REVIEWS

Ken's Review: The Incredible Hulk - The One and Only Hulk Movie!

by
June 14, 2008

  • US Release Date: June 13, 2008
  • Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
  • MPAA: Rated PG-13 (for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content)
  • Running Time: 114 minutes
  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • on IMDb
  •    8.5/10

It's quite funny how this summer is turning out. I was really looking forward to The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian but ended up not liking it too much. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was good but not great. Iron Man was high on my most anticipated list but I never expected it to blow me away as much as it did, not to mention Kung Fu Panda, which I have already seen twice and loved even more during the second viewing. Then last Monday I had the pleasure of watching The Incredible Hulk. Like in the text I sent my friends after watching it, all I can say is, Hulk Smash Good!

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is on the run from the military who wants to study the monster dwelling inside him. For the last few years, Banner has been in hiding trying to find an antidote for the experiment that left him in his current condition. After many failed attempts and a close call, Banner decides to come out of hiding after learning from Mr. Blue (Tim Blake Nelson) that he might have a cure. Resurfacing ends up costing him more than he bargained for as he becomes the target of a power hungry soldier, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) and ends up putting the woman he loves, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), in great danger. Unfortunately for Banner, Blonsky ends up becoming a bigger problem then anyone realized.

The Hulk confronts Betty Ross after a fight in a scene from The Incredible Hulk.The Incredible Hulk Review

Someone recently asked me if I had ever seen a movie that came out in 2003 called Hulk. I quickly said that I hadn't and didn't think such a movie ever existed. After seeing The Incredible Hulk, I suggest that be everyone's response. This is a reboot of the entire franchise and definitely not a sequel, as it should be. It starts again with the origin of the Hulk, which is played during the opening credits. I thought that was a genius idea and it ended up leaving so much more time for the action and story.

The cast was good but not great. As much as I love Edward Norton, I have to admit that he is not perfect. He had great performances in American History X, Fight Club and Rounders, but extremely disappointing performances in The Italian Job and Down in the Valley. In Incredible Hulk he was solid. I wasn't blown away, but he fit the job and did it well. Liv Tyler is the same Liv Tyler we always see (I'm not a very big fan of her), but she fit the role well enough. William Hurt, who played General Ross, seemed a bit stiff. Tim Roth was definitely the best of the cast and pulled off a great performance.

So if the cast was average what made this such a great movie? The first element was a great story. This isn't Iron Man, which was near perfection when it came to story, but The Incredible Hulk did just about all the right things. It kept it simple and focused on the main character. It had a comic book feel the whole way through. It wasn't overly complicated with too many characters or too many plot points. Everything pointed back to the Hulk and stayed true to his character.

I know there were a lot of people worried about what the CGI would finally end up looking like. I am happy to report that it looked amazing! I especially was watching for the effects. Hulk looked unbelievable with phenomenal muscle detail under his skin. There are a few scenes where you can see water trickling down his chest or back. The combination of the muscling, water, lighting, and reflections was truly breathtaking. I can't wait to see it again to take a closer look at a few of those scenes.

Edward Norton is always on the run attempting to get rid of the monster inside of him in The Incredible Hulk.The Incredible Hulk Review

Then there are the action scenes. When it comes to the fight sequences between the military and Hulk or Abomination and Hulk, you just can't beat these scenes. As much as I enjoyed the fights in Iron Man, I was equally blown away, if not more, by the fights in Incredible Hulk. They were so beautifully done that your eyes are popping out, while at the same time so intense that you forget to breathe. I especially enjoyed the clash between Hulk and the military because it was done in a huge open field during the middle of the day. They show it using distance shots so that you can see all the action. This was a rare thing to see because they usually do those kinds of fights indoors or at night with close-up shots.

Marvel Studios has come out of the gate at blazing fast speeds. With Iron Man and now The Incredible Hulk under their belt, they better deliver with Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. They have a lot to live up to, but I think they can do it! I haven't gotten to see The Happening yet, but if I had to make a suggestion then I would highly recommend The Incredible Hulk as a must see. You should also check out The Promotion if it's playing near you. I saw it at SXSW and just got back from a second viewing. It's definitely one of my top films of the year.

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  • Jerry Vazquez
    The movie kicked serious a##. This is truly one summer blockbuster movie!!.. I'am there again to see Iron Man and Hulk again 😀
  • damuh_yuzah
    HULK SMASH!!!! totally awesome film!!! forget about the happening, m night sucks ass anyway!!!! I'm going to see it for the second time tomorrow night!!! HULK SMASH!!!! ILLUMINATI ANYONE????
  • spider-ed
    it was exellent!!!! big brain looks to be included in the 2nd one!!!
  • sam
    just got back and there is only one word to describe it whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaattttt(awesome)
  • Lee
    Just got back myself from watching it........ FUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGG AWESOME!!! going to go back and watch it again 8.5!! 9.5 EASILY!! If not a 10.... CGI was a bit of a let down in certain places but who cares...
  • Fisherman
    It was Awesome!! Marvel is blazing right now. 1st Iron Man then Hulk. Come on Dark Knight!!! I'm ready. Then Punisher, then Watchmen. LET'S GO!!!!
  • Kyle
    I think we can all agree that since Marvel decided to make its own movies, starting with Iron Man, they have produced two easy hits, and the future looks bright for both. With Thor and Captain America (and possibly Ant-Man), and then Avengers, they're well on their way to making more box office gold. Not saying that they should have their own movie, but since they weren't in the X-Men movies, perhaps Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch could show up.
  • Djorschach
    I saw the midnight showing Thurs. , then went again last night w/ my buddy (some people need to be dragged to the theatre b/c they may not remember much about the character or the last movie is stuck in their heads.) I have to admit, I was very critical the first time around. Maybe I overhyped myself, but the 2nd Time around I liked it WAY more. Those Sonic Cannons were AWESOME.. Can't wait to see what kind of hardware Ross cooks up against the Hulk(s) in the next one! And both Tim Roth & Time Blake Nelson were superb! "... READY FOR ROUND THREE."
  • Drake
    dude they should definitely reboot spiderman. i would love if they did that, and while they're at it reboot daredevil.
  • Pickle
    Maybe a Daredevil and Elektra re-boot might loom if the hulk and punisher exceeds expectations.
  • jono
    i honestly felt love for 20 foot green man
  • blackbird
    Drake and Pickle--as cool as those reboots (and hypothetical on-film crossovers) could be, Spider-Man, Daredevil and Elektra--as well as Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade, X-Men and FF--are all characters whose film rights are owned by other studios. As long as Fox wants to keep paying Tim Story to crank out really awful FF movies we won't see those film rights return to Marvel.
  • Tristan
    that's funny, Tim Roth acted kinda stale in my opinion.
  • I have to admit I was shocked that I enjoyed this movie as much as I did. With the mixed reviews, I was sure it was going to be forgettable, but I actually enjoyed it! You can see my take at: http://writer.fitzhome.com/?p=334
  • cmurder
    They don't need to reboot spiderman...The 3rd one was the worst of the three, yes, we can probably all agree on that, but I still enjoyed most of the film. They just need to actually listen to Sam Rami if they bring him back for the next 3 spidermans (which they should!). Rami was silenced by the studio heads on the 3rd one and they made him rewrite the entire script and you can see how that turned out. Bring back Rami and HIS IDEAS ALONE for the next 3 spidys and I bet they'll kick as much ass as the first 2!
  • Well, for a summer blockbuster, that was a good one.
  • Cate
    you had me until you said Norton wasn't great...b/c he WAS!! Also, his performance in Down in the Valley was not only good....it was exceptional, so I can no longer trust your reviews. nuff said.
  • jeprox chang
    just watched the movie last night it was....freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!! except for liv tyler...i know she's hot as hell but c'mon! she's so booooooooooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggg!!!! the HULK CLAP and the HULK SMASH near the end gave me chills!!!!! hehehe!!!! cant wait for THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA and THE AVENGERS!!!!
  • TCox
    I gotta agree with #17 (Cate) - Norton was wonderful in "Down in the Valley" This Hulk movie surprised me. I enjoyed it so much more than the previous film. I think the cast was perfect. #18 (jeprox chang) - Tyler was perfect as Betty Ross - the scenes where she calms the Hulk were great - She has an innocent quality about her the Jennifer Connelly did not
  • bixby
    well worth the money & way better than the 2003 flick.
  • Djorschach
    The funny thing was, I was telling my friends this was a total popcorn movie, but while I was watching it, I kept holding popcorn in my hand, not knowing when I could take a breath and actually put it in my mouth! This film had so much action, that it literally left me breathless and speechless throughout! I am SO excited for the Hulk now that he's gotten the Silver Screen treatment he always deserved! One thing: Did anybody else think it was a little weird how Ed Norton played Bruce as if "Hulk" was like a drug he was addicted to, trying to stay "clean" from? Tim Roth CLEARLY played it off as if the Super Soldier Serum AND the Gamma Blood was a drug he was fiending for. All I can say is the Leader will be a far more fascinating Villain for Hulk to go up against in the next movie, b/c he's eloquent, entertaining, utterly mad, and comes up with all SORTS of ingenious Creations & Inventions to either pit against the Hulk or utilize to try to take over the world/the army, etc. The greatest thing about this movie is that it's not only completely changed the tone of the franchise, in the process of rebooting it, but it's also really left alot of room to explore the Hulk's mythos & cast in follow up movies. Hulk is one of those characters who's been given such different treatment over the years by writers and artists, that I wasn't sure what I was going to get on screen. Letterier highlighted and focused on the best of the best: Hulk Smash. Banner's struggles. Betty's Love. Thunderbolt's Obsession. The Abomination's Ornery Bad-assedry. In the next movie, my primary suggestion is that they use Henson-style animatronics for close-up shots of Hulk interacting w/ human actors. It was passable b/c of the frenetic pace of the film, but even w/ such a satisfactory climax and ending sequence, even my best of friends relayed that in this day & age, CGI is a tool, best mixed w/ the best tools of the past. Having just watched Labyrinth & the Dark Crystal in a little "Henson-Fest" here in Philly, I can say that WETA gets it right, when they combine their use of both CG and Animatronics. That said, I think the CG was remarkable overall, and every closeup of Hulk's face looked great, like he was a cross of a Great White Shark and a human being. (*except perhaps that mid-day sunlight shot at the College - really, Letterier, that's basic photography that you don't shoot natural light btw. 11am and 3pm - Hulk would've looked so much better if that were shot at Dusk) And wait to go Lou Ferrigno. That scene was touching and TRULY felt like a "passing of the Torch" from one Hulk to the next to me. AWESOME MOVIE> CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT. But take your time, boys, and make it an Extra, Extra Good one. John Favreau made an excellent point that a sequel should turn the Amp up, in all respects. I hope Marvel Studios takes his claim to heart, and gives these fine directors their lining up everything they need to make Top Quality Sequels for their newly minted Franchises. Go Marvel. Go Letterier! GO HULK! ! !
  • Ivan A. Arcaya,Sr.
    The whole cast was good. The CGI was good. The Hulk looked like The HULK. It is by far the best of the two Marvel owned /produced block Busters. Iron Man was good too but not as good as The HULK. I read that Captain America is set during World War 2. I love War Movies. My vote goes to Brad Pitt as Captain America. I just hope that it starts out with their last mission. The Mission where Captain America and Bucky jump on the missile and were lost in The Atlantic Ocean. The end should be The Avenger's finding him frozen in The block of Ice. This would include The Hulk/Ed Nortan, The Iron Man /Robert Downy Jr. Thor, Giant Man/Ant Man and The Wasp. The others would be the stars chosen for their individual movies. A Good, 6'6", naturally blond, Scandinavian Actor for Thor. We have had good success with The Actors from The United Kingdom. I'm sure that Scandinavian countries have some good actors that can speak English with a Scandinavian Accent. Matt Damian can play Dr. Henry Pym a.k.a Giant Man/Ant Man. I vote for Angelina Jolie to play the Wasp. Did I forget any of The Original Avengers? Please add any one I missed with your suggestion for what actor should play him or her. What about it fellow fans? I like to hear your suggestions. P.S. I picked this way of advertizing the Avengers because it would take forever to get to Avengers if we waited for all the other individual Avenger's movies to come out. I don't want to wait until until 2012 To get a look at The Avengers.
  • Good at times, bad in others. I felt Norton sped some lines up that didn’t need to be, and some fight scenes were absolutely ridiculous (clap puts out fire? wtf). Ah well, twas entertaining.
  • Derek
    I agree that Norton wasn't that great. He is a somewhat diverse actor, I feel, but he only had one emotion during the entire movie: exasperated. He never showed anything resembling a big range in the film. They completely wasted him, and Liv Tyler too. The special effects looked fantastic, of course, but i was just expecting a little more from this one. I guess I shouldn't have been, since the director of The Transporter did it, but I just usually trust Norton to pick challenging roles. To be honest, I prefer the Ang Lee film. It was a new angle on a otherwise boring story. Let's face it- the basic premise of Hulk could be spruced up a bit. It's basically a physical representation of the Jekyll and Hyde story. Ang Lee really explored that, and it was more than I expected. The recent one, however, just seemed like a mindless action film. It was fun, and done well, but i was just a little disappointed. They were both good in their own way, though.
  • Ck
    to be honest, i loved this movie. its exactly my reason for going to the movies. i dont spend 8 bucks to watch people talk to each other and develop character bullcrap so i can care about them for 2 hours, i do because i want to see hardcore action and explosions and stuff that would never happen in real life, ever. if i was rating this movie i would give it a 10 and recommend everyone to go see it. because its just a good time at the movies, which is the reason we all go. so stop bashing on everyones performances and look past that at the whole reason on why you really went to see this movie, to see HULK SMASH!!! cause i know i did, and thats exactly what i got.
  • Brock Johnson
    Have you guys seen Ed Norton's Jimmy Kimmel clip? Hilarious! Glad to see he finally took his "SNL" moment, even if it is on a different show, Kimmel's fast shaping up to be the new man of Late Night, no offense to the distinguished competition. I thought Hulk was frankly awesome. I'm easily laying down cash to see it again next weekend, and bringing friends along for the ride. I think Norton was great, too. The fact that he's setting up to be a more confident Bruce Banner by the end of the movie means we'll have a much more interesting and cool Banner the next time around. Not to mention, that seals the character arc, that he's a man coming into his own, under extraordinary circumstances. SO glad to hear "HULK... SMASH ! ! !"
  • miracle disease
    great movie!!! and the appearance of tony stark at the end of the movie and the stark equipments in the beginning really made me excited for what next... however, they totally cut the arctic scene... damn!!! i was really anxious to see that one... especially with the rumors of cap america appearing on that scene... but nevertheless, it was one awesome movie... totally forgot 2003 hulk movie... and it made me smile when i saw lou's cameo as a campus security guard cool!
  • rycycler
  • this new Incredible Hulk is a lot more fun than the first one with Eric Bana; plus you can't beat Ed Norton when he's in his element, doing the the "split personality" role
  • BRBomber
    what happened to mr. blue?
  • Djohnson
    Mr. Blue, aka Sam Sterns, will turn into the Leader, whose gamma irradiated intelligence will rival & seek to harness Hulk's strength in the sequel, most likely. That's why he was smiling when his head started to grow. Cannnot wait for another movie- I really hope they up the ante w/ the next one and include the Rick Jones Hulk vs. the Grey Hulk. That would make a ton of sense and please alot of fans, for sure!
  • The Big O
    The Incredible Hulk was a phenomenal movie & I recommend everyone to go see it. Ang Lee's version was horrible, and I'm happy it was remade. I hope to see a SEQUEL!!!!. HULK SMASH!!!!
  • Nikita pavlov
    THE HULK IS AN ASOME MOVIE AND ABOMINATION HAS NO CHANCE OF DISROYING NYC WITH tHE INCREDIBLE HULK IN TOWN. HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Munson
    The only thing made/played better in this one was Liv Tyler's love for Bruce, it felt so much more real. All else was better in Ang's version. I never saw the same rage here, like when he went bananas on thos dogs and just the thing that he grows stronger when madder... I liked that twist tho it ain't HULK in the original. You go Ang! I'm weird I guess :) Peace
  • Terry A.
    Better than the previous? Yes. Great? Not by a long shot, at best it gets a 5 out of 10.
  • Hercules
    This was, by far, the best of the Marvel films I have seen thus far. The detail to the Hulk's physique; the action; the tension; the drama and the acting were second to none. I give this one five stars.

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