“The Incredible Hulk” is Subtly Majestic

Genres: Action/Adventure, Adaptation and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 54 min.
Release Date: June 13th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images and brief suggestive content.
Distributors: Universal Pictures

Directed by: Louis Leterrier
JJ Rating: A-

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is The Incredible Hulk.

Now I saw Hulk and I liked it so there will be no Hulk bashing from me. I will state that the major difference between the two is that Marvel has their hands all up in this one and it’s noticeable because of the universe crossovers that happen within the film. Now there’s not a lot but enough. There’s no Wolverine like people have stated across the web. There were signs of Tony Stark who is, if you remember, Iron Man from the movie Iron Man. But now that Marvel can have more say they are going and getting to add little bits of their universe so that it ties in with others and that’s awesome. The Hulk ends up in New York it would have been sweet to see signs of the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man. I understand that that’s asking for too much. I’m such a fan boy though!

I love how they did the story. They did not spend hardly any time with how Bruce becomes the Hulk except through flashbacks. They used the beginning credits to do a montage of what happened during the incident. It was brutal and got the job done. I think that that was a great way to start the film because now people are informed and it took a matter of minutes.

The Incredible Hulk is a subtle movie. It has big actions scenes that are spectacular and well done. The sound of the Hulk’s feet hitting the ground as he runs or punches someone in the body (cause his fists are huge) were powerful sounding as they should be. But when the Hulk wasn’t there and it was just Bruce and Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) it became emotional because she wanted to understand and be there and he wanted to protect her from what he could become. The script was very good because of the banter between the two was perfect. Liv Tyler does a great job acting with something that just isn’t there. A scene where she is sitting with the Hulk is one of the best scenes in the entire movie. It’s so surreal for her to be so understanding and controlled in trying to help the Hulk and Bruce. Tyler and Norton have chemistry that resonated on the screen in every scene they share together. Norton has great reserve in his acting because he has to show that he’s trying to remain in control and making that apparent without it being too apparent is a good sign of a great actor. Showing something while not shoving it in people’s faces. Tyler does a great job with the soft flirty role she has that is mixed with care and calm, except in one scene. That’s a great scene too. It’s a short but funny one.

Tim Roth and William Hurt play Emil Blonsky and Thunderbolt Ross, respectively. Roth does a menacing job as the helper in trying to contain the Hulk. He gives his character focus that just burns in his stare on screen. Determination to get the job done even if he becomes an abomination. Hurt was perfect for his role as the aggressive and hate motivated semi villain. He has subtle cues of love for his daughter even though he knows how he’s hurting her. But the way Hurt performs those makes him an asset in this film.

Marvel is setting up the Avengers Movie very nicely. Throughout this film there are clues to that and especially the end. Now in the end it seemed they put the scene that would have been after the credits after the last scene. Now if you are going to sit and wait during the credits, don’t bother. However, if you see the end and it doesn’t have Thunderbolt at the bar then they might have moved the scene to after the credits. It seemed really out of place where it was so I’m assuming it was suppose to be after the credits.

Now the Hulk and how he looked. I think he looked fantastic. Five years did him some good. The screen shots don’t’ do him justice. Seeing him in action is a totally different story and he just has a great look. The fight scenes were action packed but they are few and spread apart. So don’t expect it to be all action and glory, it’s not. It has serious and funny moments with the humans and not the Hulk at every corner.

This is why a Hulk movie is tricky because he’s not a mutant with powers or a superhero with powers that can be used off handedly in cooking or catching a football. He’s a creature that appears when Bruce becomes excited with his heart rate 200 bpm (beats per minute, duh) and above. So a writer has to make those down times just as interesting as the high times, as does the director. I think that they accomplished this. I like the balance they have. For those that love the Incredible Hulk comics this movie will please you with what it has to offer along with the little factoids I’m sure you’ll pick up on. It’s like a little egg hunt finding so many cool things and feeling weird being the only one laughing. I was, at some points, though the guy next to me did a couple of laughs at certain points. I felt less alone then. I mean I don’t even really like him that much. I’m an X-Man fan through and through. Hulk is just someone I know because I like Marvel. But I was entertained by this film.

Again I have to say The Dark Knight has a lot to live up to. Here we have two Marvel films that are getting great reviews (Iron Man more so) and DC has the lone dark knight to fly into theaters late in the Movie Summer Games. Hopefully it does well but I’d like to stress in from my knowledgeable brain I don’t see it out doing what appears to be the $300 + million dollar Iron Man. Oh and if you plan on seeing The Incredible Hulk without having seen Iron Man you might be slightly loss in some parts. This is only if you don’t know the Marvel Universe.
The Incredible Hulk was pretty good, better than I had anticipated. It's subtle good. Great action. Subtle because there are little things that just made it awesome that many won't appreciate because they just want ACTION. It has that, but during the times that there isn't any there are little things are going on that the actors portray quite nicely with facial expressions and pausing. Mostly with something physical more so than verbal.

I think I’ll buy The Incredible Hulk and add it to my Marvel Movie Collection. Hulk smashes and Hulk loves and Hulk protects and Hulk makes speaking points without speaking using his very expressive eyes and massive hands. It’s like a modern day Beauty and the Beast. The underlining feeling that something is in you that just rages out of control is understanding to some people that might have addictions that flare up or issues that they just can’t seem to get a handle on. These people will understand how Bruce feels. And because of the many layers of this film I think they portrayed the Hulk in his best light. I have to say that The Incredible Hulk is subtly majestic in a soon to be classic superhero way.


Fitz said...

I'm going to go see it today, but reviews have been mixed. There are some, like yourself, who really enjoyed it, and there are others who are on the other side of the fence. I really enjoyed Iron Man, so I'm hoping Marvel can pull it off again with the redone Hulk. :)

Anonymous said...

yea, i liked it. wasnt as good as iron man but way better than the original hulk. i love all the captain america references, stark's cameo, and the prelude to the sequel's villain. the only thing i hated, and the thing that forces me to buy the blu ray dvd, is the missing 70 or so minutes and of course a scene of captain america!!!

Fitz said...

Wow. I liked it a lot. I was shocked. Went in thinking I wouldn't like it, but came out going "wow, that was actually pretty good!"

You can see my review at:

SizzlingPopcorn.com Admin said...

I saw it today and really liked it. It's the best new release of the week as The Happening was a terrible flop! I've posted my review here: http://www.sizzlingpopcorn.com/wordpress/2008/06/14/the-incredible-hulk-stomps-into-theaters/

patrick said...

this new Incredible Hulk is a lot more fun than the first one with Eric Bana; plus Ed Norton is in his element, doing the "split personality" role

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