The Incredible Hulk (2008) Reviewed

"So that's it then? You're breaking up with me?"

"So that's it then? You're breaking up with me?"

In what feels like a premature knee-jerk apology for Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk, Marvel rebooted this big green franchise in record time.  Without completely disregarding that more introspective portrait of the gamma-gilded Goliath, IH makes haste of the great green one’s genesis story, knocking out all of the key points before the opening credits end(!) This time Ed Norton plays Banner, already on the run from the military — represented here by William Hurt’s gruff General Ross. Liv Tyler is sweetly sexy as the General’s daughter and Banner’s alienated love interest. Tim Roth mostly snarls as the genetically altered military hit man with a grudge against the Hulk. IH moves at the speed of light, rarely pausing to take a breath except for a moment or two of bogus-science exposition — a wise move considering the subject matter. At it’s best IH is a rowdy blast with lengthy action set pieces that the other Hulk lacked. Norton’s wirey frame makes his transformation into the Hulk a more dramatic metamorphosis pushing a Jeckle and Hyde narrative that was all but absent from the last go round. The two Hulk’s back to back would make an interersting compare and contrast double feature for comic book nerds.  TV Hulk, Lou Ferrigno and Hulk creator Stan Lee both turn in cameos and Ferrigno is credited for supplying this Hulk’s voice — a nice touch. This Hulk does look significantly better than Lee’s soulful-eyed monster, but the primary stumbling block for this hero will always be that there’s no getting around his being a digitally-rendered cartoon.

~ by Number5ive on August 4, 2008.

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