movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Inskip.
The movie opens in 1966 at a California military base where David Banner lives with his wife Edith. David is a scientist trying to instill regenerative effects in lab animals. He moves from fish to rodents to primates, making progress but never completely succeeding (this all occurs over the opening credits). He asks for permission to start testing on humans from his superior, a man named Ross. After Ross denies him, David continues the tests on himself.
Some time later Edith gives birth to a son, Bruce. David wonders if the effects of his self-experiments will be passed along to Bruce. Edith, who doesn't know about the experiments, doesn't suspect anything.
Four years pass. David is working in his lab when Ross storms in and tells him that they've discovered that David has been experimenting on himself in spite of Ross' orders. David ignores him until Ross smashes the microscope David is using and tells him he's finished.
After Ross leaves David goes into a frenzy. He wrecks his lab and triggers a base-wide alarm. At the Banner home, Edith hears the siren and huddles under a table with Bruce. David arrives and drags Edith into the bedroom and slams the door. Bruce watches and listens as their voices continue to rise. The door opens and we fade out.
The movie skips forward to the present day, where Dr. Bruce Krensler is a researcher at a biotechnical institute in Berkeley (Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno cameo as security guards here). It turns out Bruce did not grow up with David and Edith; he was adopted by the Krenslers.
Bruce's colleague at the institute is Dr. Betty Ross, daughter of (now) General Ross, David Banner's supervisor from the sixties. Neither Bruce nor Betty know this. They were once romantically involved but are no longer so, although it's obvious they still care for each other.
Talbot enters the picture at this point. An executive who has ties to General Ross, he runs a defense corporation and is very interested in Bruce and Betty's research. He makes it clear that if he can't hire them away to his firm, he'll do just about anything to acquire the technology.
Leaving her office one day, Betty runs into an unkempt, unfamiliar janitor. She asks about the previous janitor and is told that he died.
In preparation for an experiment at the institute, a technician makes adjustments on a gamma radiation generator inside a sealed chamber. As Bruce and Betty wait, the tech runs into trouble and asks Bruce for help. When Bruce enters the chamber, the tech crosses a couple of electrical wires, setting the generator into motion. Bruce grabs the tech and slaps a gas mask on him as the chamber begins to close. Bruce screams at the tech to get out. The tech, immobilized by fear, cowers directly in the path of the generator. Bruce steps in front of him as the generator fires, taking the full dose of gamma radiation.
Bruce awakes in the hospital. Amazingly, he is in perfect health. Betty can't comprehend that he's still living, although Bruce doesn't seem to be too fazed by it.
Awaking during the night, Bruce sees a man with three dogs sitting in his room. It's the new janitor, who isyou guessed itDavid Banner. David tells Bruce who he is and says he has been imprisoned by the military for the last thirty years. Bruce doesn't believe him.
During the next few days, Bruce has terrible nightmares, flashbacks to the incident at his childhood home, to memories of his father. The stress turns him into the Hulk briefly, offscreen, and as he moves into a dimly lit doorway in his house, we get a glimpse of a green outline.
Bruce goes to the institute one night to speak to David. He slips and injures his head in a hallway. This, along with the realization that David is telling the truth, is enough to bring out the Hulk.
The Hulk goes on an absolute rampage, tearing the institute to shreds. He takes the giant spherical gamma radiation generator and throws it through the side of the building, where it crushes a summoned police car. Near the end of his fit, he turns and sees David watching, fascinated, through a doorway. David slowly approaches and reaches out to caress the Hulk's face, saying, My Bruce. The Hulk jumps through a hole in the roof and vanishes.
The next day Bruce tells Betty at his house about a vivid dream he had. Betty asks him if he was at the institute the night before. He says no, believing it was just a dream.
Word of the institute's destruction has reached General Ross, who accompanies a team of men to Bruce's house. He orders Betty to leave and then interrogates Bruce about the incident. When Bruce claims innocence, Ross tells Bruce that he locked his father away for thirty years and he won't hesitate to do the same to Bruce if doesn't cooperate. He asks Bruce about the incident from his childhood. Bruce says he was four years old and doesn't remember anything. Ross clearly distrusts Bruce as much as he does David. He leaves Bruce under house arrest, with Secret Service-types watching from the street.
Betty gets David's address from work and pays him a visit. The house is filthy and filled with lab equipment. As Betty talks to David, he moves close and pulls a couple of garments that she's sitting on out from under her. After she leaves, David throws the Betty-scented garments into his back yard where the three dogs are and orders them to chase her down.
Back at Bruce's house the phone rings. Bruce answers and David tells him that he's performed a very interesting experiment on his dogs, and he has sicced them on Betty. Bruce is getting upset.
Talbot arrives at Bruce's house and forces his way past the guards outside. He's pissed about the institute's destruction and proceeds to start whacking Bruce around. Bruce gets really upset and turns into the Hulk in front of Talbot.
The next scene is Talbot on a couch coming through the side of the house. The Hulk jumps out and makes short work of the guards, in one instance slapping one guy with Talbot like a wet rag. He leaps into the air, making his way to Betty's.
Betty has arrived at her cabin after her talk with David. She hears a noise outside in the dark and investigates. When her flashlight plays over him, the Hulk moves out into the open. Frightened at first, it doesn't take her long to realize that it's Bruce. He slowly picks her up in his hand and places her on top of her car.
The Hulk hears a crashing soundDavid's dogs are near. He places Betty into her car as the dogs attack. The dogs have evidently been Hulk-ified themselves, roughly as large in proportion to the Hulk as normal dogs to a human. A monster fracas ensues with the Hulk eventually killing the animals. As Betty watches, he looks into a pool where he ponders his reflection, then reverts back to Bruce Banner. Betty helps him into the cabin.
By now everyone, including Bruce, knows what he's capable of. Betty is desperate to get Bruce some treatment to curb his transformations, so she calls her father, General Ross, and tells him where they are. The next morning Bruce exits onto the cabin porch and is nailed with a tranquilizer dart and collapses as army forces move in.
Around this time, David Banner visits the lab that the Hulk recently wrecked. He cobbles together what's left of the gamma radiation generator and fires it on himself. Afterward, he collapses and slices open his palm. The blood congeals, and, as he places his hand on the machine, his hand takes on the property of the metal. That is, his hand becomes metal, freely intermingling with the machine he's touching. David has his own set of super-powers now. A guard approaches and David kills him.
Bruce has been taken by Ross to a high-tech underground military facility and confined to a cell. Ross' superiors order him to transfer control of Bruce to the company Talbot runs, in order to better assess the Hulk's threat potential.
Talbot, wearing a neck brace, knee brace, and arm sling, limps into Bruce's cell. He tells Bruce he wants him to transform into the Hulk so that he can cut off a piece of you reproduce it. He predicts vast fortunes if he can analyze what makes up the Hulk. Talbot produces a cattle prod and viciously starts torturing Bruce. Failing to enrage him, he knocks him unconscious.
Under military escort, Betty returns home to find David Banner waiting for her. He asks for her help in arranging a meeting with Bruce. She tells him that it's out of her father's hands. David is arrested.
Bruce, meanwhile, has been strapped with an oxygen tanked and tied up in a water tank. Various medical probes are attached to him, including one that Talbot hopes will induce nightmares, turning him into the Hulk.
That they do. The Hulk busts out of the water tank and makes his way through the underground facility. A team of soldiers shower him with some kind of hardening foam that seals him in a tunnel. Talbot approaches with what looks like a wicked core sampler aimed the Hulk's forehead, determined to get a piece of him. The Hulk becomes so enraged at this point that he actually grows larger, busting out of the foam trap. He looks to be about fifteen tall now. Talbot retreats and fires an explosive device at the Hulk, but it bounces off of him and is embedded in the wall near Talbot, where it explodes. Bye-bye, Talbot.
As the Hulk bashes his way around the base, General Ross orders the electricity to be shut off, in order to flush the Hulk outside. As the base goes dark, sunlight from a surface shaft shines in, and the Hulk emerges into the California desert.
Army in pursuit, the Hulk runs, leaps, and bounds away. What follows is a long battle between him and helicopters and tanks and ground troops. Eventually the Hulk is buried by rubble from missile blasts and the military departs.
He resurfaces and continues his journey.
More leaps and bounds and the Hulk is atop the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Fighter jets are called in and open fire on him. As one of the jets descends out of a fog, it's forced to maneuver to avoid a civilian aircraft. This puts it on a direct course to the very busy bridge. Seeing this, the Hulk leaps down onto the jet, forcing it under the bridge and avoiding casualties.
Ross orders the pilot to ascend into the upper atmosphere, hoping the exposure to the cold and thin air will subdue the Hulk. After climbing high enough to glimpse the stars, the Hulk falls earthward and lands in the bay. Minutes later, the ground underneath a San Francisco street buckles, and the Hulk breaks through.
Betty contacts her father and persuades him to fly her to the Hulk. She's convinced he'll calm down if he sees her. Her helicopter lands and as she approaches him, surrounded by hundreds of police and military troops, he slowly transforms back into Bruce Banner.
We next see another installation where Bruce is being held near a machine that will electrocute him if Ross orders it. As a convoy of cars arrives, Ross orders his men to flip the switch if Bruce so much as moves. I got the feeling here that Ross was sympathetic to Bruce's plight, but wouldn't hesitate to kill him because of the Hulk's danger to society.
In one of the arriving cars is David Banner, having been given his wish to speak to his son. He's escorted onto the stage where Bruce is held and they're left alone (no one is within a hundred yards, but they are watching on camera).
David speaks to Bruce, and by now it's evident he's more interested in his own power and his revenge against the military for imprisoning him than he is about Bruce. Bruce says to David, I should have killed you. David replies, I should have killed you.
At this point, or sometime near here, (bear with me, there are a *lot* of flashbacks in this movie), what happened at Bruce's childhood house is shown. After taking his wife into the bedroom and arguing, David comes out and grabs a kitchen knife and advances toward 4-year old Bruce. His wife intervenes and they accidentally fall to the floor with the knife buried in her chest, killing her. David had arrived at the conclusion that his son was destined to be a monster and had decided to kill him. The flashback shows David being lead away in a straitjacket as Bruce watches. (Young) General Ross puts his arm around Bruce. It's apparent that Ross was very uncomfortable about David's experiments and is glad to have an excuse to lock him up. This explains his initial wariness with the grown Bruce, whose scientific career echoes his father's.
David then goes on and on with a rant about the military, then picks up a very thick electrical cable bundle and bites the plastic cover off of it. Ross orders the electricity on, but instead of killing them both, David seems to suck up all the juice. (He got super-powers, too, remember?) All of this is too much for Bruce, who turns into the Hulk. David turns into some sort of weird electric-energy being and spirits the Hulk away. The zap through the nighttime clouds, seemingly along lighting bolts.
They eventually land on a rocky shore near a lake. David shifts from electricity to a kind of rock-man and they battle. They plunge into a lake and David morphs into a water creature. The Hulk's punches sail right through him, but David is able to wrestle the Hulk underwater and hold him. As the hulk flails, David encourages him to fight, telling him that the more he fights, the stronger David becomes.
It gets weird here. It dawns on the Hulk to stop fighting and he yells, Take it all! David turns into some kind of sprawling, ethereal being, rises from the lake and seems to vanish into the air.
By this time, the military has caught up with the Hulk and Ross orders a gamma radiation bomb fired at him. It hits and casts a huge sphere of green-colored radiation across the entire site. We see Bruce Banner floating in the water.
One year later, the credits say.
Betty Ross answers her phone at work and her father greets her. They seem to have reconciled somewhat. He tells her that even since they had never found a body, no one could have survived that type of bomb. She acknowledges. He asks that if she ever heard from Bruce if she would tell him so. She tells him no, but if he were alive she would be the last person he'd contact, since she is now under constant surveillance.
The last scene is in a jungle in an unidentified Spanish-speaking country. Jeeps with armed men head toward a camp. In the camp are a few dozen poor villagers receiving medicine from a doctor. The men in the jeeps disembark and start stealing the medicine and supplies. Their leader approaches the doctor with a machine gun and begins to berate him. Bruce Banner looks up and replies in Spanish, You're making me angry. You won't like me when I get angry.