‘The Incredible Hulk’: Not easy being green

Wed, 06/18/2008 - 9:32am
By: The Citizen

A while back Dr. Bruce Banner got dosed with some serious gamma rays and now he turns into a hulking, green, angry giant when he gets angry. He doesn’t want this power and the Army does. The Army figures it can create an army of superhumans that could defeat any opponent and take over the world. Bruce doesn’t want the Army to turn his power into a weapon, so he runs. When the Army finds him, they fight and ... “Hulk Smash!”

That’s it. That’s “The Incredible Hulk.” That’s what it always has been, at least as far as I know and have seen, and that’s what it always will be. With this latest installment clocking in at around two hours, this gets kind of repetitive and boring.

Edward Norton plays Bruce Banner and a computer plays The Hulk. This works fine, even better than in the previous installment directed by Ang Lee. Norton looks a little meeker than Eric Bana did and he brings some nice comic timing to some scenes. His love, Betty Ross, is played by Liv Tyler this time around and she is easy on the eyes, but I’d take Jennifer Connelly over her any day. Her father, the Army guy chasing down Banner, is played by William Hurt, and though he is an upgrade over Sam Elliot, his character is so one note that I don’t think it really wouldn’t matter who was in the role.

“The Incredible Hulk” starts strong as Banner is hiding out in Brazil working in a bottling plant. The scenery is interesting and the chase scene as he is on the run as both Banner and The Hulk is fun. Unfortunately, after Brazil, there is another chase scene and fight in Virginia and a chase scene and fight in Harlem. When The Hulk faces off against a soldier who has “weaponized himself” it should be this huge, awesome climax and instead it feels kind of tired. For every moment where you might smile at The Hulk breaking a car in two and using the pieces as boxing gloves, there are several moments of him roaring or taking thousands of bullets that just begin to bore you.

Yes, there’s a cool scene at the end of “The Incredible Hulk” where Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark comes in and tells William Hurt’s general that they are forming a team – very similar to the end of the much better “Iron Man,” and there are a few little shoutouts earlier in the film that give comic book fans an idea of what is yet to come, but it wasn’t enough for me.

I didn’t love Ang Lee’s version of “The Hulk,” but at least it was more than just chase scenes and fights.


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