Superhero movies are some of the biggest and most popular movies released these days. They boast large budgets, great action and overall a good time at the theater. But what if a superhero movie didn’t have a decent budget, had terrible acting, was loaded with special effects straight out of a video game from the ’90s and didn’t know whether it was a parody or was taking itself serious? Well, then I’d direct you to The Amazing Bulk, a film that despite everything being awful, is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen.
The story is an absolute mess so bear with me as I try and explain it. Henry Howard is a scientist trying to develop a super soldier serum with little to no successes after trying it on 237 rats. He’s also in love with the military general’s daughter and wants to ask her to marry him, but General Darwin won’t allow it until he is able to perfect the serum and fast. Desperate for results, Henry tries the first successful trial on himself but things go wrong when he turns into a giant purple creature named The Amazing Bulk (although he is never called by that in the movie). General Darwin, now seeing what Henry has created, gives him a mission: stop Dr. Werner von Kantlove from blowing up the moon with his missiles, but Henry is also on a search for his proposal ring that he had stolen from him.
The story is way too unfocused and messy to really care about. There’s a story-line where Henry is framed in the murder of the mugger, who stole his wallet, a proposal ring, and murdered a prostitute, by some of the dumbest cops I’ve ever seen. By the time they arrest Henry, he’s then taken by the general for his mission and Henry acts like he’s been in the prison a really long time but we’re only just seeing him in there now. Dr. Werner von Kantlove is also a terrible villain who just launches rockets at historical monuments for no reason whatsoever. The army has done nothing about it because they were only just able to find him even though he lives in a cliche evil castle and has been launching missiles like their nothing yet he arms his guards with medieval spears. It’s almost like he wants to fail. Henry’s story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either as apparently he can’t marry Hannah without her father’s permission but he won’t give his permission unless Henry creates the serum in only a few days because they no longer can fund him. Would it be so hard to let Hannah decide for herself and not have to worry about what the General thinks? I also don’t know how Hannah could fall in love with such a cardboard box as Henry, lacks any semblance of a personality and no weakness. Unlike Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk, Henry isn’t scared of becoming this big purple guy.
The movie is directed by Lewis Schoenbrun and it’s terrible. There’s not a single set used in the entire movie as it’s all shot with green screen and a couple of props. People are almost always standing still when delivering dialogue because when they walk or run, they have to do it in place. It looks completely ridiculous and lazy but is fun to watch. The audio is also garbage with a lot of it being really echoey as if the room they had filmed in somehow let all the sound bounce around and they only relied on exterior microphones instead of putting any on the actual actors. He also has no idea how to frame people correctly as sometimes there’s way too much headroom or (looking at the picture above) people are floating (guess Henry isn’t the only one with powers). I haven’t even touched on the fact that everything looks terrible, like when video games were trying their hand at 3D animation. Some things look like they were created in Microsoft Paint while others are extremely crude, but it did manage to make me laugh consistently.
The thing that made me die of laughter the most was easily the horrible writing and atrocious performances to go along with it. They combine together to create this magical creation of shit that made things enjoyable to laugh at. My favourite line is easily when the cops first see Bulk and one asks, “what the hell is that?” while the other responds, “it’s certainly on Barney the purple dinosaur!” It’s dialogue like that you can expect in The Amazing Bulk. Jordan Lawson plays Henry Howard and my god is he stale. He’s pretty emotionless in the movie and when he tries to do more, it comes off as overdone. I didn’t expect motion capture to be done because that’d be too good for this movie. Terence Lording plays General Darwin and he is constantly over the top with stupid dialogue and it’s a constant laugh riot just watching him. Shevaun Kastl plays Hannah, Henry’s girlfriend, and she’s as flat of a character as a piece of paper and as clueless as a puppy. We actually never see why they love each other and since they’ve been dating for four years, there should’ve at least been some chemistry. And finally we have Randal Malone who plays the evil Dr. Werner von Kantlove and he’s easily the most over the top actor in the movie but I’d say also the funniest as well.
There are so many things wrong with The Amazing Bulk that I didn’t even get to talk about how when Dr. Werner von Kantlove launched his missiles we are stuck watching everything from his TV as opposed to actually cutting to that location, and the footage in space shows the earth changing its rotation multiple times. This movie doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and fails in its attempt to be a parody of The Incredible Hulk. I have to admit that this is one of those movies that are “so bad it’s good” and there is a good chance you will have a good time laughing at the absurd nature of the film, but this by no means makes this a good movie.
The Amazing Bulk (2012)
With special effects cut straight out of the early 90’s, plauged with terrible directing and over the top performances in a story that makes no sense, The Amazing Bulk is pure garbage. However, you may find this movie to be so bad it’s good and laugh at it for all the wrong reasons.