REVIEW: “The Incredible Hulk” V.2

Posted: June 22, 2008 by V in Review
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Susanna and I had been discussing the creation of a co-review, since we discuss many movies in instant message format anyways. We gave it a shot but it quickly degenerated into something that neither of us could believe readers would suffer. Therefore, here is my rebuttal to Susanna’s “REVIEW: “The Incredible Hulk” -v)

“The Incredible Hulk” is like a child atoning for his father’s sins. That is, If said father was deadbeat, non-sensical, and of no relation whatsoever. On top of making up for all the terribleness that “The Hulk” subjected us to, “TIH” also ran in a much happier universe where Ang Lee’s “The Hulk” never existed ::insert wild applause::. Up to about here is where Susanna and I unequivocally agree. There is much shaking of hands and patting of backs. Then come the disagreements.

“The Incredible Hulk” is the story of Bruce Banner, gamma-radiation poisoned self-experiment gone wrong. A gigantic  green, rage-filled combination of scientific hubris and accident. No only does Bruce Banner (The impressive Edward Norton, himself) have to deal with suppressing the Hulk, he’s also continually on the run, hunted by General Ross, the least logical person in any position of authority in the entire history of the military institution, who wants his research (read: his body) for military applications.

It is at this point I can’t stop myself from summarizing that sentence above the way I actually wanted to say it. “General Ross is chasing Bruce Banner’s body across the American continent. For um…military applications“. I can’t blame him, even at almost forty  Edward Norton is smokin’! As I told Susanna, “2/2 girls polled today would bone Edward Norton.” That’s like, 100%. I’ll run another larger poll, if anyone thinks this assessment was unfair, but I doubt the results will be much different. Also, that just means more Edward Norton for the rest of us.

*cough* I got that out of my system. It’s cool now. The film opens with Banner hiding out in Brazil working in a bottling plant. This is his downfall, as a drop of his blood ends up contaminating one of the drinks. The subsequent gamma poisoning of Stan Lee sends up red flags and leads General Ross straight out to the slums of Rio de Janeiro with a team of specials carefully briefed on nothing. There is only one distinguishable member of this “team”, the Russian born British raised Blonsky (played by Tim Roth). Blonsky can be summarized by his intense desire to be the best — a position currently occupied by a less than delighted Banner’s other self.

Susanna has discussed most of the aspects of the films that are picked upon easily, and having done so, has covered a lot of my material. That is, other than my personal favorite quote (where Banner tracks down another scientist with a possible cure and is warned about the delicacy and precision that is necessary) “If we’re off by a single integer..[it could be disastrous]”. By which he er, actually means…”a whole number” which really can only translate into the impressive: “one“. In any case, since my counterpart has taken the position of antagonist I feel obligated to defend the honor of this film.

As to the complaints made about Liv Tyler’s baby voice, I argue that perhaps if YOU found your paramour from 6 years ago attempting to slip away from you, only to then find out that he turns into an immense compilation of green cabled muscle and unreasoning rage, perhaps you too would want to step lightly. What Susanna sees as patronizing and belittling, I see as valid caution and insecurity as Betty and Bruce’s interrupted romance was abruptly suspended due to a little research accident. She’s unsure of her place in Banner’s life and future, and under the circumstances, she can’t exactly say that he was eager to see her again. This argument is actually rather amusing as I think that Liv Tyler talks low and softly in all her movies, and  on the whole I’ve always thought her to be rather type-cast and frankly, fairly average.

As to General Ross, well, its difficult to put up an argument against my actual opinion. Especially considering Ross’ bizarre decision to bestow what essentially looks like the successful version of the super soldiering schtuff that was BOTCHED in Banner on what is essentially a foreign soldier with pretty obvious leanings towards power hungriness; perhaps he was just very short-sighted. He has been chasing Banner for a number of years now, maybe he was growing desperate. But then that doesn’t exactly explain the reasons why he’s sending out some undeniably expensive equipment and likely even more expensively trained special troops out against the Hulk with minimal, if any information at all! But then perhaps he had orders to keep classified information classified. Just in case anyone else has grand ideas, classified information is best not confronted on a public college campus during daytime. College kids love their cell phones and the youtube, ya know. Um, you know, maybe I can’t defend Ross after all. He’s probably best explained as a “Desk General” one of those who is really meant for paperwork but somehow ended up in the field, in charge of important things.

Final score: 3 1/2 out of five bullets. The worst part about this film is its timing — the fact that it follows so closely upon “Iron Man”. As the other major comic based flick this summer, its unavoidable that it’ll be compared to “Iron Man”. The fact that “Iron Man” was an unusually strong movie, and I’m speaking of it in the whole of the action genre, means that anything in direct comparison following so soon upon its heels is going to look pale. “The Incredible Hulk” boasts some excellent casting, magnificent settings, and (one thing that “Iron Man” lacked) the knock ’em down drag ’em out brutality of a grand finale fight. In fact all the action scenes of “TIH” were mightily impressive. The CGI Hulk and Abomination were, well, incredible. Marvel isn’t sparing with the moneys for their graphics, I can assure you on that.

That said, I must admit even I’m influenced by “Iron Man”. Where “TIC” is fiercely loyal to the comic, an excellent adaptation, and overall really well done, it just doesn’t compare. The dark, angst riddled, driven Banner with the anti-hero Jekyll side just isn’t compelling. Or should I say, isn’t as compelling as the sardonic war profiteer turned hero, Stark which is really what we are all thinking, isn’t it? In summary, “The Incredible Hulk” was a good action movie, but in the end, it just wasn’t good enough.

Edward Norton is, as always and amazing actor, who brings a whole new level of excitement to the character of mild scientists the world over. And the ending (as all the other Marvel movies (okay, the one other movie) promises more to come. Here is where I cross my fingers and yell “WOOOO!”

This review is clearly more valid because it has bigger pictures

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Comments
  1. Susana says:

    Well, I don’t think our disagreements were TOO off, just on the Liv Tyler thing. But I think our general (no pun intended) consensus on the mind-boggling ineptitude (or perhaps genius) of General Ross’ misappropriation of taxpayer’s funds holds firm. I mean, seriously, that kind of blatant money-wasting can’t just be by chance, I think there must have been some twisted methodology behind it.

  2. […] The Incredible Hulk by Susana. Review: The Incredible Hulk v.2 by Vicki. linkscolor = “000000”; highlightscolor = “888888”; backgroundcolor = “FFFFFF”; […]

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