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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Movie Review - The Incredible Hulk

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie Review - The Incredible Hulk

Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content.

Run Time of 114 Minutes.

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So I watched the first Hulk movie back when it came out in 2003. That movie was directed by Ang Lee, who did an amazing job with the material, however fans were not pleased as Lee took the film in a direction that put action and adventure to the back and talking to the forefront. This formula would have worked wonderfully if there was a defined and clear villain as well as just a bit more action. Lee's film just seemed to drag and as such, the film was ignored by most fans.

Now, Marvel Studios feels the need to 'reboot' the franchise by starting over. This new flick is a completely different flick and has nothing to do with the first film. Did they do a good job? Depends on who you ask, but most fans are thrilled as it ups the action/adventure and skimps on the talking bits.

Overall, the Incredible Hulk tells the story of Dr Bruce Banner, who seeks a cure to his unique condition, which causes him to turn into a giant green monster under emotional stress. Whilst on the run from military which seeks his capture, Banner comes close to a cure. But all is lost when a new creature emerges; The Abomination.

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I found that that the directing was okay but sticks very close to formula as not to try anything new. The acting is fired up but not a whole lot of places to go with a pretty mild script from Zak Penn. Edward Norton plays the Hulk and does a fairly convincing job, however I enjoyed Eric Bana as the Hulk even more. Liv Tyler plays the love interest and is quite annoying. I just did not like her in this role and would have definitely cast someone else. Both William Hurt and Tim Roth share villain duties, but Hurt comes off as the most menacing without having to turn into a big monster. Roth is wonderfully cast but completely underused. Roth could have been a much greater villain if given the opportunity. Maybe all these superhero flicks should stop worrying about having lots of villains but just one good one. Overall, decent acting from all involved.

The story has got lots of holes and some interesting parts that don't seem to make sense. Recently the director shared that they cut over 70 minutes worth of content from the original film. Maybe that's where some of the explanation goes for the random stuff that happens for no apparent reason. All in all, the flick has a decent story but it doesn't feel fleshed out enough. Another huge issue is the fact that we don't feel like the Hulk is a superhero. He doesn't really help or do anything heroic till the very end and to me, I felt like he couldn't do it. The music was there, the effects were there, but it didn't feel right. It felt like we were supposed to cheer for a person that has just ran away the entire flick. In Iron Man, we see Tony Stark's conversion into Iron Man, we see him play with the abilities, and then we see him kick some butt. In the Hulk, we see him run away, we see him throw a few things while trying to get away, we see him run away again, and eventually we see him fight a guy. There is no development into the hero that we should have seen. This is where the original 2003 Hulk excelled. The audience felt connected to the Hulk, but then he didn't do anything. Now, the audience doesn't feel connected to the Hulk, and he does something. I think the best way to enjoy the Hulk would be to reedit the two movies together to form the 'best' Hulk film.

Issues aside, the Hulk was well worth watching. It had some great effects and action sequences as well as some interesting story points. I would recommend the movie to all superhero fans and especially to Hulk fans as you should enjoy this new 'reboot.'

I'll tell you one thing though - the best part of the movie is the very end when someone unexpected shows up.

The Incredible Hulk is playing at Cinema 3 in McCook, Nebraska. Check out www.fridleytheatres.com for more showtimes.


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