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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Incredible Hulk (2008) » User review

Old JADE-JAWS is Better than Ever!!

  • Dec 21, 2008
Rating:
+4

"THE MADDER HULK GETS, THE STRONGER HE GETS". Apparently, ol' Jade-Jaws has been rebooted for the screen under the moniker; "Incredible Hulk" with a new director; Louis Letterrier, a new script by Zack Penn and has a new lead actor in Edward Norton. To be honest, I'm one of the few who appreciated Ang Lee's "Hulk", appreciated but didn't love. Sure, it was too moody, nary a smile on anyone's face, full of human angst and fake looking CGI, but I thought it was reminiscent to the comic book with Paul Jenkins at its helm. 2008's version of the Green Goliath trumps the 2003 version, with a different origin, more action and the CGI is a vast improvement over its predecessor. No, it is not a sequel to the 2003 film but a re-imagining that has close links to the "Hulk" (except for the skin color) who appears in Marvels' "The Ultimates" comic book.

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is hiding out somewhere in South America, looking for a cure for his gamma-induced affliction, trying to keep his temper in check, keeping a low profile and avoiding a certain General Ross (William Hurt) who intends to make an army of super-soldiers from his own D.N.A.. After being pursued by a team led by Emil Blonsky (Eli Roth), Banner returns to America to pursue a cure and asks longtime love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) for her help in finding a man named "Mr. Blue" who may be able to cure him of his gamma-powered alter-ego. Blonsky is hot on their trail and asks Ross to experiment further with the workings of gamma radiation and cellular manipulation with him as the guinea pig. Blonsky is a man who wants power--at any cost.



The origin of the Hulk has been re-written from its 2003 version. Banner is a scientist who is unknowingly performing experiments on gamma radiation to try to replicate a serum based on a World War II super-soldier serum (Captain America anyone?) that apparently got out of hand. Ross wants it as a weapon (no surprise) and Banner is the victim. Readers of Marvel's "the ULTIMATES" may see some similarities and may applaud this move. It was a good move to incorporate a new script to this 2008 film and Louis Letterrier seems to be the right man for its directorial duties. The script by Zack Penn in the hands of this director still has the usual touches of human drama and a moody atmosphere but at a better pace than Lee's rendition of ol'greenskin.

The CGI effects is a step forward from its previous incarnation; an improvement but still not perfect. The Hulk looks more ferocious and feral than the 2003 version and the moments where he says "Hulk Smash" still puts a smile on my place. I was waiting on the line "Hulk is the Strongest one there is" but I guess this would ruin the film's mood, and become a bit too comical. The battle with the Abomination is the film's main draw. The fight is fierce, savage and above all, very hard-hitting. You feel the impact of the blows, and the snarls add a lot of animal-like ferocity. There is also quite a decent number of action sequences dispersed throughout the film. Banner's encounters with a Black-ops team in the first 20 minutes and with a small army contingent helps the film's pace. Hulk smashes cars, Humvees, and crushes almost everything in sight; Hulk also "claps" with such devastation. There are also moments that put Hulk's relationship with Betty in the spotlight and the savage monster is truly only savage when provoked. Hulk gets to display some emotion and sensitivity in the presence of Betty. Nice touches, truly reminiscent of the comic book.

Edward Norton's Bruce Banner may well be a little underdeveloped but by now, the film is probably relying on the fans to know what he is all about. Banner has that nerdy look but at the same time, strong and determined. Banner trains in the Brazilian style martial arts to try to control his anger by discipline. I almost wanted him to say: "Hulk knows Kung fu" but thankfully that didn't materialize. Norton gives a strong performance as our tortured scientist, I rather thought that he displayed the right emotions when one is afraid of losing himself. William Hurt is an outstanding General "Thunderbolt" Ross, his character is reminiscent of the other ruthless ones, Hurt has played throughout his career. Ross is a man of duty and has that ‘someone needs to get their hands dirty' attitude that gives his character a lot of depth. Liv Tyler is on par with Jennifer Connelly's Betty Ross. She's the anchor that pulls Bruce through the hardened moments.

While the film has the tendency to being overlong and fall to the pitfall of too much melodrama and excessive display of human angst, the film has some cleverly placed bits of satire that assists the film's pace. You wouldn't believe Banner's attempts in communication in Portuguese; "..you wouldn't like me when I'm hungry." Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno makes cameo appearances which also add some subtle bits of humor.

Ultimately, "Incredible Hulk" is a success and an effective reboot from Ang Lee‘s 2003 version. The film managed to stay focus in its context of a "Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde" formula and the same time delivered a cleverly action-filled popcorn film that delivers the goods. There are hints of an underlying plan with Robert Downey's guest appearance and the hints of a "super-soldier" does give comic book fans something to look forward to. The film is a great comic book adaptation and it comes highly recommended from me who has seen Jade-Jaws' ups and downs since 1979.

HULK SAYS RECOMMENDED! [4- Stars]


Hulk and Emil Blonsky transforming hulk and abomination Betty and her Dad Ross

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July 08, 2010
I liked this film as well WP but I liked the first one 2, I am one of the few who did like you I guess.
 
December 30, 2008
What do you think about the fact that they're using the Ultimates version of Nick Fury instead of the classic version? I'm a die-hard Steranko fan, so it's kind of weird to see Samuel Jackson in the role. Oh, and I'm guessing your favorite character is Thor since you've used him as a profile photo on two separate sites.
March 21, 2009
well, I think they should stick to the classic Nick Fury but I also heard that they may be making changes on that too.
 
December 23, 2008
Hey, Count. I am really unsure as to how I would rate Ang lee's version. But I think I would rate it the same since I thought it was very similar to Paul Jenkins' take on Hulkster. I haven't heard anything new about the Avengers, but I left you a comment about the Thor movie in amazon days ago.
 
December 22, 2008
What was your rating for Ang Lee's Hulk (which as you may know I preferred when it came to the origin and the film's cast)? Any word on the Avengers movie?
 
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Cover Art
Well, it certainly took me a while to get to this one and I think part of my reluctance stemmed from the 2003 film Hulk, which left me with mixed emotions.  The story was entirely too dry and drawn out for my tastes and what little screen time the title character received had more in common with video game graphics of the era then big-budget Hollywood feature films.  However, I did say mixed emotions on account of the fact that Eric Bana’s interpretation of the Bruce Banner character …
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
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review by . November 09, 2009
A good follow up to the 2003 film, but not as convincing or as powerful as it...
While the 2003  Hulk was a failure with  fans  this 2008 reboot  is stylish, fast paced, brutal, dark, powerful, smart  and  just all around fun. The Incredible Hulk is an amazing  step up from the firs tin action  and  in the brutal anger that is Hulk, but it lacks  in the  emotion department and is at sometimes  preposterous  and absurd. But ti makes up for that with mind blowing action  and a great story and plot to  keep …
review by . January 31, 2010
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Man, Marvel should do this more often. First they come out with the instant classic that was Iron Man, …
review by . August 14, 2009
The Incredible Hulk
 This was a film I had been wanting to see for a while.  For some reason, I just hadn't gotten around to it, but finally the film was free on HBO ONDemand and I got to see why The Incredible Hulk was... incredible.  Sure, it's no Iron Man, but the film does hold its own a whole lot more than Ang Lee's Hulk ever did.  This reboot actually had some great moments in it and of course the very subtle and not so subtle hints at S.H.I.E.L.D. and a certain someone's cameo at the end …
review by . September 30, 2009
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Well, it certainly took me a while to get to this one and I think part of my reluctance stemmed from the 2003 film Hulk, which left me with mixed emotions. The story was entirely too dry and drawn out for my tastes and what little screen time the title character received had more in common with video game graphics of the era then big-budget Hollywood feature films. However, I did say mixed emotions on account of the fact that Eric Bana's interpretation of the Bruce Banner character was pretty solid …
review by . August 14, 2008
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review by . June 18, 2008
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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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