16
Jun
08

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

 

 

Hulk SMASH!

 

Starring Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth. Directed by Louis Leterrier.

 

For the purposes of this movie review, I’m only dealing with the current “Hulk” movie, not the 80’s TV show, the cartoon, or any of the comics, and only limited dealing with the 2003 Ang Lee movie.

 

Like “Iron Man,” this movie wastes no time. The opening credit sequence shows that Bruce Banner (Norton) was a scientist exposing himself to gamma radiation, being watched over by assistant Elizabeth Ross (Tyler). Something goes wrong and Banner becomes… something else. The lab is destroyed and “Betsy” winds up in the hospital. Her dad General Ross (Hurt) bans Banner and he leaves. From that point Banner is on the run (watch for S.H.E.I.L.D. references as well as the  names Tony Stark and Nick Fury).

 

And that’s just the opening.

 

Banner is now living in Brazil keeping under the radar by working at a bottling plant, practicing yoga and breathing exercises, learning the language by watching “Sesame Street,” and keeping in contact with “Mr. Blue” as to how he can get rid of the “Hulk-ness.”

 

When his blood accidentally makes it into a bottle of fruit juice it affects a mild-mannered citizen (Stan Lee) and Hurt gets the best of the best to help tear down the slums of Brazil/ find Bruce Banner. Inducted into the group is Russian-born English-bred and on-loan to the States Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). After destroying the bottling plant Blonsky stares into the face of Hulk and like Ahab to Ishmael he makes a new life goal of bringing Banner/Hulk down. When Blonsky confronts Ross about what’s going on, Ross confides that he was trying to re-initiate a “super-soldier” program using Banner and that’s how Hulk came about. Blonsky, apparently as crazed as Ross, signs up for some “super juice.”

 

Not to be outdone in the Crazy Department, Banner wakes up in the jungle and decides that having nothing to lose, he should go back to Culver University (where it all started) and get the data he needs to send to “Mr. Blue.” This means also running into Elizabeth and the distinct possibility that he will not make it to New York to meet up with the scientist, but it does assure the destruction of military stuff.

 

I’ll stop there. While this film is largely plotless, it’s enjoyable on about the same level of “Iron Man.” Is it better than the previous movie outing? Yes, by 100 times. Is this a film? No. This is a comic book that you are watching (sorta like how “Iron Man” was). Yes, there’s destruction. The villain in this movie makes sense as opposed to “super demigod” Nick Nolte. And yes, I was actually behind the Hulk to win.

 

The only problem that comes with doing a Hulk movie is the problem with dealing with Superman: these characters are limited. Bruce Banner is boring compared to the primal rage of Hulk like Clark Kent is boring compared to how super Superman is.

 

Aside from that, I got no complaints. Why should you see this? Well, it’s probably the best Hulk film yet. It’s a little more than popcorn fun, the CG is well done, Norton does a great job, etc. Watch for the cameos of Stan Lee as (again) a mild-mannered senior citizen who drinks “Hulk” blood and Lou Ferrigno as a security guard (and he moonlights as Hulk’s voice). Tim Blake Nelson is Stearns/ Mr. Blue, a scientist intrigued with the Hulk.

 

Extra credit if you can comment on the review with the Bill Bixby reference.

 

My grade: B+

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1 Response to “Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk”


  1. June 19, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    this new Incredible Hulk is a lot more fun than the first one with Eric Bana; as usual Ed Norton has gravitated to a “split personality” role…

    Like


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