28 August, 2008

"The Incredible Hulk" Film Review

“The Incredible Hulk” is a superhero movie based on the comic book character “The Hulk” from Marvel Comics. The film is directed by Louis Leterrier and is written by Zak Penn and Edward Norton (uncredited). It stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky.

First of all, I stand by what I previously said, this is NOT a direct sequel to the 2003 film “Hulk” by Ang Lee. After the Ang Lee version, Marvel reacquired the rights to the Hulk character and Zak Penn wrote a very loose sequel that caters more to the comic book and television series character. Edward Norton rewrote the script after he was cast on to star in the film, then he cut all ties with the first film and retold the origin of the whole story through flashback moments in the opening scene. The film, for all intents and purposes, is considered a “reboot.” Director Louis Leterrier aimed to make the monsters look scarier and more realistic. Blonsky’s monster form (called Abomination in the comics), was redesigned from a reptilian-human-like monster, into a mutated human with harsh bony protrusions.


(Spoilers Ahead!)


Compared to the first version, this Hulk film is infinitely better. Although the first cast (Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, etc.) may have been a better suit for the characters (i.e. physical characteristics-wise), the pacing, theme, and overall coolness definitely goes to Leterrier’s version. Way, way better action, there’s even macho monster battle yells such as “Hulk! Smash!” And unlike in the last film, Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner is cool enough to slip in some comedic moments and make fun of himself and his big, green problem. Kudos to Tim Roth by the way, for all his kick ass action scenes. Liv Tyler was sweet yet strong as Betty Ross, and William Hurt was great as General Ross, even though I really hated his character. I’m not an avid fan of the comic books nor the television series, so I don’t really know exactly what should or shouldn’t have been in the movie. Having said that, I’m pretty sure that many Hulk fans and action fans will be quite happy with this film.

Leterrier’s “Incredible Hulk” is, as I’ve mentioned before, in my opinion, a better version than Ang Lee’s “Hulk.” However, are there really any significant changes in the main story?


Not really.

Bruce became green and angry because of a radiation accident.
He’s in love with the general’s daughter.
More drama.
The general wants him.
He fights the army.
More action.
He saves the world from a mutated monster.
He leaves.

Is this all there is with the Hulk’s story? I hope not. Somewhere down the line the fans will crave (if they don’t already) some form of resolution.

Fortunately, we might not have to wait as long as we initially expected.

If he is who I think he is supposed to be, then the audiences were given a brief glimpse of The Hulk’s enemy, The Leader. Comic fans would know what I’m talking about.

Tony Stark’s proposition to General Ross at the end of the film is also more than enough of a clue that we will be seeing more of our favorite Marvel superheroes pretty soon. Not to mention, more than enough incentive to keep watching whatever Marvel comes up with next.

Which superheroes exactly?

Well, we’ll all just have to wait and find out.

I for one, can’t frickin wait.