The Incredible Hulk 2008 movie review
So as I mentioned previously I finally got around to see the newest Marvel adaption, the Incredible Hulk, this weekend and I have a few things to say about it, so here goes.
Most people didn’t like Ang Lee’s Hulk movie on account that it was too flashy, had those strange comic book like transitions and had a terribly confusing end fight. Personally I liked it, as it was pretty true to the comic series and that’s always a big plus for me. Also it showed the deep emotional impact the Hulk takes on Bruce Banner. Anyway, director Louis Leterrier tried to recreate the Hulk franchise with this reboot. Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner this time around and I have to say that he fits the role perfectly, portraying a hunted social outcast on a personal crusade to fight the monster in him. Liv Tyler plays Dr. Elizabeth Ross (Betty) and although I usually love her I was a bit disappointed by her portrayal of Banner’s love interest. I just didn’t believe the emotions and couldn’t feel for her. Tim Roth plays Emil Blonsky a Special Forces officer hired by General Ross (William Hurt) to hunt Banner and bring him in. When he learns that the scientist is actually the Hulk he starts to enhance his body with a super soldier serum (and this is where most of the fans in the audience should have made a connection to Captain America) to match his strength to that of the Hulk. Later on he gets an overdose and turns into the Abomination, a hideous monster obsessed with fighting his green nemesis. It all comes down to a big showdown, which is visually stunning and will give all the action fans their fix.
Now for the things I really liked about the movie. First off all, there are a lot of winks to the 70s TV show, which I adored as a child. You can see a short clip featuring Bill Bixby when Banner’s watching TV in Brazil and Lou Ferrigno both voices the Hulk and has a short cameo appearance as a security guard. The accident that turns Bruce Banner into the Hulk for the first time is also almost exactly the same as it was in the original series. The main theme of the show is also featured in the new movie, which I personally really loved. Then there are the multiple hints to other superheroes and movies, like a cameo appearance of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark or the introduction of psychiatrist Leonard Samson (Ty Burrell) as Betty’s boyfriend (he will probably turn into Doc Samson in one of the next movies – a superhero friend of the Hulk). Dr. Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson), Banner’s scientist relation, who is supposed to help him find a cure for the Hulk, is actually also a super villain, mainly the Leader and you can see his transformation in the movie. Just as in Iron Man, in the end of this movie, there is also a hint to the Avengers initiative. Sadly the supposed appearance of Captain America had landed on the cutting floor and didn’t make it into the movie (let’s hope for the DVD extras).
Things I didn’t like included once again (the ever so popular) product placement, the not very convincing chemistry between Edward Norton and Liv Tyler and the fact that they cut so many scenes from the movie that were supposed to link it further to the other superhero movies coming out over the next few years. Still I have to say that I really enjoyed The Incredible Hulk and can only recommend it to any Hulk fan, but also to those who like their movies to pack a little punch. HULK SMASH!!!!!!!