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Not spectacular, but not bad!

  • Oct 18, 2008
Rating:
+3
I appear to be one of about six people who actually liked Ang Lee's movie Hulk. This puts in me in good company with Roger Ebert, but that's about it. And that's too bad, cause it was a good movie, it just wasn't what people wanted in a film about the Hulk. Having watched The Incredible Hulk, I know now what people wanted. What they wanted, simply, was "HULK SMASH!" Boy, do you ever get that in this movie, which reboots the Hulk franchise.

Edward Norton turns in a memorable performance as Bruce Banner, tortured scientist who must remain calm as possible under any circumstances (he can't even have sex anymore cause it excites his body too much). He's being hunted down by General Ross, and has a love affair with Ross' daughter, Betty. He's trying to find a cure, living a solitary life, dodging the authorities, etc, etc. Really, it doesn't matter. The plot is entirely tacked-on and doesn't do much but serve as links between scenes where the Hulk gets to pop up.

That the movie succeeds despite this is saying something. As I said, it isn't much more than scenes of pointless plot followed by lotsa action, but that action is damn impressive! It's amazing how much the effects have improved just since the first Hulk movie came out. Some people compared the original Hulk's look to Shrek, or animated lime Jell-o. He, and the Abomination, both look very impressive and reasonably convincing.

But I have to say, much as I liked this movie, it wasn't nearly as deep or, frankly, good, as Iron Man. That point really gets driven home as you're constantly reminded of that better movie, as the military types use weapons from Stark Industries and Tony Stark himself puts in an appearance at the end of the movie. SHIELD gets their name dropped a lot, too. That does at least lend a sense of continuity with the previous film, as do references to the super soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America.

You also get a bit of a feeling of deja vu if, like me, you watched the old Hulk TV series back in the day. Not only doe Lou Ferigno do a cameo appearance in person, but he also voices the Hulk. Bill Bixby even turns up in a brief little cameo. Best of all, they use what Family Guy described as "The sad walking-away music" on the soundtrak. Very cool.

Do I recommend this movie? Yes, but I strongly recommend seeing it on the big screen, since I think on TV it won't look nearly as impressive. Plus since there's apparently plans for movies with Thor, Captain America and Nick Fury, culminating in a film about the Avengers, it's worth seeing this movie so you'll have a better idea how it will link together with those.

Even just as a stand-alone film, it is pretty damn entertaining and lots of fun. Great mindless escapism. The movie succeeds at what it sets out to do, and in this case, that's good enough for me!

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About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #23
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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Wiki


A more accessible and less heavy-handed movie than Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk Louis Leterrier'sThe Incredible Hulkis a purely popcorn love affair with Marvel's raging, green superhero, as well as the old television series starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the beast within him. Edward Norton takes up where Eric Bana left off in Lee's version, playing Bruce (that's the character's original name) Banner, a haunted scientist always on the move. Trying to eliminate the effects of a military experiment that turns him into the Hulk whenever his emotions get the better of him, Banner is hiding out in Brazil at the film's beginning. Working in a bottling plant and communicating via email with an unidentified professor who thinks he can help, Banner goes postal when General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and a small army turn up to grab him. Intent on developing whatever causes Banner's metamorphoses into a weapon, Ross brings along a quietly der! anged soldier named Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who wants Ross to turn him into a supersoldier who can take on the Hulk. The adventure spreads to the U.S., where Banner hooks up with his old lover (and Ross' daughter), Betty (Liv Tyler), and where the Hulk takes on several armed assaults, including one in a pretty unusual location: a college campus. The film's action is impressive, though the computer-generated creature is disappointingly cartoonish, and a second monster ...
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Details

Director: Louis Leterrier
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: June 13, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Zak Penn
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 52min
Studio: Marvel, Universal Pictures, Valhalla Motion Pictures
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