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"The Incredible Hulk" Final Round (1978)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Incredible Hulk - Final Round

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
3 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good tension at the end and an endearing character played by Martin Kove are highlights of this boxing-themed episode of The Incredible Hulk which has Bixby's David Banner stopping through a city, immediately mugged and assaulted by a couple of hoods who drag him into an alley. But a simple- minded and gentle-hearted boxer-wannabe (Kove) is happens to be jogging past and helps him fight off the hoods. Kove's Henry (he likes being called Rocky) offers him a temporary place to stay until he gets back on his feet, and David follows him to a small time gym. The gym's corrupt owner (Al Ruscio, a television veteran) and his right hand (Paul Henry Itkin) hire Banner as their physician and allow Rocky to train in exchange for his services as a *delivery man* (Ruscio traffics drugs hiding the heroin under the disguise of bandages). When Banner realizes what Ruscio's Sariego is up to he tries to intervene...but Sariego and Itkin's Whit will use their top boxer (Tony Brubaker) as muscle to bind and hide Banner so he cannot interfere with their plan to murder Rocky for his understanding of the heroin deliveries.

Importantly, this episode gives the viewer two appearances of Ferigno in green, breaking through a brick wall, tossing guys in the air to crash hard to the ground (well, across rooms and alleys, even hurling one goon into a car!), and propelling himself through a window (and breaking out of a cage extended high above a boxing match to surprise an audience of unexpected onlookers) to an alley outside the office of Sariego. Ruscio is slick as a manipulative promoter who preys on the vulnerable Rocky who trusts too easily. Offered a boxing match he is not prepared for, being poisoned by Sariego so that when hit enough and exerting too much physical strain he'd croak from a coronary, and too gullible and naive to realize his skills as a boxer are minuscule, Kove's Rocky (timely nickname considering Stallone's popular boxing film) has the deck stacked against him. But Kove has the Incredible Hulk on his side...

Proof that when the villains of the show emerge, so does the Hulk, Banner may not like the beast within but it doesn't hurt when it appears during crucial, dangerous moments in each episode. Tossing old guys around in this episode (a promoter and pro-Rocky supporter offers the Hulk a job and is tossed way into the air, grabbing hold to the extended cage & Rusio's stunt double is thrown across the office and over his desk, crashing to the floor!) had me laughing. Dramatically cheesy, but this will be of interest for those so used to seeing Kove as a heavy. Early role for comedian John Witherspoon, (a riot in the Ice Cube Friday movies) as a pal of Kove's who is a boxer in training. Bixby was always a strong actor who could bring a sense of professionalism to even the zaniest Hulk episodes.The Hulk breaking a door onto Itkin had me in stitches.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A poor first episode to the series....

Author: markymark70 from Ireland
23 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I recently purchased the boxset for seasons 1 & 2 of The Incredible Hulk with high expectations of reliving some of the green glory of my youth. I remember as a kid loving the Hulk every week and David Banner's quest for justice and a cure to his condition.

As part of the boxset - the pilot for the series was included. It was surprisingly good for a TV movie about a big green giant. It had a lot of sincerity and pathos in there which I hoped would have been brought forward to the series proper.

Not sure if it will improve after this opener but the first episode is a poor mish-mash of formulaic story-telling and far-fetched situations. I know I have to temper (excuse the pun) this review with the fact that the Hulk is a monster of sorts which must appear a couple of times in the space of 45 minutes or so and the makers must also weave a story of some credibility in there also. Not an easy task, and not exactly high-brow television either. But let me put it this way - if this episode was the pilot - then the show would have been cancelled there and then.

The episode sees Martin Kove (First Blood pt. II, Karate Kid) play Rocky Welsh - a limited but enthusiastic boxer. So aligned is this character to the Rocky Balboa character popular at the time that he dresses like him, speaks like him and even references him as a role model. Banner is his corner man/friend and stumbles upon a heroin dealing operation with the boxer's manager. No need to go any further here with the story - it's all predictable and hokum but after a couple of Hulk-outs, the situation is resolved.

Because it is episodic television, maybe my memories were more rose-tinted than I realised. But nonetheless Bixby still has that air of likability about him which carries the show through the sea of ups and downs.

Not great - hoping for better yet to come.


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Boxing Dreams

Author: Martin III from United States of America
5 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this episode, David Banner shows up in town totally broke (What the heck happened to all the money Julie gave him at the end of "Death in the Family"?), and is befriended by a pro boxer who likes to be called "Rocky". Yep, he's aspiring to be champ. However, as "Rocky"'s girlfriend informs David, the guy's fighting abilities aren't anywhere near his aspirations. In addition, the owner of the gym has Rocky as his unwitting heroin delivery boy.

This episode is an attempt at delivering a message, summed up in explicit manner at the end: Not everyone can be a Rocky, and you should be happy with what you can be. It's a good message, but the episode is weak. A lot rides on the actor playing "Rocky", and Martin Kove (best known as the evil sensei from the Karate Kid films) just doesn't carry off the passion or earnestness of a reckless dreamer, nor the likability that the character should have.

To be fair, Kove's job is made extra difficult by the script. When Rocky finds out he's delivering heroin, instead of calling the cops, he blackmails his boss into getting him a major fight, planning to tell the cops anyway after the fight. This is morally questionable no matter how you look at it, and how do we know that Rocky won't just keep on blackmailing his boss if he loses the fight? This would be fine if Rocky were meant to be a sleazeball, but we're clearly meant to still think of him as a cool guy.

The climax is an amusing scene in which the Hulk jumps into the ring. The resolution, though, is slapdash: Rocky tells David offhandedly that the police found evidence of his boss's heroin dealing and attempt to kill Rocky. What evidence, and how they found it, are questions left for the ages. I appreciate what this episode tries to do, but it's ultimately a flop.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

the hulk looks different

Author: trashgang from Midian
29 April 2013

The first real episode clocking in at 50 minutes. The main difference is in fact the Hulk itself. He's less greener than in the two movies made for episode 1 and 2 and his hair is different.

This time David is still wandering throughout the US. When arriving in the next city he is immediately robbed but rescued by a boxer named 'Rocky'. He take care of David and they become friends but without money David need work and is taken to the gym by Rocky to start working as his corner-man. But Rocky always has to bring special deliveries to people and David suspects it's some illegal stuff. But David's robbers are still waiting to give Rocky a lesson, David is out their to become the Hulk and saves Rocky but one package is severally damaged, looks like drugs.

From there on Rocky is in trouble and David has to transform to save him finally. Made in the era when the film Rocky (1976) was very popular so they tried to use a story a bit the same as Rocky. Al Ruscio is here to see as a bad guy, a big name back then.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 2/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Boxer

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
18 November 2014

First episode of the series after the two successful pilot films once again stars Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner, Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, and Jack Colvin as dogged newspaper reporter Jack McGee. Plot is about David befriending a struggling young boxer named Henry "Rocky" Welsh(played by Martin Kove) who helped him in a mugging attempt. "Rocky" suffers from high blood pressure and is being used by his unscrupulous manager to ferry drugs, and of course David(or rather the Hulk) must do all he can to help, along with Henry's girlfriend. Story is thin but entertaining and did successfully launch this beloved TV series to a five-year run.

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