Posts Tagged ‘ed norton


A Tale of Two Hulks



2003: “Hulk”

2008: “The Incredible Hulk”


2003: Directed by Ang Lee

2008: Directed by Louis Leterrier


2003: Dr. Banner played by Eric Bana

2008: Dr. Banner played by Ed Norton


2003: Betsy Ross played by Jennifer Connelly

2008: Betsy Ross played by Liv Tyler


2003: General Ross played by Sam Elliott

2008: General Ross played by William Hurt


2003: Banner’s father made him “special” by altering his DNA.

2008: Banner is your standard nerdy scientist


2003: A lab accident happens and Banner survives, his altered DNA mixing with nanomeds.

2008: A lab accident happens and Banner miraculously survives Gamma radiation poisoning.


2003: Banner goes on the run because when he gets angry, he becomes the “Hulk,” and he likes it.

2008: Banner goes on the run because when he gets angry he becomes the “Hulk,” and he hates it.


2003: Banner returns home to get information, which isn’t much seeing as it was devastated by a bomb explosion.

2008: Banner returns home to Culver City Campus to get information, which isn’t much seeing as how General Ross removed it from the computer system.


2003: Banner becomes Hulk and saves Betsy’s life because his dad unleashed three mutant dogs on her.

2008: Banner becomes Hulk and saves Betsy’s life because she went to protect him and puts herself in the middle of Hulk being strafed by ammunition while her father watches.


2003: General Ross is slightly sympathetic, but believes Banner will follow in his father’s footsteps.

2008: General Ross lied to Banner about the work he was doing and sees him as military property to dissect.


2003: The experiment in the lab was about creating soldiers who could regenerate.

2008: The experiment in the lab was about creating “super soldiers.”


2003: Hulk DNA goes to Banner’s father, who wants to “understand” the transformation.

2008: Hulk DNA goes to Emil Blonsky so he can become a super soldier and bring Hulk down.


2003: Hulk DNA does not mix well and Banner’s dad becomes a giant electrical monster.

2008: Hulk DNA does not mix well and Blonsky becomes Abomination.


2003: Banner/Hulk must sacrifice himself and fight dad/giant electrical monster.

2008: Banner/Hulk must sacrifice himself and fight Abomination.


2003: The fight ends with the military dropping a giant Gamma bomb. Hulk and electrical monster are nowhere to be found.

2008: The fight ends with Hulk strangling Abomination with a chain. Hulk wins, and runs away.


2003: Banner/Hulk is hiding out in an Amazonian rainforest.

2008: Banner/Hulk is hiding out in the Canadian woods.


2003: Banner/Hulk was in San Francisco.

2008: Banner/Hulk was in New York City.


2003: Hulk no speak.

2008: Hulk speak: “Hulk smash!”


2003: Stan Lee had a cameo as a security guard.

2008: Stan Lee had a cameo as a senior citizen who drank juice with Hulk blood in it.


2003: Lou Ferrigno had a cameo as a security guard.

2008: Lou Ferrigno had a cameo as a security guard, and he does the voice for Hulk.


Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk





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+