Movie: "The Incredible Hulk"
Year: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Writing credits: Zak Penn

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 6/22/2008

Plot: Hulk Smash.

Review: I went into The Incredible Hulk not expecting much, which is probably a good thing, as I ended up enjoying the movie far more than I figured I would, and even if I had expected a good quality film, I still would have walked out entirely happy. Let me just say right off the bat that I'm one of the apparent few who didn't hate Ang Lee's Hulk movie. While it wasn't quite what I was looking for out of a movie about everyone's favorite big green goliath, I appreciated the experimental nature of the film and thought it brought some interesting things to the table. That said, Louis Leterrier's version is much more along the lines of what I believe most of us were expecting and hoping for.

Nothing against Eric Bana, but I found Edward Norton's Bruce Banner to be a more interesting take on the character. Maybe it's because Norton's love of the character (he's a fan of the comics) shines through more, or maybe it's just because I prefer Norton as an actor. But either way, he was great in the role of our troubled doctor, which is good, because he has way more screen time than the Hulk (which is how it should be, as Hulk becomes less threatening and more ridiculous the longer we see him). I think I preferred Jennifer Connelly and Sam Elliott in the roles of Betty and General Ross, but Liv Tyler and William Hurt handled themselves well enough.

This movie borrows about evenly from the old Incredible Hulk television series and Bruce Jones's three-and-a-half year run on the comic, so fans of either of those works will be satisfied by the references littered throughout the film. It's primarily a fugitive movie, which is what the Hulk should be, and Leterrier and writer Zak Penn understand that very well. Hulk is a character who has long wanted to be left alone more than anything in a world that won't allow him that one simple luxury.

Another thing this movie gets right is that it actually gives the Hulk someone worthy to fight in the form of the Abomination, who is a far more satisfying opponent than the mutated dogs or half-assed version of the Absorbing Man from the first movie. Tim Roth does a fine job portraying Emil Blonsky, who mercifully doesn't attempt a Russian accent, a fact that was explained away to my satisfaction in one simple line of dialog. His confrontations with the Hulk, as a regular human and a gargantuan brute, are a joy to watch.

In fact, Hulk's rampaging in this movie is always fun to watch, and though he's still obviously a CGI fabrication, he looks far more convincing than the video-game quality graphics that were bounding around the first movie. I've heard some reviewers complain about how Hulk constantly changes size throughout the film. I can't say I was bothered by this, or even noticed it much, but then I suppose that's because I know that the "rule" in the comics is that the angrier he gets, the bigger he gets. Still, if they'd had just ONE line to that effect in the movie, it might have staved off some nitpicking.

Fans of the comics will also be thrilled to see Samuel Sterns make an appearance, with a very strong indication that his gamma-irradiated alter-ego The Leader will be a big player in the inevitable sequel. Apparently Doc Samson is in this film as well, though chances are you wouldn't realize it before reading the credits. There's another Marvel character with a smile-inducing cameo at the very end, which is all part of Marvel's effort to portray a shared movie universe now that most of their movie productions are being made in house.

Hulk actually speaks in this movie (though only on two occasions) too, which is something I was seriously hoping for. When I heard him utter his famous two-word catchphrase at the end of the film, I had an ear-to-ear smile plastered on my face. And really, when I go to see a movie about a giant green man who is usually portrayed in ridiculous purple pants, I can't ask for anything more.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Vigilante All-Star
Jun 24th, 2008, 03:27 AM
What was also great was how they explained why his pants are the only thing to stay on him when he becomes the Hulk...sometimes you just need to be practical.
Sapper Whacker
Jun 24th, 2008, 09:02 AM
I loved the beginning, when you were tortured by the idea whether or not the fucked up Hulk. Also, the actor they chose (forgot his name) was an excellent choice for Banner. However, in the theater I saw this in, the noise was horrific because they turned up the speaker, so I wrote on the "customer satisfaction" survey TOO MUCH FUCKING NOISE.
But yeah, good movie.
Sapper Whacker
Jun 24th, 2008, 09:05 AM
Also, call me crazy, but I thought the guy who drank Banner's blood was Stan Lee...Just shows you how little I know about comics. MY entire Marvel knowledge is based on the game "Marvel:Ultimate Alliance".
Jun 24th, 2008, 10:16 AM
Again, another movie review I agree with completely. Good review, Proto. I also liked Ang Lee's Hulk and also felt it needed a good external enemy; the dogs and "daddy" were lame. However, Ang Lee really made it a good inner battle with Banner fighting personal demons that we all have in us; our "inner Hulk", which this movie was lacking. I did think this new one needed more character development (and apparently, so did Ed Norton), but that was its only flaw. For a good summer popcorn movie, this Hulk satisfied much more than Indiana Jones and the Excessive CGI.

Jun 24th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Lou Ferigno actually voiced the Hulk, and it was nice to see him as the security guard.
Tropical Viking
Jun 24th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I expected a "lame to tolerably mediocre" movie, but I ended up quite pleased with this. The action is superb and the campus combat scene was just awesome. It was not as remarkable as Iron Man, which had an adorable softcore blockbuster humor and a better pace, but Leterrier is actually a better action director than Fraveau. The cameo was great as well, and a 400 million dollar avengers movie may come out some day.
As for the sequels for Hulk, well, the box office is a little under the expectations for a us$ 150 million movie, but I really want it to happen.
Forgets Passwords Easily
Jun 24th, 2008, 11:58 PM
Drunken_Lemur, I agree the Ferrigno part was a good nod. Personally I think I'd go see a movie just called the Incredible Lou Ferrigno.

Throughout the entire movie, my buddy kept remarking on how short Blonsky was compared to everyone else, and he totally is. So we likened him to me, very tiny yet very powerful. Also enjoyed Banner almost becoming Hulk when he was about to have sex, and needing to stop.
Jun 25th, 2008, 03:02 AM
From what I've heard, 70 minutes got cut out of the movie that's going to be in the DVD. That's probably where all the character development went. Plus one of those scenes supposedly features a Captain America cameo, which I really wanted to see.
drifting in the void
Jun 25th, 2008, 07:22 AM
Hey I also donīt hate the Ang Lee Version but thats partly because Iīm no comic reader and canīt relate the movie to the comics. But the old one nicely showed what it might be to be LIKE the hulk, if you know what I mean.
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:35 AM
I saw the '03 Hulk movie in the theater, expecting it to be an action movie, but I ended up falling asleep for the first hour of the movie and waking up around the time he fights the dogs, and thinking it was stupid as hell.

The new movie, though, I loved. Nothing disappointed me, but I didn't really like William Hurt, the way he acted throughout the movie really bugged me. The setup for The Leader was cool, although that kind of ruins a big fight scene in the sequel, unless they have two villains or he builds a giant robot or some shit. Lou Ferigno's voice as the Hulk was probably the best thing they could do for him in the movie.

For some reason, nobody I've talked to understood that the last scene was Banner trying to learn to control the Hulk. They can't have a completely uncontrollable Hulk in the avengers.
Reptilus Rex
Jun 25th, 2008, 09:56 AM
I saw The Hulk in '03 and kinda liked it, but I'll admit that it definitely was not up to par as far as action goes, or even a well executed plot. Though, I thought it was interesting how Bruce ends up in South America in The Hulk, and where is he when the movie picks up in The Incredible Hulk? Brazil.
I really enjoyed this movie, and I liked that the Hulk actually got to fight a villain, on top of actually showing the complex relationship between Banner and the "Jolly" Green Giant.
The Almost Love Scene was very funny as well. And, like any movie I watch, I'm always able to see at least one part and make a corny joke out of it, like when the Hulk rescues Betty and brings her to some random cave. The first thing I said in the theater when he found this arbitrarily placed cave in the rainstorm?
"Grr...Hulk find CAVE!!"
I was then simultaneously worried that, when Betty regained consciousness, she'd stare unerringly at the Hulk's gamma-junk. That'd be awkward.
Forum Virgin
Jun 26th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Am I the only one who noticed Bill Bixby's cameo? This film was far superior to 03's
Hulk. I enjoyed how the opening credit sequences were a homage to the TV show. As I have never read the comic, the TV show was my introduction to the Hulk. Matter of fact I am in the middle of watching season three right now.
Turrican't. :(
Jun 26th, 2008, 06:42 PM
Jun 27th, 2008, 02:31 AM
I thought it was pretty damn good, Norton played the role quite nicely, and 03's Hulk was shit, pure shit
Jun 27th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Hulk movies rock. The world is at peace.
Forum Virgin
Jun 27th, 2008, 11:40 PM
When I heard the Hulk talk I too was pleased. The only thing that pisses me off is: now its in the trailers. I was shocked when he talked, and now you can hear it in the trailers. Its sad
I must preserve my P.B.F.
Aug 7th, 2008, 12:04 AM
It's quite nice that this Hulk version has no annoying boxes.