Sunday, October 26, 2008

Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is Marvel's second attempt at bringing the green goliath to the silver screen. I won't dive too deep into the initial attempt by Ang Lee because a lot of people hated that one while I enjoyed it for what it was. Everything that was viewed as "wrong" in the first version was definitely made right here. This time around we see Ed Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross (give me back my Jennifer Connoly!), and William Hurt and General Thunderbolt Ross. It isn't just a fresh cast, however, as the entire first film is ignored and they start the story from scratch. Rather than waste 30 minutes on the origin, we're given flash-back styled background scenes as the opening credits roll and then are thrust right into the story. Bruce is on the run from the Army and attempting to learn control for his condition as well as a cure. Eventually tracked down in South America a military strike force fails to capture him, leading to the experimentation of a revised super soldier serum on the lead soldier. Chases and conflict continue as Bruce tracks down Mr. Blue to help with the cure, only to put Mr. Blue in the sights of said serum-soaked soldier (that's alliteration kids!). Soldier becomes bigger/meaner monster and a big bad behemoth fight ensues. Want more details? Well, then keep reading below or... here's a thought... watch the movie!

Original Release: 2008
Running Time: 113 minutes
(Don't forget that you can refresh your memory on the rating system.)
Acting - $2
Ed Norton dominated the role of Bruce Banner - the troubled scientist with a love just outside his reach and a haunting inner demon to deal with. Tim Roth rocks the house as Emil Blonsky, the aging soldier willing to do anything to take down the Hulk and gain that level of power for himself. And Liv Tyler was better than I expected... especially when she turned the river water into stampeding horses to take down the ring wraiths. (wrong movie?) The caliber of acting here is that which every comic book movie should have. Dark Knight, Iron Man and Incredible Hulk are leading the wave of legitimate comic-based cinema. Thanks guys!

Effects & Animation - $2
One of the biggest differentiators between the first Hulk movie and this one is the special effects. The Hulk himself has a much grittier and more real feel to him this time and benefits from the overall advancements in computer animation. The Abomination character is pretty bad ass too, straying from the traditional comic look in a very smart way. The interactions of these two CG characters with each other and the real-life actors and scenery are also handled as seemlessly as possible with such outlandish looks.

Repeat Play - $1
I will definitely be watching this one again, and probably pretty soon, but it isn't quite the kind of movie that I can watch over and over. Nothing against the movie at all... the story just isn't one that you will find new things to enjoy on repeat viewings.

Nerd Factor - $2
Every comic book movie is likely to get at least a dollar here, but the use (and dignified rendition) of a classic Hulk villain in Abomination upped the ante. Not to mention the tease of yet another ultimate nemesis for Hulk... the Leader! As of now there isn't anything official about a sequel (Avengers movie aside) but he would be perfect... gamma brains vs. gamma brawn. Oh, and I almost forgot the cameo at the end connecting Hulk to another recent Marvel film.

Action and Ass-Kickery - $2
Hulk versus the military? Always a good time. Hulk versus Abomination? Boo-yah bitches! The chases and fights keep the pace up throughout the movie and are all pretty nifty. The fight scene at the end is as brutal as you would expect and they show no remorse for the buildings and citizens around them.
Total Rating: $9

I hope nobody out there thinks I am just going to review comic book movies highly because I'm a bit of a nerd. But, like I said above, they are starting to take this genre more seriously as they've come to understand the amount of money they can make when they don't muck it up. While The Incredible Hulk wasn't as big a box office smash as some of the others, it was still successful both financially and critically. It's a very strong movie and one that I would definitely recommend you dedicating two hours of your life for. Until next time ladies and gentleman...

No comments: