The Incredible Hulk is something of a restart after a subpar intial effort to bring the Hulk to the big screen. Ang Lee’s The Hulk was too angst ridden, which is what Ang does best. It had the depressed pacing of most of his movies. So they punted on everyone involved with The Hulk and started (almost) over.
They brought in Edward Norton (big improvement), Liv Tyler (I preferred Jennifer Connelly), William Hurt (an equal exchange for Sam Elliott) and thankfully didn’t revisit the storyline with his father. The script here is heavier on action, and less on emotional storylines apart from Bruce’s longing for Betty while he wanders the world in an attempt to stay ahead of General Ross’s attempts to capture him. They “redo” his initial transformation into the Hulk during an experiment gone wrong as part of the opening credits. It differs from the Ang Lee version. There is a quick glimpse of some Stark Industries blueprints [sonic(?) cannons used in a battle scene], setting up Tony’s appearance at the end (cameo by Robert Downey Jr.). The story runs essentially concurrently with Iron Man.
This movie is more playful than Ang Lee’s. You catch a quick glimpse of Bill Bixby’s old TV gig as Eddie’s single dad. Big Lou makes a cameo as a security guard as well. They answered the question of how come his pants stay on as well- elastic waistbands. They obviously stretch too far, adding a bit more comedy as Bruce tries to keep his shredded pants on. This version is much more like the other superhero movies, and I’m sure much more of what Marvel had in mind in the first place.
The story is about Banner’s quest to eliminate Hulk. He fears how the military will use the “technology” used to create Hulk if they can capture Banner and figure it all out. Banner has been working with another scientist to find a cure. But he needs the data from the event. To get this he must return home, during which he hopes to connect with his love, Betty Ross. Of course, General Ross is hot on his trail with his own special soldier. When they discover the ‘cure’ they aren’t sure if it merely suppresses and episode or completely cures him. Suddenly they need Hulk to become a hero.
Hulk is more creative in his rage. He uses parts of cars as shields, brass knuckles etc. His rage is more apparent. He seems more dangerous, scary and less “corny”. He’s not jumping outrageous distances. He’s also more human, which is what adds to the terror in some ways. He retains knowledge of Betty. His love for Betty is the one thing that can control his behavior. It is more of a love story than the previous take on Hulk.
After rescuing her during a battle on the college campus, there is a scene reminiscent of King Kong. They are hiding in the cleft of a rock face. She is both afraid and drawn to him. I could not help but think of Christ- He is not safe, but he is good and reborn hearts are drawn to Him despite the fact He is mighty and awesome.
Both General Ross and Blotsky want Bruce’s power for themselves. Like Adam, they fell for the original lie, and have a desire to be gods. Their quest for personal power drives them in different ways. Ross wants to control Hulk, to harness technology. Blotsky wants to defeat Hulk, seeing him as the ultimate rival.
The movie is quite intense, particularly when Abomination arrives on the scene for a climatic battle with Hulk. Hulk appears to be no match for Abomination until Betty is threatened. I was unclear if he actually killed Abomination ( I don’t want to give away too much in the odd chance you haven’t seen it). But if he didn’t, how did they end up restraining him?
Aside from the violence, there is almost a sex scene that would be inappropriate for the kids. But they have produced a much more enjoyable movie this time round. I look forward to the next one.
Read Full Post »