Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk

Release Date: June 13, 2008Studio: Marvel/UniversalCast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Lou Ferrigno

The Hulk is incredible! Yeah, I

said it, and better than ever. Forget what you’ve heard, this is what you want

to see.

I wasn’t really expecting much after Ang Lee’s Hulk flopped back in 2003, but ever

since Edward Norton was in Spike Lee’s 24 Hours and dated Selma Hayek, I’d

taken notice of him.

Norton chooses his roles carefully, so

I thought this new Incredible Hulk

might just have some meat, and it did - meat and more.

Bruce Banner is in Brazil, living

the life of a laborer - so vigilant and disciplined like the Bruce Banner on

the ‘70s TV show. The filmmakers assume that we know his story and don’t dumb

us down with it.

The original back story is basically this: After

working as a scientist for the Army, Banner is mistakenly injected with so much

radiation (gamma rays to be exact) that he should have died. Instead, when he

gets angry he turns into a monster - green, big and out of control. Because he

doesn't want the government to take him apart for use as a weapon, he chooses

to live his life in secret, working constantly to find the cure for his problem.

In the movie, we quickly remember

that he’s still on the run and the opening action scenes reminded me of

something that you’d see in The Bourne Identity - the first one. A chase

scene starts the action off just right - it's awesome. Banner is breathing hard

and his watch is beeping as it records his get-mad-enough-o-meter.

Days without incident: 47.

You start to really feel for this

guy, and the writer includes so many comedic moments with actors from the TV show,

you easily get caught up in the story. Banner makes his way back home to Arlington,

Virginia from Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico to the one woman that will help him

find a cure, Betty Ross, played by Liv Tyler. She’s one of the palest women in

Hollywood. I still think of her from Lord

of the Rings. Betty, supposedly the love of Bruce’s life, is a scientist who happens to be the daughter of the Army general

(General "Thunderbolt" Ross, played by William Hurt) who’s searching feverishly for Banner. Days without incident: 01. If there was a

flaw in the script, it was in the chemistry between these two characters. Their relationship

felt pushed and unauthentic; even when she dropped everything to be with him, I

kept asking myself, “Didn’t she have a job at the university?’

The action took over me though; I

completely forget about their relationship, except for an occasional kiss here and there. There are these moving scenes when the creature is loose

that will amaze you and have you on the edge of your seat. The visual creativity,

both graphically and in motion scenes, offers originality as well as a true

feeling for what we remember Marvel comic The

Hulk to be. That has to be the most spectacular feat of The Incredible Hulk - it is very

familiar, but still fresh.

Of course he has an enemy… not

really an enemy, but another eager soldier boy, Emil Blonsky, who wants to pull rank and get

this green monster. Blonsky is played by Tim Roth - remember him from that movie with Tupac, Gridlock’d? He hasn’t’ been around in a minute,

and is cast as a badass militant (with an obvious Napoleon complex), who is

game to let the army experiment on him to induce super-soldier qualities. Yes,

scummy little Tim Roth grew to be this big ugly monster. It is all so

eye-popping, you can’t help but root for the Hulk.

Days without incident: 00.

Even the fight scenes between The

Hulk and The Abomination are the bomb. New angry, adrenaline-fired stuff with

some outta sight bang ups and knockdowns. The scenes where Banner loses it are

some of the best scenes in the movie.

There’s one scene where Bruce gets

some help for his cure from a university doctor in New York, played by nerdy

Tim Blake Nelson. He and Betty actually watch Banner change into The Hulk as he

is strapped down on a gurney. Betty jumps on top of Banner and begs him to look

at her... Keep looking at her. Her legs straddled around his huge waist - it’s

all so erotic, yet tender. Meanwhile, the army is portrayed as a bunch

of idiots that can’t seem to get the fact that bullets bounce off of him like

rubber bands. Look for appearances by Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, Michael K. Williams (it's been said that Norton had him written into the script because he's personally a big fan of The Wire), and Lou Ferrigno, the original TV series Hulk, who also voices The Hulk character in the film. It's all so much fun, and by the end of the movie

you'll want to know that there will be sequel.

You don’t get it all in The Incredible Hulk, but you damn sure

get enough. Go spend your money!