Bruce Banner is in hiding and desperately seeking a cure for the gamma mutation that turns him into “The Incredible Hulk”. Managing to keep his anger in check with a combination of meditation, self-control and science, Bruce is heading towards a potential cure. Unfortunately, all this changes when he is attacked by a group of Commandos led by Emil Blonsky, a hardened soldier seeking glory and a new challenge. Will Bruce escape the clutches of Blonsky and find a cure for his condition?
“The Incredible Hulk” is a bit of a surprise after the abject failure of 2003 movie “Hulk”. Now, I quite liked “Hulk”. It was a more intelligent movie than many of the newer hero films could ever be. However, the lack of action and genuine on screen Hulk smashing made it’s failure as a blockbuster inevitable. “The Incredible Hulk” goes a good way to rectifying this.
Not quite a remake of the 2003 movie, this is more of an amalgamation of ideas taken from all the medias “The Incredible Hulk” has appeared in be it comic, cartoon, film or TV. This is therefore, quite a definitive version of the big green monster and when the Hulk appears, he is a convincing and impressive sight. The choice of Ed Norton as Bruce Banner initially seemed bizarre. Norton is a great actor and brings a sense of angst and emotional torment to the role of Banner. However, he is undeniably weak looking and the segments were he is on the run are unconvincing as he tackles gangs with fighting skills you would not expect from a bewildered scientist. Despite this Norton grows on me in the role and if and when there is a sequel I can only see him improving in the role. His tender relationship with Liv Tyler who plays it understated as love interest “Betty Ross” is one of the more intelligent highlights in the film and gives it some depth away from the relentless action.
Yes, the Director of “The Incredible Hulk” has realised that what a viewer really wants is action and lots of “Hulk Smash” segments. Banner “Hulks out” early on in the film and the mean green machine is an impressively destructive and violent entity. His relentless anger and resulting demolition of all the Army can throw at him is great fun to watch. Obsessive General Ross is perfectly cast and played with gung-ho enthusiasm by William Hurt and the continuity of the Marvel Universe make this a great film for comic book fans. Tony Stark makes a brief appearance from the “Iron Man” movie and the Hulk’s nemesis “The Abomination” is a great test for him. This makes “The Incredible Hulk” perhaps the most complete of the films set in the Marvel Universe.
Even if you ignore my enthusiastic fandom “The Incredible Hulk” is a great action movie that you can enjoy. It is fast paced, well shot and even the CGI is comparatively convincing. A completely different movie from the silliness of a “Fantastic Four” or the Gothic “Dark Knight” this is a film you can enjoy for all sorts of reasons and is one I was pleasantly surprised by. As good a Super Hero movie as you are likely to see.