Upgrades", as if that explains why he still has to do karate against a bunch of computer programs, and we're left with a film full of faux-philosophical bullshit, bizarre orgies, and some truly excitement-free CGI kung-fu fights.
Disclaimer: I sorta like The Matrix Revolutions, for some reason.