Where do we start..? With a heavy sigh, I put the blu-ray into my PS4 one more time to watch so I can write this review for you guys. OK so a little bit of information about the movie before I go into any depth, we start off following mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner, (Edward Norton), who has been traveling the globe hiding while in search of a possible antidote that would finally allow him to break away from his fierce primal alter ego.
So in my eyes, this version of the Incredible Hulk is possibly the most ideal version of the Hulk. The version Ang Lee presented us with in 2003, seemed a little bit too talky or maybe even compassionate in some areas; where as we all know the Hulk is just one giant heap of rage. Whereas this time, we seem to sidestep the more intriguing aspects of hulkdom and spend a little bit too much time showing the Hulk in mindless action sequences. By the time he has completed his Hulk on Hulk showdown with the Incredible Blonsky (Abomination), I was bored out of my mind.
Although we have to consider the dilemma set before these directors when attempting to create a story for the Hulk, who is one of the lesser “creatures” in Marvel’s stable, until the Avengers of course. We are dealing with two different characters; we have the mild mannered scientist in Bruce Banner; and we have the rampaging Hulk who goes into a ruthless state of aggression whenever he’s annoyed, which is quite often as he usually has the US Army unloading thousands of bullets into him. One question I always find after watching this version, or the older version of the Hulk, is whether or not Bruce is really conscious when inside the Hulk. In the 2003 version he said when it happens, “I totally lose control and I like it” suggesting that he is conscious; but then in the 2008 version, we are told by Banner, when he discusses it with Betty, that its like “being on an Acid Trip” where he only remembers fragments of what goes on. So is he awake during it or not? I’ll leave that to you guys to decide.
So in this movie, we still run with the same storyline where Betty Ross is still having major problems with her dad, General Ross. Betty is devestated to find out that he wants to harness the Hulk formula to create super soldiers. Now consider this for a moment, how on earth could you train an army of ‘Super Soldiers’. They would be a drill sergeant’s nightmare as when they aren’t Hulks, why bother to train them, never mind that, how would you train them?? Would you just chopper loads into a battleground and let them tear on?
Instead of me continuing to point out plot holes etc, I will go onto what there is to like in “The Incredible Hulk”. We have what I consider to be one of the better performances from Ed Norton as the Hulk. He seems like a man who desperately does not want to transform to the Hulk, and goes to the favelas in Brazil where he studies under a master of breath control to try and curb the anger within him. Then we have Liv Tyler in full on sympathy mode for Banner, regardless of the danger she gets in or around. The scenes involving Banner in Brazil are well thought out, although when he accidentally contaminates a bottled soft drink, the movie kind of ignores what could have lead to when the drink is consumed in the United States; even though its cleverly used to see Stan Lee’s cameo. The only thing it does is give the General a clue to Banners where abouts, cut to the army troops dropping in and tearing the favelas apart.
Enter Emil Blonsky, a marine who the General has recruited because he’s “meaner” and “deadlier” than anyone else. Blonsky leads the chase in Rio and then later on is injected with some Hulk juice. This sets up a massive battle in the streets of Harlem. This battle at the start is great to see but as it pounds away firstly at our patience, like the end battle in Ironman, and we essentially have two copycats who know who they are and why they are fighting.
DIAGNOSIS – MAJOR SURGERY
In the end The Incredible Hulk is what it should be, an action romp that resets the comic book icons big screen continuity and hopefully paves the way for what should be an excellent solo movie when the time comes. That said there are still major issues with this movie, with the one dimensional acting from its cast and the fact the CGI is terrible in parts. It doesnt keep up with Hulk & Abominations movements at all. Along with various plot holes through out and little character development on Blonsky’s part, I just think this movie could have been so much more. Unfortunately it’s just not for everyone.