I went to see The Incredible Hulk over the weekend (twice, in fact). I enjoyed it quite a bit, although Iron Man is still my movie of the year so far. I only read Hulk comics when I got ‘em in the multipacks I bought, but I enjoyed what I read of Peter David’s run. Still, I have few preconceived notions of what the villains and support characters should be. Details (and possible spoilers) after the jump…
For those of you who saw Ang Lee’s Hulk move of a few years ago…yeah, you can mostly forget it. Other than catching up with Banner hiding out in South America, much is changed. Edward Norton is excellent as Bruce Banner, and Liv Tyler is as beautiful ever in her role as Betty Ross (though not really seeming like a scientist herself much at all). I prefer Sam Elliott to William Hurt as General Ross, though that may be my dad’s Western movie influence showing. Tim Blake Nelson (of O Brother Where Art Thou?) was great as the off-kilter Samuel Sterns, and Tim Roth made a pretty good Abomination.
Marvel made full use of the other properties they have the rights too, with the appearance of Tony Stark and Stark Industries weapons, SHIELD (no Samuel L, just the name Nick Fury seen very quickly), and a reference to the Super Soldier serum, setting up Captain America. There’s a Lou Ferrigno sighting, as a security guard (same as the Ang Lee Hulk IIRC), and he voices the big greeny. He only says two words which happen to be the title of this post, though there is plenty of other noises. Stan Lee’s cameo was non-speaking but came at an important time, so that’s a push.
The fights are quite good, at times shading toward great. I like that this Hulk has some better reasoning (using the police car as brass knuckles=awesome) and the environment certainly seemed to take an approriate amount of punishment. The kid shooting the minigun from the helicopter in the final battle scene needs a lesson on leading his target. I thought the Hulk looked okay, pretty hard to make a giant green moster super-believable, even if he passes on the purple pants. By the way, am I really the only one who started humming The Tick cartoon theme song when the Hulk if jumping from rooftop to rooftop at the end there? I sure hope not.
Overall, The Incredible Hulk gets a solid B from me. It’s not instant-own on DVD, but if I saw a good deal, I’d jump on it. Next up…hmm, WALL-E? Or Kung Fu Panda. Maybe both, we’re going to the drive-in again.