Posted by: steveonfilm | June 18, 2008

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

I hated HULK when it came out. I felt like Ang Lee just killed the character. The story was depressing. The action was dumb. And there wasn’t a final battle. I don’t care what people say, in comic book movies the good guy and bad guy need to fight it out in the final battle. Bottom line, it left a very sour taste in my mouth when it was all over.

Flash forward to this past Saturday night. The wife went out with her friend to go see Mama Mia at The Fox here in Atlanta. Being left with a few hours to myself, I figured I’d go check out The Incredible Hulk since this was a “reboot” of the character and I’m a big fan of Edward Norton.

Boy am I glad I did that.

The Incredible Hulk does everything Ang Lee’s HULK didn’t do. It made me care about Bruce. It had a great final fight. It made the Hulk something that seemed both unbeatable and vulnerable at the same time. And most importantly, it didn’t leave me let down.

I’ve really liked the direction Marvel has taken it’s movies since they took over creative control. Their whole Marvel Film Universe idea for their films is fantastic. The Incredible Hulk had the same feel that Iron Man did. I don’t mean that it felt like it was directed by the same people. I mean that it felt like it was in the same world. The same place. And none of this was more evident than in the final scene of the movie.

I’ve read that the original script for The Incredible Hulk was more of a sequel to Ang Lee’s HULK. Then when they brought Norton on he looked at the script and started tinkering with it. Say what you will about Norton, but the guy is a hell of a talent and knows what works on screen. Suffice to say, the changes he made to the script, and he changed A LOT, really came across to the viewer.

He made the movie more akin to the TV show, and less akin to what Ang Lee did with HULK. The first shot of Bruce straining right before he hulks out…the light hits his face…and the eyes are green! GREEN! Just like from the TV show. Yeah, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Was it a perfect movie? No. Some spots the story gets a little convoluted. I thought Liv Tyler’s acting left something to be desired. She says her lines like she’s whispering. I have no idea why. But once I noticed it I couldn’t stop paying attention to it. The final battle has no real tension…or at least not the right kind of tension. Things just go from “Hulk is a bad guy” to “Hulk is the only one who can beat The Abomination.” It doesn’t make much sense and the only reason the audience buys it is because they want to see it.

But let me tell you…the final battle is GREAT! The Abomination is as strong as Hulk in the comics. And this really comes across on the screen. The fight goes back and forth. You really don’t get a sense of who will win until the end. The way they choreographed everything just seemed to fit. These two massive, super strong, agile, super creatures fought like you’d expect. It was brutal. It was massive. And it was great.

This isn’t the best movie of the summer. I thought Iron Man was a bit better. But I didn’t feel ripped off when I walked away. I felt like it was 9 dollars well spent.


For more on The Incredible Hulk, check out it’s IMDB page:
The Incredible Hulk


  1. Nice review, I was hoping to hear good things about this. Haven’t had a chance to see it / review it on my site yet, but am looking forward to it.

    I agree though, don’t think anything can really beat Iron Man.

  2. I agree with most of your review.

    I didn’t have a problem with the first Hulk, but my husband sure did! Like you, he felt it didn’t follow the comic book style, which was imperative for comic book collectors (like he was at age 10). I did not read comic books as a child, plus I have a mini-crush on Eric Bana, so the the first Hulk worked for me!

    I highly agree with your assessment of Liv Tyler. As I pointed out in my review of this movie, she whispers her way through the movie – as she does in every movie. Why doesn’t someone tell that girl to Speak Up!?! She annoys the heck out of me – I do not think she’d be famous without her Daddy.

    This movie is not as good as “Iron Man” but as you wrote, it’s worth the $$ to see it in the theater.

    ~Heidi of

  3. Heidi,

    Bana is pretty sweet.

    Didn’t really have any issues with him or Jennifer Connelly in Lee’s flick.

  4. this new hulk is a lot more fun than the first one with Eric Bana; as usual Ed Norton has gravitated to a “split personality” role…

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