Thursday, June 26, 2003

Towards a Marxist reconfiguration of "The Hulk"

The crisis of the American intelligentsia, the crisis of modern capitalism, crisis of American military adventurism are concentrated nay amplified by one current movie: "The Incredible Hulk"!
You demure?
Read on.
Consider Bruce Banner, typical tightly wound knowledge-worker, politically and economically he is a stalwart member of the fast disintergrating petit-bourgeois.
Yet Banner is still vital to the regime as a scientist thus a considerable amount of effort is spent by the military (General Ross) and Glen Talbot (monopoly capitalism) in keeping him oppressed and "on schedule".
Banner resents this treatment but cannot confront his socioeconomic superiors as his thinking is clouded by absurd reductionist notions of scholasticism.
His girlfriend Betty Ross (also a scientist) fruitlessly tries to create a emotional safe haven for herself and Banner apart from the larger implications of class conflict.
Catastrophe strikes when Banner is blasted with gamma radiation thus turning him into a green superhuman behemoth cursed with substandard intelligence. His transformation into "The Hulk" is supposedly induced Jekyll and Hyde like by Banner's omnipresent rage-a manipulative symbol of bourgeois psychiatrism.
More accurately the beast is an externalization of the protagonist's false consciousness-striking out a individuals instead of using his strength on behalf of the historically inevitable progressive social forces.
The film ends on a note of treacly sentiment, the Hulk destroys an array of glittering U.S. Army toys and then escapes to South America where with typical arid egalitarianism he acts as a doctor to poor peasants.
At no point in the film does any notion of dialectical materialism intrude on the dramatic process.
Therefore the film should be burned and the actors sent to a labor camp for an indefinite period.
I believe not a word of the above, but the actual film proved so boring that I took to day dreaming as it droned on and on and on.
Still it was the first decent night at the drive in for several weeks now...and beggars can't be choosers.

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