The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Trailer: The Incredible Hulk Trailer
Running Time: 1hr & 52 mins – Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Big JD (Host)
Movie Selection Relevance
This will be a new section of our reviews where we will tell you why we selected the movie we decided to review. It may have a social relevance or just plain personal relevance. I feel that you (the reader) should be aware of why we pick what we pick. I selected this movie because yes, I’m trying to get all of the Phase 1 Marvel Studio movies reviewed. Why this one more than the others we haven’t reviewed? We have reviewed Iron Man 1 & 2. In the middle was this movie. It came out the same summer as Iron Man. That, and I feel that the Hulk has been somewhat overshadowed because his movie failed to hit the mark with audiences like the others did. And the possibilities this movie had in terms of sequel value is interesting to think about.
After a failed Gamma Project experiment Bruce Banner has a slight side effect of turning Large Hulking Green beast at the first feeling of anger. General Ross would like to use that gift to help him win wars and to satisfy a personal vendetta that he has against Banner. Bruce goes on the lamb leaving his love behind (Betty Ross) all while trying to find a cure. Although General Ross will stop at nothing to capture this new “weapon” even if it means making a Hulk abomination of his own.
First of all I would like to clear up one thing. This movie has NO relation to the 2003 Hulk movie that came out in 2003 directed by Ang Lee. None whatsoever. This is a brand new take on The Hulk with brand new actors and it falls within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that said I will go out on a limb here and say that this was far superior to that aforementioned movie that donned the screens in 2003. Superior does not always mean a fantastic movie though. They did a lot right in this movie but being Marvel Studio’s only second outing I’m sure they learned from their mistakes. (Yeah, the Hulk is a hard property to make into a movie.)
This movie was heavily influenced by the TV series that aired back in 1978. There were many scenes that they gave nods to. Try to find them… I’ll give you the first one. The opening credits. Also, we don’t have to sit through an origin story this time around. The origin takes place in the opening credits which I feel is a breath of fresh air. The audiences have seen how the Hulk came to be, we didn’t need to see it again and I think Louis Leterrier realized that.
As for the cast and their acting efforts? I think they all did well. Edward Norton plays a fine Bruce Banner. Although I only saw glimpses of Banner in him throughout the movie. Maybe because, I’ve seen Fight Club a billion times but it was hard to suspend my disbelief on this one. It’s nothing Norton could fix it’s just me. Liv Tyler plays a better and more emotional Betty Ross then we’ve seen in prior efforts. I liked William Hurt as General Ross & Tim Blake Nelson as a very believable Dr. Samuel Sterns. There were 2 characters I did not like however. First Ty Burrell as Dr. Leonard Samson I found to be a horrible casting choice. Not because of his acting because he did the “serious” role well. It’s just that he looks nothing like a “un-gamma’d” Doc Samson at all. No spinoff here! The second was Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination. Emil Blonsky is Russian. Where is the accent? That was actually my only beef with Roth. If your cast as a Russian character speak in a Russian accent. If you don’t know how then maybe you should ask Scarlett Johansson. Ok, that would be bad. Go call & meet up with Johansson and both of you go to lingual coaches. Learn the Russian Accent!!!
The soundtrack is a lackluster uneventful grace on my ears. It works fine within the movie where you don’t really realize that you are listening to a score. In that sense it works good. It helps with tempo and pace all that good stuff. Memorable? Not so much. I’ve seen this movie many, many times and I still cannot hum you the Theme to this movie. That is important in my book when it comes to Super Hero Comic Book films.
The CGI is far better than any Hulk we have seen up to 2008. He wasn’t as large but it worked well. He was still big enough. My only problem is that many times the Hulk looks like one of those Zombie bad guys from” I Am Legend”. Maybe because the man that created those creatures in “I Am Legend” also created the Hulk. Bad choice in my opinion. Worst moment probably was in Sterns Lab. It just looked horrible. It was an Abomination. Speaking of the whole Brown/Bald Abomination design choice. I understand The Abomination could not have the “fins”. Yes that would be a bit too much. But why couldn’t he have stayed a shade of Green? Why wasn’t he scaley? I do not like the bones popping out idea. His whole head was just way too smooth and humanlike to make me think “scary”. Nor did it make me feel like I was seeing Abomination on screen.
When Hulk “Breaks” Harlem? Great cinematic experience. That final fight is really well done. You feel the anger and just total loss of control that the Hulk has and the exact moment he realizes that he is “out of control”. Again, the CGI kinda distracts me a bit but I get over it knowing that we will get a great looking Hulk in the Avengers movie. This movie definitely falls into last place of the Phase 1 movies. Sorry Hulk. Better luck next time.
Comic book Connection: William Hurt – A History of Violence
Nudity Bonus: Hulk Boobs.
This to me is the best re-make of any Hulk Movie, that has ever been done since Bill Bixby was the Hulk. Over all the casting on this was excellent. Edward Norton does a wonderful job catching the Bruce Banner we all know and love. Liv Tyler didn’t do so bad but I wondered if they could have found a better Betty Ross? I am not too familiar with Abomination but seeing Tim Roth playing him was kind of cool and listening to him take that needle in the back good lord that made me twinge bad. I think that General Ross would have been played better by Jeff Bridges (instead of him playing Obadiah Stane) but after seeing William Hurt playing the General I think he did an awesome Job as well.
As for the plot, I liked it. It kept to the story fairly well that I know, I thought it followed what I know very well, I liked how they brought in Abomination and explained a little bit about his story, I also loved the hostility captured between General Ross(William Hurt) and Banner (Norton)
The Marvel Studios never ceases to surprise me when it comes to the CGI and Special Effects in the movies. I mean truly these were done well. The Hulk was done well didn’t seem childlike like they made him in the previous movie with Eric Bana.
Overall the best standalone Hulk Movie, I was very sad when Edward Norton didn’t sign on for The Avenger’s but Mark Ruffalo did a great job taking over. This is a must see if you are a Hulk or overall Marvel Fan this is a great Film.
I had never watched “The Incredible Hulk” before tonight. I’d watched some of the other Marvel movies and I think this one fits in rather well. I must say I don’t know much about the Marvel comics, other than what I have watched in the movies. So if I say something ignorant, please forgive me.
I really enjoyed the story line between Bruce and Betty. You have the drama of Bruce almost killing Betty when he first changes into the Hulk to her dad being the General who wants to capture Bruce and experiment on him. Liv Tyler did a fantastic job as did Edward Norton in conveying the emotions that two star crossed lovers must of felt.
Also, I was impressed with all of the CGI and special effects used in this film. When the Hulk and the Abomination were fighting the fire and explosions were spectacular. Plus all of the flying cars.
I can’t say much about the score because nothing really stood out to me. So it was probably bleh at best.
All in all this was a decent movie. I can’t say I would watch it over and over again but I would watch it again if someone asked me to.
So i would give this movie…