The Incredible Hulk (2008) mini review

based on a comic book


It's incredible how they can turning something around.  (Ha! Get it? Incredible? Sorry.)  I saw The Incredible Hulk last weekend and was really impressed.  Particularly after the disappointment of Ang Lee's Hulk. Actually, I'm trying to decide if this movie was better than Iron Man. The interesting thing about the Hulk is that he is as ingrained in the public consciousness as Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man. Everyone knows that some guy named Banner was in some sort of accident, and now every time he gets angry he turns into a large, green, incredible hulk.  And this second attempt at a Hulk origin story capitalizes on that. The origin is squeezed nicely into the opening credits, and it works.  Sure, if you've got a background in the comics, you'll follow it a lot easier, but it's not necessary.  It's brilliant, really - smashing the origin story that usually takes a superhero film a half an hour to tell into just a few minutes - and in this case, the film is better for it.

The film itself was enjoyable - actually owing almost as much to the classic 70s TV series as to the comic book.  If you haven't seen it, I won't ruin it for you, but it does a great job being based on the comic, but still borrowing from the show. And whenever you go into something heavy CGI, you worry that the human element is taken out.  But that's the beauty of what Marvel has done with a lot of its heroes - made them so human.  And Marvel (this is the second Marvel Studios film, after Iron Man) accomplishes this in amazing ways with The Incredible Hulk. This character is more human and relatable than any superhero I've seen in a long time.  He's not a billionaire playboy, an alien, a demon, or a billionaire tech genius.  Twenty years ago, I might have identified with Spider-Man a bit more, but I'm not that young anymore. This man trying to overcome his inner demon was more real to me than a lot of characters in movies that don't have the fantastic elements that are the stuff of comic books.  The way Ed Norton (Bruce Banner) and Liv Tyler (Betty Ross) portray their characters, they seem so real. I think this is why I thought it was better than Iron Man.

Of course, Norton and Tyler are joined by the likes of William Hurt (A History of Violence) playing General "Thunderbolt" Ross, Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky), and Tim Blake Nelson (Dr. Samuel Stern).  Although the Hulk was my favorite superhero as a child, while I watched the film, I didn't know enough to link all the characters with their comic book cohorts.  I knew enough to recognize the Abomination in the previews, but after seeing the movie, and doing a bit of research, I was surprised at how well they kept true to his role in the Hulk's life.  And during the movie, I wondered about some foreshadowing they did with Dr. Stern - and a quick Google search on his name proved my suspicions right. 

Some trivia: Peter Mensah (General Joe Gellar) also played the messenger in 300. ("This is madness!")  Also, Greg Bryk, who played one of the commandos, will be in the XIII mini-series.

See it if you like action, but you still like your superheroes embued with a bit of humanity.

Don't see it if you don't like all the CGI...but keep in mind, this superhero's more real than the ones that don't rely on computer graphics.


Anonymous said...

this movie is full of action and thrills.Hulk is a super genius turned no brainer super strength beast when he get angry or irritated.wanna watch it for free than go ahead and download The Incredible Hulk Movie Free.

cath said...

The movie was awesome! I already have the Incredible hulk Complete DVD collection