Monday, June 23, 2008

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The first thought that crossed my mind during the opening scenes of the Incredible Hulk was Bill Bixby. Though the memory is almost gone, it was the TV series Bruce Banner whom I thought of - his eyes when he goes berserk; his ‘you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry’ remark; and that Gamma experiment which as I recall also happened in a lab and a chair similar to this 2008 incarnation.

My guess is that in Marvel’s desire to erase the negativity of the first film they reverted to some old formulas. Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner reminded me somewhat of Bill’s because he was a man on the run; weighed down by his conscience because he injured some loved ones; and perpetually scared that the monster created from the Gamma experiment will rise again.

Ironically, I like this incarnation of the Hulk because Bruce Banner has some fighting spirit. He has learned methods of self control but when he’s pissed he’s pissed – not much anyone can do there.

Compared to Eric Bana (Hulk 2003), I like Edward Norton better as Bruce Banner. He has more of that scientist quality, or maybe a geek is the right term. Norton, perhaps in large part due to the script, has a clearly defined Bruce Banner compared to Bana’s: he is a man on the run, a scientist frustrated in not finding a cure. I know who Edward Norton is and I am into the story.

Former Lord of the Rings star Liv Tyler is on hand as the unlucky love interest of the Hulk a.k.a Bruce Banner. I said unlucky because she always seems to be crying which is understandable considering her problem.

Over all she delivered her role well as Betty Ross but I am not totally sold, as they say, with her scenes together with Edward Norton. I feel their pain alright but I am just feeling the love. Probably it’s because I am still for 2003’s Betty Ross, Jennifer Connelly.

William Hurt (General Ross), Tim Blake Nelson (Samuel Sterns), and Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky/Abomination) round up the rest of the important characters. All are able actors and all played their roles well for this film.

My biggest reservation of the film by far is the effects especially regarding the Hulk. He seemed too light and agile for a monster his size, maybe for a monster period. Sometimes I think this version – the Hulk character – is too human.

But over all Incredible Hulk (2008), is more loyal to the comic that the 2003 version. It is full of action, scenes are nicely paced; its characters well defined, you’ll know where everyone is. Personally I really liked the cat and mouse game Banner does with the government, including this whole story line of the monster within. I was really a fan of Bill Bixby’s Hulk growing up. Subsequently to Lou Ferigno’s too…no CGI can replicate him (as Hulk).