Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content.
Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By: Zak Penn
Staring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, and Christina Cabott
No, sir, I’m a fighter, and I’ll be one for as long as I can. Mind you, if I took what I had now, and put it in a body that I had ten years ago, that would be someone I wouldn’t want to fight. -Emil Blonsky
I can’t say I was an avid fan of Ang Lee’s “Hulk” even though I enjoyed Eric Bana and the comic way it was shot, but it was simply too slow paced to revisit a character that’s main concept is a monstrous reaction to a radioactive substance. Director Louis Leterrier didn’t hold back and made a film that was much more acclimated to what is good about superhero movies now rather than the Fantastic Fours and Spidermans (yes..SPIDERMAN ). Even though the entirety of the film is basically a long chase scene, there are character developing moments that give us an essence of who Bruce Banner is and why he and Betty are important to one another without an in depth explanation destroying the tension built by the action. This is the kind of movie that is worth seeing on the big screen.
The audience is given a quick flashback of what transpired to make Bruce the “Hulk” and the how and why he is a fugitive. There is little detail, only flashes of Bruce’s memory giving us enough to understand what happened without spending an unnecessary amount of time explaining everything. It was clever and fast just like most of the movie. The pacing was relentless, but even in the midst of tons of action and special effects Norton really managed to give Bruce and the “Hulk” a deeper quality than what this movie seemed to give off. With the government chasing the “Hulk” with their own dirty tricks up their sleeve, it might be an obvious conclusion, but it’s a fun ride getting there.
Solid lead actors gave the special effects crew the ability to use a ton of CGI without it feeling like it overwhelmed the story or the characters. I admit to having my reserves about the new vision of the “Hulk” physically, but found myself rendered without any contempt to a fully computerized creation. His face was full of life and emotion and his mammoth size was absolutely amazing to behold. When he faces his foe at the end it was utterly phenomenal, but even as amazing as it was, some of the best moments were the brief intimate scenes between the “Hulk”, Bruce and Betty.
Even though Tyler and Norton really brought their character’s to life, there was a still a superficial quality to the film. For what it strived to be and what it attempted to sell it did a great job, making an enjoyable and entertaining film that I will enjoy watching again and again. Will it resonate as strongly as The Dark Knight or Iron Man? Probably not. There wasn’t a mind blowing depth here, or an extraordinarily developed plot that has challenging character arcs, but it still was a good and fun movie, and a great way to spend a Friday night with some popcorn and friends. The Incredible Hulk was an absolute success in what it attempted to be.