Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008) PG-13 114min
June 14th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 6,221 Views
In this sequel to the original 2003 movie based on Marvel’s comic, Edward Norton replaces Eric Bana as The Hulk, and Liv Tyler replaces Jennifer Connely as Dr. Betty Ross. This time the movie is directed by Louis Leterrier replacing Ang Lee. The French-born American-educated director is well known for bringing us such action flicks as Transporter 1&2.
The plot: Through a faulty scientific experiment Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) got the power to transform himself into a powerful green creature, but he can not control the transformation – as soon as he gets angry, or even his heart rate goes up, he is not himself anymore. Fugitive, he is hiding in Brazil, trying to live quiet life as a day laborer and staying in contact with a mysterious scientist in New York that may help him to find an antidote to his mutation. Meanwhile, U.S. army general Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (William Hurt) is still trying to find him, wherever he might be, and use his blood to create super-soldiers. With the help of Russian-born British trained commando Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) he hunts Bruce Banner down. Bruce can no longer stay in Brazil and has to move constantly, and eventually makes it back to US to seek help from the mysterious Mr. Blue and his beloved Dr. Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), who is also General Ross’s daughter. But now that Blonsky, a war junkie, got a taste of the power of the Hulk that Bruce transforms into, he too wants to become as powerful. All hell brakes loose when general can no longer control Blonsky. The only thing that can stop power-drunk Blonsky in his destructive rage is… The Incredible Hulk.
The good: I liked this movie better then the original. Liv Tyler and Edward Norton (who co-wrote the movie) look and act much better then Bana-Connely duo. Liv Tyler shows her perfect leg – might explain the PG-13 rating. William Hurt is always great in whatever movie he is in. Awesome special effects (surprise – A Green Monster on the Green Screen! What did you expect?) – cars, tanks, buses fly and crash all over. The foot chase in Brazilian city was beautifully choreographed and shot – the only comparable foot chase I saw was in The Bourne Ultimatum. I enjoyed the surprise in the end (**spoiler** – think “Stark Industries”). Watching The Hulk fighting Blonsky-the-monster as they smash each other through concrete building walls like Megatron and Starscream was a lot more fun then in the original movie’s ultimate fight between The Hulk and Nick Nolte-The Father. I loved the NYC taxi sequence with Max McCabe – very short but very funny. Tim Roth was perfectly cast as the villain – he is scary and repulsive.
The bad: The green rubber man is indeed incredibly indestructible, and so are his stretchy pants. Too many profile’s of Liv Tyler’s pretty face. She’s pretty, we get it. Don’t turn her into Al Gore. Regular civilians don’t get hurt, but a bunch of commodity city cops and army soldiers get killed. The growling of both monsters was off-putting. At almost two hours plus 20 minutes of commercials and trailers, I began to look at my watch after an hour of chase and explosions.
The summary: Better then the original. Watching Edward Norton and Liv Tyler was much more rewarding then watching Bana and Connely pair. Likewise, Ang Lee should keep directing Brokeback cowboy movies and leave action movies to pros like Leterrier. In the beginning my expectations were low because the original Hulk was a lousy movie, when I heard that Edward Norton is in it and he also co-wrote the script, I thought it’s worth watching it on the big screen. A bit long, but ultimately quite entertaining. A surprise at the end.
Gen. Ross: As far as I’m concerned that man’s whole body is property of the US Army.
[Betty and Bruce need to get across own in New York City]
Betty Ross: The subway is probably quickest.
Bruce: Me in a metal tube with hundreds of people in the most aggressive city in the world?
Betty: Right. Let’s get a cab.
The love-making scene where Bruce The Hulk was making up with Betty at a motel room got a big lough from the audience. I don’t know what they were thinking, but my immediate thought was – “that’s how you make Shrek!” – a green human-like character.
The cast: Bruce Banner- Edward Norton | Betty Ross - Liv Tyler | Emil Blonsky - Tim Roth | Samuel Sterns - Tim Blake Nelson | Dr. Samson - Ty Burrell | Gen. Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross - William Hurt | Major Kathleen ‘Kat’ Sparr - Christina Cabot | General Joe Greller - Peter Mensah
The crew: Director – Louis Leterrier | Screenplay – Zak Penn | Producers – Ari & Avi Arad, Stephen Broussard, Kevin Feige, Gale Anne Hurd, Stan Lee, David Maisel, Michael J. Malone, Jim Van Wyck | Original Music – Craig Armstrong (Love Actually, Lara Croft and more) | Cinematography – Peter Menzies Jr. (Shooter, Four Brothers, Ms Conjeniality etc.)
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