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Back in 2003, filmmaker Ang Lee released "Hulk," the hugely budgeted
adaptation of the Marvel comic book series created by Stan Lee and Jack
Kirby. Starring Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner and Jennifer Connelly as
his true love Betty Ross, the film was considered a box- office
disappointment and mainstream audiences complained that the picture was
too slow, ponderous and heady for their liking. Having just watched
'The Incredible Hulk' and then re- watched "Hulk", the 2003 film now
comes off as an astoundingly misunderstood achievement a complex,
multilayered, visually extravagant, and ultimately quite moving
operatic tragedy that transcends the norm of the genre. If all viewers
really wanted was just a big, dumb, by- the-numbers action flick, then
their wishes have been granted with "The Incredible Hulk," a creatively
dull reinvisioning that pretends "Hulk" never existed.
Following an opening credit sequence explaining the backstory of how cellular biologist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) was involved in a genetic accident that left him with the unstoppable ability to transform into a nine-foot-tall, green-skinned superhuman whenever his heart rate and rage level were raised, the plot proper picks up five years later, with Bruce in hiding in Brazil. As the hulk, he was responsible for multiple deaths and mass destruction, and General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt)father of Bruce's now-estranged girlfriend Betty (Liv Tyler)has made it his life's mission to find and destroy him. When Bruce's whereabouts are finally located, he once again must go on the run, secretly returning to the U.S. in the hopes that the data he has collected will be enough to reverse his infection. With a reunited Betty once again by his side, they head for New York City to visit a scientist who may be able to help them. Hot on their trail is not only General Ross, but also cutthroat British soldier Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), himself now injected with a strain of the same dangerous serum.
Because "Hulk" is only five years old, it is virtually impossible not to compare it to "The Incredible Hulk," particularly since the unwise decision was made to start the series over from scratch. "Hulk," as directed by Ang Lee, was rich in character work, narrative depth and a provocative subtlety that spoke louder than any words or explosions could have. At the same time, it was also gorgeous to look at, complete with comic book-inspired aesthetics and an overall sense of wonder and poeticism. "The Incredible Hulk," helmed by Louis Leterrier (2005's "Unleashed"), hasn't any of those characteristics. The film is grittier, to be sure, but it is also emotionally wooden and visually forgettable, a CGI-heavy grab for the attention of teenage boys that has no concern for finding an identity of its own.
The screenplay by Zak Penn (2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand") is unimaginative and the story that is woven feels unnecessary, with little forward momentum taking place and none of the characters really growing any through the course of the running time. The special effects used to bring the Hulk to life are pretty good, and detail in body musculature and facial expressions are strong, but he really doesn't have much to do once the transformation occurs. The film lacks scope; the underwhelming action set-pieces have all been given away by the trailers and television ads, and they are all suffocating in their onslaught of CGI and dreary camera-work. The climactic battle on the streets of New York City between the Hulk and a now-monstrous Blonsky reminds of a poor-man's "Cloverfield," especially ironic since "Cloverfield" was made for a fraction of the budget that "The Incredible Hulk" had at its disposal. Watching two giant creatures face off, both whom are one step away from being invincible, just isn't very interesting, and director Louis Leterrier is additionally unsuccessful in bringing a grandeur to the proceedings or a rooting interest in how things turn out. Like 2007's "Transformers," it's just a lot of mindless chaos and freneticism lacking a heart or soul.
Edward Norton (2006's "The Illusionist") is a committed and passionate actor well-equipped to tackle the role of Bruce Banner, but the finished product does him no favours. It has been extensively documented in the press that Norton was battling the studio for final cut of the moviehe apparently had edited a 135-minute version that he much preferred to the 113- minute cut being releasedand all evidence points to him being valid in his opinions. As it is now, the film is dumbed-down and deficient in personality. As love interest Betty Ross, Liv Tyler (2008's "The Strangers") shows a fiery flair in her reading of a character whose relationship with her father is strained and whose love for Bruce is the only thing to tame his out-of-control alter-ego. That Betty drops her current boyfriend (Ty Burrell) the second Bruce shows up without so much as a good-bye, however, seems awfully insensitive.
"The Incredible Hulk" has a few effective scenes, such as a touching one between Bruce and Betty in a cave and a very funny one that makes a succinct comment on New York City cab drivers. What is so disappointing about the film, though, is how much of a lesser experience it is than "Hulk." From its uninspired writing to its plodding character interplay to its stock action to its horribly cheesy "Hulk Smash" moment, the picture is mundane, predictable and empty. The title oversells the output. "The Incredible Hulk" isn't incredible at all. In fact, he's discouragingly ordinary.
The only high point came right at the end where a cameo appearance from Tony Stark (Iron man) propositions general Ross in regards of putting a 'team' together. So I guess in the coming summers we'll be sure to have a "Captain America" and maybe a 'Thor' film building to an "Avengers" movie. It put a smile on my face until I realised just how disappointing "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" have been.
Alright i'll make it short & sweet . This is one of the most
entertaining movies i have ever seen. From the moment i entered the
cinema & the movie start , i couldn't finish my pop corn & the drink ..
The action views are perfect which can make you jump from ur seat .. ED
Norton & the other casts performances was amazing.
Basically when i saw the trailer of this movie before it release, i was impressed , However i was afraid that the movie might not be as good as the trailer is ( Like usual movies nowadays unfortunately ) But i was WRONG big time .
My 1st impression was the last impression. The Hulk character was perfectly made as well as Ahe Abomonation. The CGI was great. Forget about the people who r talking too much for nothing ! Just enter the movie & enjoy THE WAR ! Thank you MR.DIRECTOR for making our summer a wonderful one with our Green Friend..
Good Day ..
I had a great chance to see The Incredible Hulk yesterday and I wasn't
expecting much, after the total flop that was The Hulk in 2003, I
wasn't too sure that this was a good idea. Now, granted, Edward Norton
is one of my favorite actors of all time, he is just terrific and has
such a wide range of characters. Seeing him for the first time in a
super hero movie was going to be interesting. But from the trailer,
this looked once again like it was going to be over the top and not
really entertaining. However The Incredible Hulk was actually...
incredible! It was highly entertaining, the CGI was a thousand times
more believable than the 2003 movie, the actors were great, and it pays
great homages to the TV show and comic book for the fans. The
Incredible Hulk does have small flaws, but the story keeps you
interested and Edward Nortn couldn't have been a more perfect choice as
Bruce did a new experiment that made him into the hulk, causing every angry reaction he has turning him into a green nine foot monster that is virtually indestructible. But he has run off to South America until he can find a cure for this "desease" and be with the love of his life, Betty. But when the FBI surrounds him, he heads back to America with the promise of a cure from his friend, Dr. Blue. But as soon as he heads back, an army experiment gone evil with Blonsky turns him into an evil hulk and Bruce must face him off.
The Incredible Hulk is a great summer movie and I highly recommend it. The story can be a little slow at times, but I thought the effects and acting was just fantastic. I really loved watching The Indcredible Hulk, this is a summer block buster that I have been waiting for, I know a lot of people are rooting for Iron Man, but I feel like The Incredilbe Hulk is in a class of it's own. Edward Norton and Tim Roth were great on screen and had a real presence. Tim was so frightening, he was awesome and his villain couldn't have been more on key. I highly recommend The Incredible Hulk, this was a great movie that I'm sure any one could just have a blast with.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ironman was by far my favorite movie of the summer. I have not seen the
other Hulk movie of 2003 so I really didn't know what to expect. The
Incredible Hulk was just as good as Ironman, but in very different
ways. I liked Ironman because of the clever mix of humor, action, and
peril, however there wasn't much deep emotion or character development.
The Incredible Hulk substitutes the humor for emotion, thus resulting
in a great movie.
Great movie, lots of action, and a great performance by norton.
One more thing, I'm tired of the bitching about the CGI. I don't think there's ever been a movie with CGI where someone didn't complain about it. And the only reason everyone is complaining about the CGI of this movie is because everything is so perfect.
This is Pander-fest 9000.
If words confuse and irritate you, if logical action sequences strain your mind and you yearn for something easier to understand and desire visuals to motivate your thinking, than look no further!
Leterrier's Incredible Hulk has all of the watered-down clichés you've seen a million times before, so it's all comforting to know that there's nothing new to shock you with, and challenge your brain.
Motivation for the villain not your cup to tea? No problem! There is none in this movie. he just looks mean and smashes things.
Tired of Hulk transforming when he's angry for various reasons, and tired to figuring out what those reasons are (oedipal complexes!?! boring!) - Look no further! This movie has the simplest Hulk motivations!
In fact, Betty is in peril so often, you can make a drinking game out of it!
And who hates the military? Tentpole movie audiences, that's who! With their evil plans and reckless decisions! It's so simple!
So sit back, relax, and forget that moody talking movie with their complex characters, well-formed narrative structure, and other conceptual ideas you don't want to have to think about, and enjoy Leterrier's Incredible Hulk.
It's just like Ang Lee's (without all that brain stuff)!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Iron Man is a good film. Incredible Hulk is a film with no plot and no
subject, so it's a bad film.
First, where's goddamn logic? Edward would do anything to kill Hulk, which is protecting his life from bad general and his soldiers. OK, maybe he's ready to sacrifice his life - but Hulk saves Edward's girl too - he would sacrifice her life?
Then, where's so popular ''character relations''? Scene: daughter tells the general that he is her father no more. A few minutes later, after experiencing the consequences of the generals deeds, Edwards tells "please" to the general, and the daughter calls him a father.
I won't even try to discuss the military logic 'cause it's not even a mess, it's a usual black hole.
And after all this, a character from good film appears in a bad film! Tony Stark, an unusual character from 16+ movie which had a plot and no repellent and redundant sentiments - Tony Stark appears in the second Hulk movie! And doesn't he turn into a bad guy a way too fast? But, hey! there's no character relations in Incredible Hulk, so what am I asking for?
Now I can feel the whole power of Hollywood script writers crisis... Sorry for the negative, the movie earned it. Big money, big people, big mess. Thanks for reading me.
This one definitely belongs on Failblog.
I seem to have the diametrically opposite opinion as some other commenters in here, in that where Ang Lee succeeded in actually creating characters for us to like, no such attempt is made in this movie, and thus we couldn't care less about the white, black, green and yellow characters on screen.
Apparently, the team here decided to totally ignore the previous installment of Hulk, both by changing the title from Hulk 2 to The Incredible Hulk, and by ignoring the story that precedes this installment. So, basically, we're starting from scratch. Let's see.
"We must explain how the characters know each other, why they're supposedly in love, why they hate, etc., let's get that over with during the opening credits." Fail.
"If we cut the fundings for CGI effects, we'll have more money for marketing!" Fail.
"'Wroooarrara roowowoaraaa Wrrraaaahh' makes for good dialogue." Fail.
"The Hulk smashes things, so the point of the story must be to smash things." Fail.
And this last point is exactly why Ang Lee got it right. I can understand if some people who left their trailers and Oprah on the television would find it hard to have to endure in excess of an hour being fed plot and character construction before the Hulk finally gets around to throwing around tanks and soldiers, but that's exactly what's needed to makes an over-sized angry Apache-smashing green guy become recognizable and worthy of empathy, and not just become a joke worthy of laughs. Which is what happens in this second Hulk movie.
Ang Lee's Hulk worked because of this, Spider-Man works because of this, Iron Man to some degree also, but this? This? This is just awful. You hate the characters on screen, each and every one of them, because they didn't earn your caring. I find myself commenting on Tyler's "Nooo!"s with, "Why don't you just shut up?!", and The Hulk's "Hulk smash!" with, "We knooow, why not try something else instead?" I'm sorry, but bad CGI and smashing stuff, including the army firing miniguns from choppers at residential buildings in downtown Manhattan (what's that about?) just doesn't make a good movie. It makes for audience disrespect.
'The Incredible Hulk' sort of takes of where Ang Lee's 'Hulk' ends. It's not an exact sequel as a few events are changed but arguably it serves well enough as a continuation. This one succeeds in parts where Ang Lee's film failed. Leterrier's direction works for an action film as it's got all the required ingredients. It's a lot slicker and full of action. The pacing is comparatively well set. The special effects are an improvement (but the CGI is still very prominent). The camera-work is solid and the score is wild. The story isn't as effective as say this year's 'Iron Man' because the characters aren't well fleshed out and the dialogues are a bit clichéd. Edward Norton fits the role of Bruce Banner quite well but we don't see much of him because of the CGI hulk. Eric Bana wasn't a bad choice for Ang Lee's Hulk either so I wouldn't compare the two actors. Actually, the Bruce Banner in Ang Lee's version was better fleshed out and gave Bana more scope to perform. Liv Tyler, however, is a little too weepy and she shouts a lot. Clearly Connelly was the better choice. Tim Roth and William Hurt are adequate. Overall, this is an enjoyable action flick even though it's no 'Iron Man'.
This film simply breaks all the rules of storytelling. The characters
are empty, the plot-line is empty and the makers must have been on
holiday and allowed a primary school to manage the project. Maybe the
whole thing is a Louis Leterrier joke on the stupidity of humanity -
for dignifying this by forcing us to comment on this piece of garbage.
The shots of the Favela in Brazil are the high point. If you have a Blu-Ray player that shows this shot in its glory, then you can have enjoyed that, take your copy with your tail between your legs to a store where they will give you 'pre-owned' money for it. This is the most favourable outcome for the victims of the 'Incredible Hulk'.
As someone who knows a bit about CGI, I can say that creating these characters without any reference to the immutable laws of physics that govern our universe is lamentable stupidity. I cannot go on. I am utterly disgusted. Please let this be the worst ever. Do not test us with new precedents film makers.
Some people say, that the first try of a new Hulk Version from 2003 was
too much intellectual driven, which gave the film a too complex story
and emotional background to believe in and not enough room for action.
In fact this new Version of the Hulk theme could not even keep up with the first one in any possible discipline. It lacks nearly anything, except a slightly better CGI. The cast was really promising, but the whole story is totally empty and lacks of any surprises at all. The whole intention of a movie with a believable plot supported by actors and good directing is simply not used in this one.
You can easily skip the middle 70 minutes of the film, because everything is so obvious to happen. Compared to the storyline of the first one this new version lacks of any depth and drama. It's like being told a story with a 10 point plan what is going to happen now and then and finally the good spirit wins.
So, what is good in this new version? Nothing at all. There is even no real humor noticeable, no emotional ups and lows, and we will never know why Tim Roth did all this silly stuff. I did not like the first one too much at the time i saw it, but in comparison to this new one it's a quite good movie after all.
I don't know where the good screenwriters are gone in Hollywood. For this new Hulk there was definitely none involved.
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