Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008) Review

Here we are. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Okay, so technically second but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that film). Don't know what I mean? The films that build up into Avengers Assemble. This was an odd way to start off the series considering that there was a previous Hulk film cleverly titled Hulk. Genius title, I know. The weird thing is, The Incredible Hulk takes place after the events of Hulk but Hulk is from a different director, cast, producer and even a different studio. It's not related to Avengers Assemble.

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is hiding out in Brazil in order to try and control his other half, the unstoppable green giant simply known as The Hulk (Voiced by Lou Ferrigno). After his gamma infected blood gets out into the world and ends up infecting and killing an innocent bystander (Stan Lee), the military work out where Banner is and track him down. General Ross (William Hurt) recruits Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) to take part in a experiment similar to the one performed on Banner in order to give Blonsky super-human abilities. Banner is trying to get past the military and reunite with his love interest Betty Ross (Liv Tyler).

If you saw this film after watching Avengers Assemble then you may notice one significant change: Edward Norton is playing Bruce Banner as opposed to Mark Ruffalo. There probably is a reason that Norton didn't return to play Banner but honestly it wasn't a problem since Ruffalo did a fantastic job of covering for Norton. They both do and excellent job of the role but if I had to pick a preference then I prefer Mark Ruffalo.

This film has a huge problem that I just can't ignore. Now don't get me wrong, most comic book films are better if you have foreknowledge of the comic but there is usual and origin story to them like in Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger. Now, Hulk was an average film that has no connection to this one but if you want the full story behind The Hulk since it is only hinted and shown briefly through quick flashbacks in The Incredible Hulk. If you have no prior knowledge yet don't want to watch Hulk (which is perfectly understandable) then it's going to be hard to follow.

The villain is obviously a big part of a comic book movie and seeing as the one featured Hulk is so forgettable that I even forgot who it was, the one featured in The Incredible Hulk is much better. Emil Blonsky (who Marvel fans may know him as The Abomination), played by Tim Roth, is an excellent choice considering he can rival the Hulk and Bruce Banner at the same time. Roth looks like he was made for a villainous role and it really shows here.

The Incredible Hulk features a great cast, great acting and some excellent character chemistry. It is definitely the most underrated comic book film so far which may have been a result of Hulk putting people off the character. It started off the Marvel Cinematic Universe (along side another film) and the build up Avengers Assemble was well worth it. So what's this other film I keep mentioning. If I told you that Robert Downey Jr. makes a cameo at the end of this film then I think you can guess what film is being reviewed tomorrow. See you then!

A underrated comic book adaptation which features great acting and action but may confuse people either not familiar with The Hulk.

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