The Incredible Hulk (12A)
Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson
Director: Louis Leterrier
Running Time: 112 minutes
I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who thought ‘hear we go again’ when they announced another Hulk film. I personally thought the first Hulk was the biggest waste of time going.
The more trailers and TV spots I saw for ‘The Incredible Hulk’ the more I started swaying towards the idea that this could be a good film after all.
Edward Norton replaces Eric Bana as Bruce Banner and it’s a welcome change. Although Eric Bana is an established actor, I didn’t think his portrayal as Banner in the first Hulk was as good as Norton’s.
I did think that this film was a sequel to ‘Hulk’ at first, but the opening 3 minutes of the film shows small flashes of what has happened and why Banner is in hiding. Basically, what ‘Hulk’ did in 90+ minutes, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ does in 3.
It shows Banner becoming The Hulk and attacking Betty Ross and The General in the lab, which in turn forces Banner to escape and control the beast that hides inside so he doesn’t hurt his loved ones, but The General (played by William Hurt) wants his prized weapon back!
The General plays the main bad guy for a while as he sees The Hulk as the property of the US Government, and will stop at nothing to get it back, even at the expense of his relationship with his daughter Dr Betty Rose (played by Liv Tyler).
The first 20 minutes or so shows Bruce Banner in Brazil trying to find a cure for the gamma radiation. Eventually, he’s found by The General and has a team of Marines on his trail lead by an SAS hard nut, Tim Roth. What follows is a brilliant chase scene through the slums of Brazil which ends up with Banner turning into The Hulk and his first fight of the film with the Marines.
Roth delivers a superb and powerful performance which at times is quite chilling. He’s not afraid of The Hulk but is in awe of the power of the beast.
I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil it for you, but the idea is that Roth becomes
addicted to enhancers that are given to him by The General, and as soon as he finds some of Banners blood….enter Abomination!!
You only get to see ‘Abomination’ for about 15 minutes at the end of the film, but the fight scenes between him and The Hulk are awesome and forces a ‘HULK SMASH’ from the green giant’s lips!
Watch out for a cameo from Tony Stark at the end of the film, and also ‘Stark Industries’ has quite a few products throughout the film that are used by the US army. It’s about time they started integrating Marvel films together.
There is still room for improvement, however. The Incredible Hulk’s storyline is strong and a vast improvement from the first and I hope the same cast return for a sequel, but there was just something missing to make this a Marvel comic classic.
3 out of 5