November 22, 2008
The Incredible Hulk - $6
I didn't mind Ang Lee's Hulk (2003), it was interesting and worth watching if only for the unique way it was made. For all the comic book movies out there these days, Lee's version was the closest any movie has come to the feel of a comic.
This new incarnation of The Incredible Hulk is a much more typical comic adaptation movie. Lots of action, explosions and CGI. Interestingly neither Hulk movie has made much money at the box office and I have some theories there. Ang Lee's Hulk was too different for your typical comic movie fan and this one, while a continuation of the first, was not really a sequel either so the interest level wasn't there. There was some confusion when it came out as to whether it was another remake of the first one from only a few years earlier or if it was a sequel. It really wasn't either. Rest assured, both Hulk movies are far superior to Spider Man 3.
The Incredible Hulk begins with Bruce Banner living in a very poor area in South America and working at a drink factory. He is of course hiding out from the military that created his alter ego, the Hulk, as he attempts to find a cure. Once day in an innocent factory accident a drop of Banner's blood falls into one of the drinks. Weeks later a man dies from the same kind of radiation poisoning that created the Hulk and the military finally knows where to look for Banner.
The rest of the story revolves around Banner finding Betty Ross, the woman he loved and left behind when he went into hiding. When he finds her she helps him hide and look for answers and a cure to his condition. There is also a member of the special forces team trying to capture the Hulk who voluntarily undergoes procedures to give him similar powers as the Hulk, that being the ability to transform into a monstrous like thing with super strength. His procedure goes wrong of course and he turns in the Abomination. In an ironic twist the very military trying to capture Banner/Hulk have to turn to him in the end to help stop Abomination.
Though it's predictable and somewhat formulaic, I'm recommending The Incredible Hulk. Ed Norton turns out to be a very good Bruce Banner and Liv Tyler is actually pretty convincing as Betty Ross. William Hurt is, as usual, fantastic playing Gen. Thaddeus Ross, the man in charge of the experimental program which made Banner become the Hulk. He also happens to be Betty Ross' Father, insert drama here.
The Incredible Hulk manages to be intriguing and finds a way to further the Hulk story without truly being a sequel to the 2003 movie. The CGI is good, as it always is when more than 100 million dollars is spent, but more importantly there is actually some character development and a bit of a story told here.
I'm putting The Incredible Hulk on my 'Watch It' list and giving it a value of $6.