Newest Review: ... Banner lives a simple life while trying to cure himself of his mysterious affliction, but his pursuers are not far behind. What follows... more
"The Incredible Hulk" (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (DVD)
Member Name: jbsabbath
The Incredible Hulk (DVD)
Advantages: Good action and some nice effects, Tim Roth
Disadvantages: Too much CGI, nothing new or original
After subjecting himself to some untested radiation, Banner must now watch his temperment, as if his heart rate gets too fast he will turn into an angry 10ft tall green monster with a want to tear things apart.
Having hidden in Brazil for five years, he is still hunted by the fierce General Ross (William Hurt), and once located, the dangerous Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) is drafted in to lead a squad and bring Banner in.
However, not all goes to plan, and Banner is forced to flee back to the US, team up with old flame Elizabeth (Liv Tyler), Ross' daughter, and find a cure before his experiments can be used as a weapon by the government.
Intrigued and seduced by the power he has seen in the Hulk, Blonsky agrees to be turned into a super soldier so that he can finally bring the beast down, but his hunger for increasing strength and power puts both the Hulk and his fellow soldiers at risk.
Now this is actually the second Hulk movie to come out this decade after Ang Lee's "Hulk" (2003) and we are treated to a re-boot rather than a sequel in preparation for the upcoming vastness of "The Avengers" alongside Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
Sadly not a Sean Connery-starring sequel to the similarly titled John Steed flick.
I never saw anything wrong with the Ang Lee film starring Eric Bana as it was suitably epic and entertaining, if a little long, so I never saw the need for a new one.
The redeeming factor here is that it stars Edward Norton who we know has the ability to out-act anybody he's on-screen with, so it's disappointing to find him unusually vacant and bored, mostly only used to run about or stand in the rain looking glum.
Liv Tyler does a slightly better job as Norton's old flame who is caught up in the middle of the fight between her father and the Hulk, capturing the whole King Kong-esque moments perfectly of 'beauty and the beast'.
Setting some of the film in New York returned me to Peter Jackson's soiree, and for a moment there I thought we'd see them fighting each other up the top of the Empire State Building.
As the main antagonist to the piece, William Hurt hides behind a ridiculous moustache as General Ross and doesn't smile once in the entire movie, playing gruffness and indifference to the max.
The true villain of the piece is Tim Roth as Blonsky, however, who comes across suitably menacing, but up to about two thirds through the movie I was rooting for him to win.
After all, this big green monster was running amok and killing people left, right and centre - surely he should be stopped or at least captured?
But the slow transformation of Blonsky into the final monster, the Abomination, is the best part of the movie and certainly the most interesting, much more so than anything with Norton and the Hulk.
But ultimately, this is by-numbers stuff and I fear that the superhero franchise is beginning to exhaust itself.
"The Incredible Hulk" lacks the originality of Ang Lee's movie, and at no point did it demand my attention.
The large battle between the Hulk and the army at the university campus is perhaps the best part of the movie, while the fight at the end with the Abomination reeked of far too much CGI.
Seeing as both hero and villain are two 10ft, snarling monsters, this is perhaps understandable but because they look ultimately ridiculous, I couldn't really take it seriously.
Visually, I can't see much difference between Ang Lee's and director Louis Leterrier's Hulks, so there's not much improvement there even though five years have passed, and neither the original score nor the scripting impresses this time around.
Compared with the recent Spiderman, Batman, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Superman or Hellboy offerings, "The Incredible Hulk" does little that is new or innovative and revels in its general-ness.
This is very much a precursor to something bigger and (hopefully) better in "The Avengers" and feels more like an add-on with its "Iron Man" references than anything else.
If you want to see a cameo from original Hulk Lou Ferrigno, then check this out, but while it is enjoyable enough, it won't convert the superhero movie-haters.
[The DVD can be purchased from play.com for £6.99 including postage and packing (at time of writing). There is also a 2-disc edition for £13.99.]
Summary: Another Hulk movie, but no leaps and bounds over the first