The Incredible Hulk

After a tragic lab accident, when Bruce Banner is given a near-fatal dose of gamma radiation and turns into a monstrous hulk, he runs from the government and heads to South America. Trying to live a quiet life in Brazil, Bruce is trying to find a cure for his gamma-radiated alter ego, while keeping his heart rate and anger under control. When an accident at work, allows the government to trace his location, Bruce must once again flee and seek help where he can find it.

After Ang Lee’s craptastic Hulk five years ago, I had little hope for the Hulk movie franchise. From a ridiculous-looking Stay-Puff-Marshmallow-Man-Hulk to even more ridiculously silly radioactive killer dogs, I was glad to hear that this new movie was going to completely ignore the Ang Lee version.

It wasn’t so surprising that Ed Norton did an amazing job as Bruce Banner. He was the sole reason that I had a glimmer of hope for the movie. Getting back to the more dramatic feel of the Hulk tv show, Norton and company was finally able to do the franchise justice. Norton delivered the depth and complexity to the Bruce Banner/Hulk persona that not many could do successfully. Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, and the rest of the supporting cast were exceptional as well. Liv Tyler, as Betty Ross, had great chemistry with Norton. Tim Roth played Blonsky/Abomination and was an intense power-hungry villain. William Hurt played the role of General Ross, Betty’s father and the person in charge of hunting down The Hulk in order to exploit his abilities. Tim Blake Nelson, as Samuel Sterns, played a great “mad scientist” role. And there were some fun cameos by Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee, and Mr. Iron Man himself: Robert Downey Jr.

The special effects and action scenes were much better in this film as well. The Hulk finally gets to battle a worthy adversary. And in ignoring the first Hulk movie, they were able to re-tell the origin story in just the beginning credits in the classic style of the tv show. There is even a point in the movie where we get to hear the classic theme song. Not corny, but dramatically fitting.

With having the origin story out of the way, we are able to jump into the story and concentrate on the depth of the Bruce Banner character and his search for a cure. With a great story, complex characters, and quality special effects, please try to forget if you saw the first Hulk, and watch this one with no preconceptions. Of course, not quite as good as last month’s Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk was a very fun, action-packed, dramatic movie. Everything it should be.

10 thoughts on “The Incredible Hulk”

  1. with all this talk about hulk, i hope the storyline eventually ends up with hulk knocking out iron man; just like in the recent World War Hulk story arc

  2. Fun Hulk Movie fact…the man who plays Stanley who owned the Pizza Shop? He was the voice of the Hulk in the 1960’s cartoon. So with him and Lou and a very clever way to work in Bill Bixby you’ve got all the people who played the Hulk in one movie!

    Also some fun Marvel Universe Notes…

    In the opening credit sequence where we see Bruce get blasted with Gamma Rays…they also show several documents from the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization with Nick Fury’s name on them. As well as a list of known associtates one of who is Rick Jones, who is his best friend in the comics. And there is paperwork shown that the Army is using Stark Technology (Iron Man’s company).And there was discussion of the Super-Solider Serum…the serum that turned a young Steve Rogers into Captain America in World War 2.

    Fun stuff…and expect to see Samuel Sterns in the next couple of Hulk movies (if they greenlight them).

  3. Full disclosure: I actually liked Ang Lee’s HULK. Didn’t love it. But I had to admire what he was going for, even if it did get way too cerebral at times.

    That being said: I loved the new HULK flick. Loved it! The cast all-around was great, an to me, Banner as the hunted fugitive is the essence of the character I loved, which Lee’s film was lacking.

    My one complaints (and it is minor) is that the new one felt a tad reactionary. The big complaint of Ang Lee’s film was that there was not enough HULK SMASH, too much talking, too much character. The new film seemed almost obsessed with escaping that criticism. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the action sequences. But I thought the film could have used some more character moments.

    Rumors are all around that at least 70 minutes was cut from the movie, much to Norton’s chagrin. I have to believe those rumors are pretty accurate, considering the trailers and previews of the film had TONS of scenes that were not in the movie. All the arctic stuff, the Dr. Samson/Banner scene, little bits of dialogue.

    So as much as I loved THE INCREDIBLE HULK — and I did really love it! — I am really hoping we get an Extended Version of the DVD with all those 70 minutes added back in.

    And yes, I caught all the references to other Marvel characters in the opening credits. Awesome! Did anyone else catch the name on the canister from which Ross took the super soldier serum?

  4. The director of the movie Louis Leterrier said in an interview recently that they will include the 70 minutes on the BLU-RAY dvd in an extras section. And there will not be a director’s cut or alternate cut of the movie, now that can change between now and the dvd release and I suspect that the studio will want to tripple-dip on dvd sales with an extended cut at some point. But as of right now, we will get the footage, just not incorporated back into the film. I hope they change their mind on that.

  5. I’m hoping to see this later in the week. As much as I enjoy Norton and Tyler I couldn’t imagine passing this up despite how bad the first one was and how poor the CG of this one looks at times in the commercials.

  6. I loved catching the fun stuff in the opening credits. And the clip of Bill Bixby was a great homage.
    The extra 70 min is only going to be in the blue ray dvds though? That bites.

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