2008 brought us The Dark Knight, Iron Man and…. The Incredible Hulk.
The second film in the MCU was Louis Leterrier’s Hulk film. He’s brought us classics like, Transporter 1&2, Clash of the Titans and 1 of the 2 bad MCU films. It stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, William Hurt as General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross and Tim Roth as the bad guy, that’s also an abomination.
Marvel Studios hit it out of the park with Iron Man but somehow in the same year they managed to make a big pile of crap, just one month later. I think it’s very hard to make a good Hulk film and I know I couldn’t make one but that doesn’t excuse bad acting and annoying characters. When watching this film again yesterday, I tried to just see it as a film on it’s own and not compare it to other Marvel films but even then the film just isn’t very good.
So there are very few things I liked about the film but there are some. The way the film starts is fantastic. In the opening credits it shows you how Bruce Banner became the Hulk and sets up the film in minutes. We didn’t need to see an origin story again, after we got one in the even worse film Hulk from 2003. You meet the characters, you see the story and then go straight into the film. The very last scene with Tony Stark is also really great and blew everyone’s minds back in 08. The big end fight is fun to watch and there are some cool moments of action. And that’s about it for anything positive.
The story in The Incredible Hulk is really boring. It’s about Bruce Banner running around trying to find a cure for The Hulkster Disease. It could work but the film does nothing with it’s characters and the plot takes no twist or turns, to keep you invested. There are relationships in the film, that could create emotion and make the characters interesting but they just don’t go anywhere and the film does nothing with them. There are a few characters, that feel like they were cut down to very small parts. Ty Burrell plays Liv Tyler’s boyfriend and is completely pointless. Michael K Williams has a weird 5 second Cameo. He did originally have a bigger role but it was cut from the final film but he sticks out and probably should have been cut from the whole film.
I’m a Liv Tyler fan but she was terrible in this film. She was one-note and expressed no emotion at all. The character wasn’t unique or interesting in anyway but she could have at least tried to bring something to the table. Every time she came on screen she brought the whole film down and had no chemistry with Edward Norton. Which brings me to Norton.
Edward Norton, I thought was OK as Banner but after we just got a perfect portrayal of Tony Stark, this performance feels kinda bland. Usually Norton pops onto the screen and you can’t take your eyes of him but in this, I felt like he was coasting through the film to get the paycheck. Bruce Banner should be a complex character, that really struggles emotionally with being a ticking time bomb. In the Avengers you tell immediately that Banner is struggling and he really hates being the Hulk. I never got that from this film. Bruce is constantly traveling from place to place looking for a cure but I never felt emotionally that he wanted to be cured. The CGI and design of the Hulk in this film is horrible. There are moments when the effects are laughable.
The two villains are played by Tim Roth and William Hurt. Two very strong actors but again they didn’t have much to work with. Hurt’s character Thunderbolt Ross was a character I completely forgot about until I saw him in the Civil War trailer. I do like that they are tying this film in with the MCU because whether I like it or not, it’s apart of the universe and it makes sense that Thunderbolt would be involved. It’s actually quite strange he’s never been involved before. Anyway the character I thought had promise and could have been interesting, if they hadn’t gone with the generic army guy that wants to make a weapon. Tim Roth is another actor I like but he was miscast in this role and has some really cliche lines, example “Any last words” or “Is that all you got”. I would love to see what Marvel would do with the Abomination character now, with better effects and a new actor.
Tim Blake Nelson is yet another actor who I like but he was maybe the worst character in the whole film. It was only a small role and not much to get worked up about but he was so grating and annoying. He was just a stupid goofy character, that I hate in comic book films. They appear all the time, like Electro in Amazing Spider-man 2, Quicksilver in Avengers, everyone in the Tim Story Fantastic Four films and you can even go back to 1983 with Richard Pryor in Superman III. The fact they even teased that Tim Blake Nelson could still be alive and could be a new villain is painful to me.
I really don’t like The Incredible Hulk, it was full of characters I didn’t care about, bad CGI, a couple of funny Hulk jokes and good actors giving bland or bad performances. Although after next week’s film this is is going to feel like The Godfather.
It’s definitely hard to make a good Hulk film but I feel Marvel could do Planet Hulk with Mark Ruffalo, which may be happening. Then after Thanos is beaten, the big villain for the Avengers could be Hulk. What do you think about The Incredible Hulk and do you think Marvel could make a good Hulk film?
Next Week – ‘Sigh’… Iron Man 2