David Banner, a research scientist who is haunted by the death of his wife whom he couldn't save in a car accident is researching how to tap the hidden reserves of incredible strength all humans have. While investigating episodes of people who have displayed such strength under times of great stress, he discovers that each one coincided with a solar flare spike of gamma radiation. Convinced by the link, Banner decides to put it to the test when he deliberately doses himself with gamma radiation. Unknown to him however, the machine was modified to give a far higher dose than he anticipated. While there was no immediate effect, that soon changes when on the way home, he forced to change a tire in the rain. He injures himself and the result anger and frustration transforms him into a massively powerful green giant, the Hulk. He eventually changes back and, now he must investigate what did this thing and face the consequences. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forget the recent laughable FX travesty starring Eric Bana, watch this gripping TV movie which was the pilot for the long-running series. Credit must be given to Kenny Johnson for straying from the comics (which featured the Hulk fighting mutant super-villains) and bringing in a more believable premise. Despite the slight name change, David Bruce Banner is just as tormented a character as his comic book namesake. As Bruce Banner in the comics is haunted by the abuse he suffered from his father, David Banner is disturbed by the fact that he could not save his wife in a car crash, which drives him into investigating what factors can trigger human strength at times of stress. Of course, he injects himself with too much gamma radiation, and whenever angered, his body and muscles expand, his clothes rip and he turns into Lou Ferrigno, wearing a bushy wig and painted green. After he first becomes the Hulk, David wants to find out why and how it happened, with the help of a scientist friend. He sets about finding a cure, only to be hindered by nosy reporter Jack McGee.
The Incredible Hulk certainly has its moments. Bill Bixby gives intensity and emotion to his beleaguered character, and Susan Sullivan is solid as his only friend Dr. Elaina Marks. But the best sequences involve the presence of the Big Green Man. In terms of physical shape, Ferrigno was at his peak here and he was excellent as The Hulk. Unlike the bloated, badly drawn movie Hulk, this Hulk is mean, convincingly hard and capable of violence, but he also has a heart and tries to save innocent people.
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