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The first phase of The Avengers began with this version of Hulk, played by Edward Norton. Bruce Banner, after a freak experiment, will turn into a veiny green out-of-control monster when he gets angry, and is on the run from the people who want to use him to make military weapons.
Determined to cure himself in order to return to a normal life, he stays off the radar and tries everything he can experimentally. But when his cover is blown, he returns 'home' and with the help of a first love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), tries to find a cure.
When soldier Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) covets the power and strength of the Hulk, he takes a small dosage of the serum and becomes a heinous version of the original and becomes a threat to New York... and the Hulk is called on to stop him.
This is my first Hulk movie, and having seen it after 'The Avengers', it definitely does not have the same kick. Edward Norton is an unlikely Hulk, mainly in physicality. He plays the victim Bruce Banner well, but the aggressive side to him, the Hulk side took some imagination.
It took a while for the movie to get going and whilst I enjoy spending my time watching guys work in a juice factory in Brazil, I was constantly waiting for some sort of action. This was granted when Bruce finally got back to the US and is constantly being hunted by the army and is forced to turn into Hulk- who seemed invincible and unharmed even after being hit by hundreds of bullets and even explosive missiles.
The only thing that kept me going through this was- will he cure himself? Will he control it? I felt that this was done well as we are kept guessing right till the end- which was slick.
Bruce's relationship with Betty is like King Kong- she can calm the beast and they have this wild relationship which doesn't really work but doesn't not work- noone really knows what it is but anyway, they were ok together.
I especially liked the closing scene with Robert Downey Junior's Tony Stark cameo as a precursor to The Avengers.
Edward Norton- Bruce Banner/Hulk
Liv Tyler- Betty Ross
Tim Roth- Emil Blonsky
The movie was decent but I felt that Edward Norton was miscast and as great an actor as he is, The Hulk just didn't seem to suit. It was exciting enough but was slow to start and Hulks invulnerability to anything other than himself didn't help to give him depth. This seemed to just exist to make way to the epic Avengers movie. Hopefully, in Phase 2, The Hulk might get a stronger solo film reboot if at all with Mark Ruffalo instead.
With the upcoming release of Avenger Assemble on DVD/BluRay (17th of September here in the UK), I figured now would be a good time to go over the movies that lead us to this pinnacle of superhero action. In this review, we're tackling The Incredible Hulk.
At the center of The Incredible Hulk is a simple premise; Bruce Banner (Edward Norton), after a fateful freak accident in which he was transformed into an irradiated monster of terrifying strength, is on the run from the US military. Now living in Rio de Janeiro, Banner lives a simple life while trying to cure himself of his mysterious affliction, but his pursuers are not far behind. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse as Banner attempts to stay one step ahead of the fanatical General Ross (William Hurt) and Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), a bio-enhanced super-soldier determined to find the Hulk and destroy it once and for all.
Norton's portrayal of Bruce Banner is effective because he takes the time to flesh out the fact that Banner lives in constant fear of his monstrous darker side. Everything Banner does is to contain the Hulk, to suppress it, but no matter what he does the relentless pursuit of Ross and Blonsky keeps bringing the beast to the fore, where it invariably hurts, maims and destroys everything around it. Roth, however, really steals the show as Emil Blonsky, who's obsession with bringing down the Hulk borders on psychopathic. Every time the Hulk escapes from him, he comes back stronger, meaner, never for a second questioning whether his own humanity is slipping away from him. Blonsky wants what Banner has. Banner can't let what he has fall into the hands of men like Blonsky, and it's this antagonism that really drives the movie forwards and keeps the film interesting between Hulk-outs. My only criticism is that this makes the film feel very much like a one trick pony. Blonsky finds Hulk - Hulk flattens Blonsky - Blonsky gets stronger - Repeat until climactic showdown. It's not bad, it's just repetitive.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a simple action-fest with tons of collateral damage and a pair of monsters who just won't quit, The Incredible Hulk certainly delivers. The film isn't subtle and doesn't really do much to explore Banner's own person demons regarding his double nature as the Hulk, but there's still plenty here to watch.
Multiple times has the Incredible Hulk been on the big and little screens, but as both a movie and comic book fan, I've got to say this is definitely one of the better adaptations, and definitely the best film version.
The story is simple but well written and played out even better. Bruce Banner has been hiding from the U.S military while trying to cure himself of the Hulk within him. After failed attempts, he decides he must return home to find help, while avoiding those who want to use him for a weapon, and risk unleashing his inner monster.
2003 was the last time we saw Marvel try to showcase the green giant, and at the time most moviegoers like myself believed it was pretty poorly done, but with little else to choose from we accepted it. This film blows the 2003 version out the water..... and then smashes it to pieces just to finish the job off. The cast are with few exceptions, brilliant. Edward Norton (Fight club) shows us how well Bruce Banner can be played, the character is not only given the intelligence he's so well known for, but he portrays a genuine fear of the beast inside himself, and really solidifies the Jekyll and hide relationship.
Disappointingly however, the Hulk itself is not Edward Norton using motion capture, but more of a complete CGI effect. It's a great look for the Hulk, but the film could've benefitted from Norton at least looking vaguely similar to the beast, but that's only a small annoyance.
As for the rest of the cast, Liv Tyler (Lord of the rings), Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction) and William Hurt (The good Shepard) all play their parts well, and although there may not be any stand out performances, the chemistry and plot supporting characters makes for a believable story, and good character relationships in between.
Overall, while this may not leave much of an impact by the time the credits roll, the ride is certainly entertaining, and sets down interesting story developments for future films. Not a must watch, but your missing out if you haven't given it a go.
"The Incredible Hulk" is a 2008 Marvel Comics Superhero movie directed by Louis Letterier and starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt.
The movie opens with the backstory of Dr Bruce Banner ( Edward Norton ) who is convinced by General Thaddeus Ross ( William Hurt ) to assist with an experiment to transform human beings into SuperSoldiers, however Ross leads Banner to believe the experiments are designed to allow humans to be immune to Gamma Radiation, however things go terribly wrong and Banner is transformed into the Hulk, doing so whenever he is made angry, while escaping he injures his fiance and General Ross' daughter Betty ( Liv Tyler ) and becomes a fugitive from the US Military and General Ross.
5 years later Banner is working in a bottling plane in Rio De Janeiro while searching for a cure for his condition, in his downtime he collaborates with someone on the internet known only as "Mr Blue" and is also being taught meditative breathing techniques by a martial arts expert to better control his rage and prevent the Hulk from being unleashed.
Eventually Banner's location is revealed and Ross hires a special team of marines, led by Emil Blonsky ( Tim Roth ) who travel to Rio to capture him, they ultimately fail after Banner becomes the Hulk and Blonsky learns the truth and agrees to be injected with a small amount of a new super soldier serum to give him enhanced skills.
Meanwhile Bruce travels back to the United States and is eventually reunited with Betty, there he finds himself on the run once again, but this time with the help of Betty and tries to find a cure for his condition, however he soon faces a foe more capable than possibly even the Hulk.
I was always a fan of the original Incredible Hulk TV series and being a fan of Marvel's Universe I highly anticipated 2003's Hulk and was ultimately let down when it didn't turn out to be that good, so when I had the chance to catch this "reboot" of the franchise I went into it with some scepticism, however I am glad to say I came away quite surprised and impressed.
I think how this movie succeeds whereas the 2003 movie didn't is that this is more faithful to both the Comic Books and also pays tribute to the TV series, which was iconic, the introduction and the way Bruce Banner is shot transforming into the Hulk is very reminiscent of Bill Bixby's portrayal in the original TV Series, and also the characters are pulled right out of the comic book and the Marvel Universe with very minimal changes, which would appease the comic book fans.
Edward Norton does a good job as Banner and seems to have pulled some of Bixby's performance into this movie, Liv Tyler is competent as Betty ( although I think she's a terrible actress ) but for me the star of the movie is William Hurt as General Ross, he's suitably evil and is utterly convincing in the way you truly believe he thinks everything he's doing is right and is for the good of the USA.
While there are some minor gripes, I think this fits well into the new Marvel Universe series of films, along with the Ironman movies and the upcoming Captain America and Thor i'm excited to see the resurgence of these types of movies and hope they keep it up, I would certainly look forward to the Hulk making a cameo in some of the future productions and this movie is definitely must see viewing for Marvel fans.
Our main Character, Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is just an ordinary American, well I say ordinary! With a genetic mismatch made by the government. When his heart rate increases above 200bpm, he grows to 3x his size and turns green and looks like an ogre on steroids. He tries to escape what he is known for by the government and starts to live a life in a favela of Brazil, along with a "new start". After five years of living this "new life" in Brazil, Bruce is tracked by the U.S government. General Ross (William Hurt) orders Emil Blonsky, one of Americas "Top men", to put together a squad and bring Bruce in.
Whilst trying, and may I emphasise trying, to bring Bruce Banner in, Blonsky meets Banners "ugly" side and shall we leave that effort at mission failure? Banner escapes Blonsky's clutches and flees. Blonsky, intrigued to meet this "beast" again, agrees to become some sort of super soldier. Bruce Banner is on a mission to remove his inner self and teams up with General Ross' daughter Elizabeth. Blonsky, now a "super soldier" wants more of Bruce Banners "hulk" side and hunts him, but will Bruce find a cure too soon whilst another creature (Blonsky) is in the making?
It definitely wouldn't be an understatement to say that this film leaks action from the start, but this film creates tension from so many levels with so many hard decisions. Like when the U.S government have an epic battle with the hulk in a university campus, and Elizabeth is telling her father, General Ross to leave the hulk alone, do you listen to your loved ones or listen to your boss?
The CGI in this film was really impressive, although "overdone" in places; the blending of the hulk into the world we see today was fantastic, almost believable that a 12ft monster is roaming the streets of America. But the character of the hulk itself does look slightly silly, almost ridiculous. I know what I would expect from a 12ft monster on steroids and anti-depressants, and it is not that. However, the monster that was created out of Blonsky did look very impressive, so many different definitions and random holes that you really could call Blonsky's other self "a monster".
The Incredible Hulk was a second part to the first movie titled "Hulk" which was produced by Ang Lee in 2003, in comparison, the new hulk film in my opinion is much better, although the hulk has become less believable, the things that he does are more believable. I wouldn't really call this movie a sequel as the movie isn't really a follow on, similar to X-Men and X-Men origins: Wolverine, both seem to explore deeper into the lives of "mutants" if you like.
Personally, I loved the film, despite its minor flaws, the film overall was quite good. Many critics may not like this film; it is more like one for the "Action lovers". For the money that this film is now (Around £5) I would recommend it to anybody for a bit of quality action viewing!
I quite like Edward Norton and although surprised to see he was playing The Incredible Hulk in the newest movie about the purple panted green man, I still bought the DVD in the hope that a new dimension might have been added to the very mediocre Ang Lee version 'Hulk'. The Incredible Hulk was directed by Louis Leterrier and released in 2008.
Scientist Bruce Banner is a fugitive after being infected by Gamma radiation that caused him to turn into a big angry green monster, the authorities want to harness his power but he knows how dangerous the beast can be, especially if it gets in the wrong hands.
The film gets off to a flying start with a great chase through the narrow streets of Rio De Janerio. General Ross has been looking for Bruce for over a year and now he's found him he is willing to go to extreme lengths to capture him. Bruce feels his only option is to return to where it all happened - the lab in North America where he used to work.
It's easy to empathise with Bruce from the outset; a terrible accident has left him with a Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde personality that he has no control over, he has had to leave the woman he loves behind and the government are hell bent on capturing him. It isn't only these external events that make him likable though, he generally seems like a good guy who wants nothing more than to go back to normal.
General Ross appeared to be nothing more than power hungry man with no concern for others. It's easy to despise him from the beginning but this feeling is confirmed when he shows he is willing to sacrifice his daughter to get what he wants. Betty is a lovely girl and it's heartbreaking to see how much she loves Bruce, even though she has tried to move on it's evident that she can't be without him no matter what the consequences.
I liked the films ability to mix action, love and humour. The first twenty minutes or so builds up the back story and gives the lead character some depth. There are a few action scenes but they don't monopolise the screen time. The intimate moments between Banner and ex-girlfriend Betty are touching but a sense of humour is injected that ensures that it isn't taken too seriously.
The action scenes are pretty impressive; the first time Bruce changes we can't quite see what's going on but I liked this because it built the tension until the Hulk was revealed in all his glory. The fighting scenes were well choreographed; I especially liked the scenes outside the college with the military tanks.
I really enjoyed the scenes between The Hulk and Betty because even when Hulk appeared angry and unstoppable he still showed emotion towards her and just when you think The Hulk is nothing more than a monster he saves Betty, injuring himself in the process. It was really nice to see the emotional side of the monster, it was clear that he didn't want any of this and that he just wanted to be left alone to live his life.
The ending was good and it tied in with another Marvel movie released around the same time. It definitely leaves the door open for a sequel and if they keep a similar feel to this one it should be worth it.
I did think Norton was an unlikely choice for an action hero but he delivers very well. He manages to bring a humanity to the character, his struggle to control the inner demon is evident and Norton captures these feelings very well. Betty Ross is played by the lovely Liv Tyler, I did think she could have easily pulled off more screen time but the scenes she had were emotional and believable.
William Hurt plays General Ross, he brings an authority in both his personality and appearance that the role needs as well as being able to show how selfish and single minded his character is. Tim Roth plays the other bad guy well; he injects depth and makes his character somewhat likable despite what he becomes.
This is a good film that manages to combine story, action, love and humour together and gets a favourable result. It is currently available on Amazon for £3.99 with free delivery, I think this is a good price for a film that most people will be able to sit back, relax and enjoy. I think the 12 certificate is definitely appropriate as the film does have violence and some relatively scary scenes.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Bruce Banner is a scientist who is working with gama radiation and trying to work out the effects it has. He uses himself as a test subject but things go wrong and as a result he has to live with a monster inside of him. He cannot control the monster which he turns into, The Hulk as he has been named and when his blood pressure reaches 200 he changes.
The US military are after Bruce as they wish to do tests on him and use his gama radiation to make weapons so as a result Bruce has to spend his life on the run. He is living in Mexico but soon the military have tracked him down and so he runs but he is speaking over the internet to a Mr Blue who thinks he has found a cure.
Will Bruce be able to avoid the military for long enough to find Mr Blue and see if the cure works or will he forever be living with the monster inside and on the run?
Finally both me and hubby gave in and watched this latest Hulk movie. We had both got reservations about watching it as we love the old original films which star Lou Ferrigno as the hulk and not a computer animated on like this film. After watching it though we were both impressed with what we saw. The storyline was good and quite different from the original films and I loved how they made it just slightly different enough to make you stop thinking about the original whilst watching.
One thing which me and hubby did not understand is why the star was called Bruce Banner and not David as he was in the originals but putting this aside I found that Edward Norton did manage to do a good job in the role. He did not look like a scientist and I think this is what made it so much more appealing. He came across very well and I found it easy to warm to him and slightly feel sorry for the way he had to live. I did like the addition of seeing him working and trying to get on with life and this did actually give the role some depth. He worked well with Liv Tyler who also played a scientist and they had a good on screen chemistry when together. The role which Liv played was pleasant enough but I feel she could have perhaps given a little bit more to the character and actually given us something to warm to and maybe more about her past which would show why their was such a bad relationship with her father. Saying this she was watch able and did an OK job.
There were a lot of supporting actors in the film and for me the one which really stood out was that of William Hurt who played the role of General 'Thunderbolt' Ross. He was a great choice for the role and I loved how his British accent stood out amongst all the American ones. He was a complex character and I loved how mean and moody he became one he had the injection! For me there was also a nice surprise with the addition to the cast of Lou Ferrigno, who played the original Hulk, he played only a small part of a security guard in the film but he also did the vocals for the animated character of the Hulk. The original David Banner, Bill Bixby could also been seen in the film for a few seconds and I think this gave the film some more credit in mine and hubby's eyes as they were both willing to be associated with the re-make.
The special effects were very good and they all looked real and fitted very well into the film. I did like when the Hulk was supposed to be touching the real life people as these scenes were well made and looked authentic. The one problem I had was with the appearance of the Hulk, for some reason him head always looked too small for his body and he did at times look out of proportion but putting this aside I have to admit he was well created and all of the scenes he was in looked amazing and the way they made him move and fight really was good. The fight scenes were also well made and looked great.
The film was set in America in the present time for the main part but at the beginning we did see Bruce living in Mexico and I did find we had some nice shots of the country but I also did not like seeing the way of life their and how people lived in dirty, small and cramped houses. The music throughout the film was good but nothing special and I cannot even remember a single track from it now.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak of. The running time of the film is 112 minutes and the certificate is a 12A. I have to admit to letting my two eldest boys, ages 7 and 5 watch this film as they are big fans of the Hulk. They both enjoyed it but did say they preferred the other Hulk films we had, meaning the originals. We did not let them see all of the film as they were really only interested in seeing the Hulk fighting so I do say it is adult discretion as to letting younger viewers see this film.
The DVD is available on sites such as EBay and Amazon for just a few pounds now.
Overall I have to say I was impressed with this film as it did have good acting and excellent special effects but for me the originals and Lou Ferrigno will always be the Hulk.
I watched this film round a friends house because I love the marvel comic book series and the films they produce, Spiderman to mention another favourite franchise. The Hulk man starts off by emailing and communicating with some man about blood samples to see if he can heal him by testing on his blood, they communicate via computer Hulk being called Green and the scientist being called Blue.
Hulk has his traits as when he gets angry he turns into this massive monster, but there is another man now who gets a bit power hungry and wants to take him on, they modify his genetics and he starts to transform and want more so he can take on the Hulk, ultimately, this guy gets bigger and bigger until he is actually bigger than the hulk at the end.
Its an odd film where to be honest with things like this, monsters, aliens etc, I like to see the animated/CGi part interatcting with humns instead of CGI so to me, two monsters fighting is boring, I prefer to see a man fighting the hulk or the hulk destroying the city if you see what I mean.
The film is believable in one respect how it looks real and the CGi effects are very good, on the other hand it is comepletly un-believable because of the situation and it would just never happen but it;'s good for a fantasy action thriller.
I enjoyed it overall I guess, just some corny/unblievable parts which could've been altered I think.
Having been transformed into the Hulk, Bruce Banner has escaped to Brazil away from those in the US army desperate to capture him. After months without being detected he is slowly managing to get a grip on controlling the beast within. That is until the Army discover where he is and come looking for him. Still searching for a cure Bruce evades capture but knows his only chance of becoming normal again is to return to the United States despite the real possibility the Army might find him.
There have been so many poor comic book adaptations that until recently you could count the good ones on one hand. In fact even the original Hulk movie was pretty poor but the series has been reinvented under a new director and a new lead actor. These changes have lead to a much better and far more enjoyable movie the second time round and at times it made you forget that there had even been a movie made in 2003 let alone remembering how bad it actually was.
Louis Leterrier who was the man behind the 2nd Transporter movie and is currently working on the forthcoming Clash Of The Titans movie occupies the director's chair for this second instalment. The improvement is significant as the film seems to flow a lot easier and feels a lot more enjoyable than the first movie. The special effects are still stunning and work very well at creating the Hulk as realistically as you can with a giant green monster. Of course whether it be the Hulk himself or the action sequences it seems that Leterrier has really shown what a Hollywood action version of a comic book should be about.
Of course the movie is full of explosions and special effects but it also has a plot which I feel is sadly missing from a lot of these big budget versions. Of course it helps that the script was written by one of the writers behind the successful X-Men series, Zak Penn. the X-Men movies are by far my favourite comic book adaptation movies and by getting Penn on board for The Incredible Hulk it brings far more cohesion to the plot and makes the story a lot more enjoyable.
Like all major Hollywood franchises if a cast doesn't work then simply replace them and that's exactly what has happened here. Along with departing director Ang Lee went Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly and Sam Elliott and it's fair to say their replacements do a far better job. In the lead role the casting of Edward Norton as Bruce Banner is perfect. He has the ability to capture the essence of the character and seems to have the ability to display a much wider range of emotion than Bana.
It also helps that there appears to be a great deal of chemistry between him and Jennifer Connelly's replacement Liv Tyler. During their scenes together you actually get a real feeling for their relationship. With William Hurt completing the line up of replacements I think the casting was far better this time around. The real star of the show though was Tim Roth who played the determined Army Sergeant desperate to make a difference and after his initial encounter with the Hulk wants to discover his secret. The casting of Roth is perfect and he really suits the part combining a sense of national pride with a personal desire.
Overall this second attempt at a movie version of The Incredible Hulk works far better than the original back in 2003. It would seem the studios are finally seeing the importance of getting these right and the success they could potentially achieve. Hopefully in the future decent comic book movies will become the rule rather than the exception. I'd thoroughly recommend this movie as a decent 112 minutes of entertainment. It doesn't try to hard or take itself too seriously, which I think is exactly why it works.
If any film needed a very quick reboot it was the Hulk. What a terribly slow and boring film that was and one that received a critical bashing from critics and the public. With a film of this nature, you are meant to have fun with it, not sit there and watch people talk in split screen style for 2 hours.
So, they decided to start fresh with this new and more entertaining version.
In this one, Bruce Banner tries everything he can to supress his inner Hulk self from expressing itself. He once had an accident by exposing himself to radiation from gamma which has caused him to mutate into the big green giant whenever he becomes angry.
In this film, while in Brazil, he goes on a quest to find a cure for the mutation, while at the same time, trying to contain his alternate Hulk ego.
But that's not easy when General Ross, father of Bruce's female friend Betty, sets out to capture and stop Banner.
Not only that, eventually, Hulk has to fight an enemy that is just as powerful and strong as he is - Abomination!
The pace of this movie is much more brisk than the previous version and the entertainment starts as soon as the credits roll.
If you wanted to see plenty of Hulk action, well, you got it!
Hulk causes unbelievable chaos in this film but all the while, having his best intentions at heart to protect Betty.
The film boasts some wonderful CGI, especially where the Hulk is concerned.
Texture and detail are rendered greatly on the Hulk character and you can see every ripple in his green skin and the emotions on his face are so life like.
Th SFX for Abomination is also superb. You can see all the bones that have grown out of his body and every bit of rippled skin. He definetely comes across to the viewer that he is more than a match for Hulk!
Acting from Edward Norton is great as always but predictably, the Hulk character is the star of the show here and steals the limelight away from Edward's acting.
Liv Tyler plays Betty, Bruce's female friend, and does a good job. I've always thought that she has a certain innocence about her characters and that's no different here. However, her character can be fiery when the situation calls for it (watch the taxi cab scene).
There is suspense and tension here in the superb action scenes but nothing actually frightening. It's more of a generic action movie suspense that this film has.
The battle scene at the end between Hulk and Abomination is great...actually, I'd say it's on an epic scale.
Buildings, cars and people get hurt and this is, no doubt, the standout sequence of the entire film...and what a climax it is!
This is a thoroughly entertaining superhero film, I would say that this is in my top 5 of favourite superhero movies.
This movie has it all, suspense and tension, great SFX, tight script, direction, characters and acting.
The only thing I didn't like was the last scene involving another famous superhero.
I hope they don't cross in any future movie!
Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is the target of a manhunt after an experiment he performed on himself results in disaster. He is transformed into a monstrous green behemoth nicknamed "Hulk" that runs amok and is pursued by the military. Behind the search is General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt), the father of Bruce's girlfriend, Betty (Liv Tyler), who was injured in the destruction wreaked by the monster. Ross has other motives aside from vengeance for his daughter; he sees the monster as a potential weapon of war he wants to use for the military. Having reverted back to his human form, Banner understands that the effects of stress bring on his transformation and he tries to control this whilst leaving in secret in Brazil and communicating with a mysterious scientist over the internet. Here he works on a factory line for a soft drink company. However, when his blood contaminates one of the bottles, Thunderbolt is back on his case and this time he is bringing an elite new enemy, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), one who wants everything the Hulk has...
The Hulk is perhaps one of the more malleable characters from the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby era of superhero creation. A sort of superhero version Jekyll and Hyde, even in his very early incarnations the character went through some dramatic changes. For example, he was originally grey and his transformation was prompted by the onset of night. There have been further physical transformations throughout his storyline and loads of retroactive continuity.
This presents something of a double-edged sword to anyone who takes on the job of bringing such a hugely popular and enduring character to the big screen. Consider the problems that have beset those who have adapted beloved novels to the silver screen. A good writer, director and producer have to consider what will not translate well to a film and what is essential in the core material to retain its identity. Furthermore - and in recent times this has become increasingly more relevant to the film's success - the production will need to work to satisfy the demands of the majority of the original material's fans. One problem with the Hulk is that it has a strong subcategory of fans that contain both the comic-book readers and nostalgic TV lovers who supported the hugely popular TV series. The TV series diverged tremendously from all the source material, even changing the lead characters name to David from Bruce Banner, but like the camp Batman series of the 1960s it created its own distinct following.
The strength of Ang Lee's picture, that was getting promising preview reviews, was in its decision to follow the Freudian path of the Hulk. This was retroactive continuity introduced into the comic-books in the 1990s that unearthed another more mature and complex dimension to the Hulk's origin, that Bruce Banner had an abusive father. Unfortunately the good this did was countered by the other film's other shortcomings, not least of which was its apparent talking down to the source material. You don't do that with comic-book fans - not in the 2000s, the official decade of the geek anyway. 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" clearly took this on board and many of its strengths can be seen as direct counters to its predecessor's failings.
One very good decision appears to be casting of Edward Norton. Norton not only has great star appeal and serious acting credibility to match other superhero movie stars, but is at the stage in his career where he can command a great deal of control over his projects. This works well for the Hulk because he is a genuine fan of both the comic-book and the TV series, and insisted that film not be a sequel to Ang Lee's but a complete re-boot of the franchise. Through his collaboration with director Louis Letterrier, "The Incredible Hulk" does a good job at balancing the strengths of both the comic-book and the TV series without stifling some original ideas that help tie events together.
Possibly conscious of the long-drawn-out pace of the non-Hulk elements in the 2003 film, "The Incredible Hulk" hits the ground running. We get the origin story told through the opening titles. The origin of the Incredible Hulk is actually less important and well-known than most of his contemporaries despite being re-told faithfully in several cartoon incarnations. He was created when Dr Bruce Banner is caught in a gamma bomb explosion. This was in a decade that had already seen numerous science fiction film, comics and stories, where various monsters and monstrous mutations were created the result of radioactivity. Gamma radiation had to stay integral to the origin, but the idea that a simple explosion would cause such a thing to happen became less and less plausible as time went on. So 2008's Hulk film takes its lead from the TV series for a more believable origin, where Banner is experimenting on himself, and rather than make the original lengthy first act, as every incarnation of the Hulk franchise has done, it condenses the whole thing into a prologue. This proves to be a very good decision. However, it is arguable that the film wouldn't have got away with it if Ang Lee's film hadn't been so fresh in the minds of audiences. Despite being a complete re-boot of the franchise, the film picks up where 2003's film finished with Banner on the run.
The film doesn't bother with the Freudian idea, which is what gave "Hulk" its distinctive narrative, but instead is more concerned with the motives behind the military trying to get hold of Banner. Like Spider-Man it wisely draws from the "Ultimate" line of Marvel comics for some of its influences. This series was created outside of the usual Marvel comic continuity to re-launch favourite superhero titles with fresh continuities. One thing linking them all was the concept of a super soldier programme and will, no doubt, play a big role in the new Captain America film. This is also found in the back story of "The Incredible Hulk". The film makes it part of the origin story and also used to create the Hulk's main physical antagonist, the Abomination, played by another brilliant straight actor, Tim Roth. There are also more than heavy hints that a certain accident in the film has led to the creation of another regular Hulk enemy, the giant-brained Leader.
Superhero movies have become more sophisticated, have attracted serious actors, are more loyal to their source material, are respected more by critics and often have multi-layered storylines. Many now see them as modern interpretations of ancient mythology. However, despite all this serious growing up a key appeal to them is and always will be their special effects. Audiences demand believable stunts and visual effects to portray the fantastical. The TV series simply made up the bodybuilding champion, Lou Ferrigno's real physical attributes as a 6'5" Hulk, which although impressive do not measure up to the immense proportions of the comic-book giant. "The Hulk" took it all a bit too far, making the monster too big. "The Incredible Hulk" has the Hulk's size come in way beyond the size of a giant human and yet a good few sizes under Ang Lee's creation.
The CGI is obviously an improvement on the previous film, as one would expect with the time frame, but the direction and vision in this department is much better too. According to the various production notes and interviews, Leterrier went after the Weta Workshop capture motion approach taken with actor Andy Serkis in "Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong". Both Norton and Roth are very physical actors, so this works extremely well in the film's action scenes. The looks of both the Hulk and the Abomination have an interesting scientific grounding too. The Hulk, for example, is not just all green, but has an olive hue to his skin caused by the green blood. The Abomination is not portrayed as the reptilian monster seen in the comic books, which never really made any sense, but instead is given his unique shape by the large bony protrusions coming from out of his body. The concept of every superhero film is ludicrous. That is the point of the genre. However, it is important to acknowledge what type of fantasy is needed to suspend belief most reasonably. The story of the Hulk is a science fiction one, so the illusion of the plausibility of science has to be acknowledged from start to finish. This simply didn't marry up well with Ang Lee's semi-art house approach, who had ILM, George Lucas's famous visual effects company, turn the Hulk into a virtual 3D cartoon. Leterrier's Hulk just simply has far more invested in trying to get us to believe the mythology on the screen.
"The Incredible Hulk" followed "Iron Man" in being a prequel of sorts to the proposed 2012 "Avengers" movie. Perhaps in view of the possibility that a lot of people missed the end "Avengers" teaser scene that appeared after Iron Man's end titles, "The Incredible Hulk" brings its teaser along with a cameo by Iron Man's alter-ego, Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jnr), before the credits roll.
Taking in account all the pros and the time of their release, "The Incredible Hulk" is without doubt the best live adaptation of the not-so-jolly green giant to date. Norton and Roth are two of the most talented actors of their generation and, like it was Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush in "Pirates of the Caribbean", it is a joy to watch them act against each other. This all happens against a backdrop of a film that makes the right decisions about what it adapts, what it pays homage to, balances and blends plot with action sequences and thinks out its visual imagery with just enough realism.
This two disc edition follows in the style of "Iron Man" with plenty on offer. Like the film it strikes a good balance with its material. There are documentaries on both the creative processes behind the film's storyline and character direction and also the special effects. It also includes deleted scenes, an alternative opening scene and commentary by Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth.
The big green beast is back, and better than ever. I'm a typical fan of the hulk. I can just about remember watching Lou Ferigno back in the 80's playing the character, which I loved. I can remember my anticipation when I realised the Hulk was going to be re-made with Eric Banner playing the lead. I enjoed the first film, but I feel this one was a better watch. It was much quicker with getting into the action. It has a great lineup with Ed Norton, Lic Tyler, and Tim Roth. Who all play good parts.
It picks from the first film, with Ed Noton living in South America, working in a bottle factory, and trying to find an antidope to his 'problem'. While all the time the army are trying to hunt him down and catch him, so they can do tests and emulate what he has into a military weapon.
There are plenty of moments where you feel sorry for the Hulk, like in the orignal series, where he wonders on his own, usually unhappy, and there's a nice amount of his smashing stuff in his Beast like state.
A must watch for all Hulk fans. Significantly better than the first film with Eric Banner.
note: also appears in part on The Student Room
Ang Lee's 2003 film, simply titled "Hulk", is something of an underrated outing, although it does have its fair share of flaws - it is far too long, takes far too long to have Banner transform into Hulk, and went a little off the deep end. It did, however, have spectacular special effects and some fantastic acting and set pieces. The Incredible Hulk, the 2008 reboot, mostly remedies these problems, and still brings the exhilerating visuals and solid performances.
The film opens with a quick montage that brushes over Banner's past, and shows how he became the Hulk through being a pawn in a military experiment. The film then cuts to Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) in Mexico, living virtually off the grid as he hopes to find a cure for his condition, which turns him into the hulk whenever his heart rate approaches the 200bpm mark. He left behind Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), with whom he was in a relationship.
However, he doesn't have peace for long, as soon enough, the government, led by General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt), come looking for him. The strike team includes a dangerous, near psychopathic special ops expert Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who goes to extreme lengths in his attempts to catch The Hulk, including getting radiated himself and turning into the beast known in the comics as Abomination. The two Hulks will ultimately have to face off in a super brawl, and only one can come out on top.
This is a charming and well acted superhero film that doesn't reach the heights of the Batman or Iron Man films of the same year, but is nevertheless an entertaining and well produced slice of entertainment. It also has a little treat right at the very end for any Iron Man fans.
An efficient, action-packed and deftly-directed comic book film, The Incredible Hulk delivers all the thrills and spills of an above-average Summer blockbuster. Norton, Hurt and Roth immerse into their roles effortlessly, yet Liv Tyler leaves much to be desired.
Opinion about Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk movie is divided. A critical success but at the same time derided by fans it was a brave attempt to do something different (and ultimately un-necessary) with an iconic character.
Come 2008 and Marvel Studios fancied having a go themselves, and given that Hulk is one of their own creations, felt that they could be a bit cheeky. By making this a sequel that at the same time dismisses the events of the previous film, The Incredible Hulk manages to do away with the need for a long origin story and getting to the meat of what makes a good Hulk story.
Any need for character setup is neatly wrapped up in the opening credits and then it's straight on to the story of Bruce Banner and his self imposed exile in an attempt to contain his destructive alter ego.
Banner spends his days trying to find a cure for his condition whilst at the same time, trying to stay under the rader and under control. But inevitably, with the military hunting him down, this can only last so long.
Whilst this does deliver a much better action quota than the previous film, that's not to say that it skimps on character, plot or themes.
Norton clearly put some time into his vision of Bruce Banner. Gone is Eric Bana's po-faced loner with daddy issues and in his place is a man who carries a subtle but deep rooted shame. Played out like a recovering addict, Norton's Banner carries the weight on his conscience that comes with his egotistical meddling of nature. The Hulk is his mistake, and his burden to bear.
The only times he really seems capable of carrying this load is when with Betty Ross, played with real spirit here by Liv Tyler. Norton and Tyler work really well together and you really get the sense that these 2 characters have a history together.
The plot which follows Bruce's attempts to find a cure whilst being hounded by the US military is straight forward enough and allows for plenty of Hulk based action, and by throwing in plenty of nods to the comics, this is a Hulk film guaranteed to appease those fans who felt short changed by the 2003 film.
The Incredible Hulk also shows alot of the spirit of the Lou Ferringo TV show, using alot of imagery, themes and even some of the music from the show to good effect, really embracing the popularity that it brought to the character.
In giving the Hulk a real flesh and blood bad guy to pound on in the shape of Emil Blonsky and his anti-Hulk creature The Abomination, Marvel seem to have given the fans what they wanted. And in several nods to future villains and would be allies they've set Hulk up for many more adventures in the future.
And although the effects and CGI are generally excellent, it does make the action feel like it's lacking a real crunch sometimes, however this can be remedied in future installments, it's still a significant improvement from the previous film.
Ironically enough, without Ang Lee's version, this film wouldn't be anything to rave about. But in a way, Marvel owe alot to Lee for putting a "trial version" out there and allowing them to give fans what they wanted from a Hulk film.
Good work all round and a promise of things to come, especially with the Robert Downey Jr cameo pointing towards the ultimate fate of Marvels flagship characters.
Ok first off I was desperate for this to be awesome after the train wreck of a move with Eric Bana a few years back. Glad to say I wasn't disappointed and this movie delivers on many levels. It is not as good as Iron Man but it is not far off. It is a simple movie that doesn't delve too much into the backstory like the previous Hulk attempt. As the movie grows it gives you just enough snippets of information for you to get a good picture of how things came to be and it lets the film take it's course.
It starts off with Bruce Banner still seeking a cure to his condition (thats if he gets angry he goes all Hulk Smash) He has put himself in hiding from the US military in Brazil (I think memory isnt great) where after a fluke accident he is discovered and the chase is on.
The chase goes global and after a few pit stops we end up back in the good old USA where Banner meets up with his old flame Betty Ross, played perfectly by Liv Tyler, who also happens to be the daughter of Thunderbolt Ross, the American General hell bent on capturing Banner whom he considers property of the US government after the original experiment which turned him all green and hulkish.
While trying to capture Banner the military decide to make their own superhuman weapon by giving Tim Roths psychotic character a version of the Super Soldier Serum as used by Captain America, he then gets power crazy and ends up desperate to be better bigger and stronger than the Hulk leading to him jacking himself up more and more until the results turn him into well an Abomination to say the least.
Overall Edward Norton was the perfect man to play Banner and has a great on screen chemistry with Liv Tyler and builds up perfectly to the upcoming Avengers movie in 2011 or whenever it is due to come out and I am really hoping for Norton and Downey Jr to make it as great as it should be.
Fantastic action movie and a good family film, well worth a watch.