Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Hulk has arrived and with him comes the first real action blockbuster of the summer. Yeah sure Iron Man made some big waves, but it was short on bone aching action and heavy on sleep inducing backstory. Director Louis Leterrier and screenwriter Zak Penn make the assumption you know who the Hulk is, how he came about and what the circumstances are surrounding him, so they’ve decided to skip all the fluff. Say hello to The Incredible Hulk.

It all starts innocently enough with Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) laying low in Brazil, counting off 158 days without incident. That changes in an instant however, when General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (William Hurt) and his crack team of commandos, led by Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), come knocking his door down. Turns out, Banner has been trying to cure himself while running from Ross, since he found out Ross wants his gamma-infused blood to create an army of super soldiers. Super soldier is on the mind of Blonsky too; once he sees how powerful Banner becomes, he sets off down a path that he has no hope to return from (although it leads to a fanboys wet dream).

With that out of the way, it’s time to dive into the action and effects. I’m more than happy to say, The Incredible Hulk doesn’t suffer from the same cartoony looks that plagued Ang Lee’s attempt. You can of course, still look at the Hulk and know he’s computer generated but he looks so much more life like now. He’s sinewy and ripped beyond belief – I wish I had the same striations running across my pecs as he now enjoys. The real treat is watching him interact with his surroundings though. He crushes cars like tin cans, tears through the skins of buildings as he scales his way upward and reacts believably, albeit unpleasantly, to the various weaponry being fired upon him. Even the caring way he rubs the cheek of his love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) is well thought out.

Performance wise, everyone does a good job. I’m not 100% sold on Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, although it is safe to say he does the role more justice than Eric Bana did. The chemistry between Tyler and Norton seemed a bit strained and unnatural but that may be a by-product of very little back story and/or in-depth character development. William Hurt, on the other hand, really shines as he walks the razor thin line between career and country, and friends and family. He’s also damn near unrecognizable (not that that matters for anything). And who knew Tim Roth is such an ugly, ugly little man (not that that matters for anything either)? He certainly looks like he’s having the time of his life playing a character that thirsts for more and more power.

I’d also like to say, I like the fact that homage is paid to the stars of the original television series The Incredible Hulk. Bill Bixby is seen on a television screen, Lou Ferrigno (who could still play the Hulk) gets himself a little cameo and even the original music by Joseph Harnell finds a home in a the movie’s score.

The Incredible Hulk is the movie that should have been made in 2003. It took an extra five years to get there, but this version makes up for that black eye and maybe even a few lumps Marvel Comics has had to swallow from the likes of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Ghost Rider. It is good to see the big green guy get his just desserts. Very good.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)' have 14 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 14, 2008 @ 7:17 pm Hulkster

    Great movie. I especially liked the little cameo at the end. Big things are afoot…

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      June 14, 2008 @ 10:32 pm General Disdain

      Great movie. I especially liked the little cameo at the end. Big things are afoot…

      Indeed. I’m looking forward to the sequels of both franchises now.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 15, 2008 @ 11:33 am Gary

    “I’m not 100% sold on Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, although it is safe to say he does the role more justice than Eric Bana did.”

    Are you mad? Norton is fucking brilliant in this role!

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 19, 2008 @ 3:50 pm Marco

    I love this film. The spezial effect are so great.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 20, 2008 @ 11:51 am ken siegbahn

    I agree that overall this movie is great. But the animations of The Hulk and his nemesis could have been improved further to appear more realistic. Also, correct me if I’m mistaken – there was a bit of continuity issue on the first part of the film. When Banner/Norton was being chased in the narrow streets of Brazil, the day kept changing from night time to day time and back again…

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 27, 2008 @ 6:01 am Marc

    I think that must be a cool movie.I have big expectations.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2008 @ 1:13 pm hs

    It was only fairly recently I caught the 2003 Hulk, although in one way it may prove an advantage in that the performances are still relitavely fresh for where this one picks up.

    I kinda liked Eric Bana in the role, and I found the first half of the 2003 movie to be nicely paced.

    Despite not being totally won over by it’s trailer, I look forward to checking out The Incredible Hulk (though I suspect I shall miss Jennifer Connelly in the role of Betty somewhat) and it is a shame Sam Elliott is not reprising his role here too.

    Thanks for the detailed review.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 26, 2009 @ 10:52 am Gold Gain

    Ever since i like incredible hulk. This review is very informative. Thanks for sharing!

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 12, 2009 @ 1:41 am HappieFoot

    I am a big fan of incredible hulk. I like how you share this review. Thanks!

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 26, 2009 @ 1:29 am Power Chord

    I will raise my hand as a fan of incredible hulk. Love this review!

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 14, 2009 @ 3:08 am Tappet

    Incredible Hulk is popular every now and then. Thanks for review!

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 28, 2009 @ 11:31 am stephpark

    Im sure the incredible hulk was more popular twenty years ago than in recent times.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 8, 2009 @ 6:24 pm Wilbert

    The movie is great. I loved it. Great review by the way!

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 3, 2010 @ 5:55 pm Lesson

    I’ve loved hulk since forever basically. I for one liked the first movie much better,this one had a bit too much drama and not enough action in my opinion. I know the first one wasn’t a box office success, but still.

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