|The Incredible Hulk
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
by: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson
Released by: Universal Pictures
Short: The Hulk is back on the big screen, this time in a satisfying flick that fans of the big green monster are sure to love.
The Green Monster Returns with a Growl
Despite having so many big-time movie franchises under their belts, Stan Lee and the powers that be at Marvel Comics just couldn’t let The Incredible Hulk go. Five years ago, after director Ang Lee’s talky, internalized take on the giant green monster in Hulk disappointed fans of the famous comic, Marvel went back to the drawing board, determined to get it right. To that end, they replaced everyone. Taking over Eric Bana’s role is Edward Norton, who now stars as Bruce Banner/the Hulk (and cowrote the script); Liv Tyler is scientist Betty Ross; William Hurt plays her ruthless father General Thunderbolt Ross; and Louis Leterrier of The Transporter directs.
The result is an eminently watchable popcorn flick that is jam-packed with action sequences (a big fan complaint about the first film was the lack of those), as Banner attempts to cure himself of the gamma ray infection that causes him to uncontrollably transform into the Hulk at the moment his blood pressure heads north of 200. Norton plays an unexpectedly effective lead and Hurt an impressive foil for him as the relentless Army man who is determined to use the Hulk's powers as a weapon, but it is Tim Roth who really steals the show as the super soldier Emil Blonsky. Bent on harnessing the Hulk’s awesome power, he’s even willing to inject the dangerous gamma rays into his own body. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose once he does that!
One warning about The Incredible Hulk is needed, however. If you truly have no idea who the Hulk is nor what his back story entails, this movie is not really for you, for it assumes a deep knowledge of the character and the comic books that he has starred in since 1962. Without a modicum of that knowledge, it will take half the movie for you to figure out what is going on. But if you are indeed in the know about The Incredible Hulk, this is a movie that will satisfy fans of all ages. And it also holds out the offer of many more Marvel superhero-packed films to come, in a final scene that caused the fan-filled audience to cheer with delight. You’ll have to see the film to find out just what that is.
Review by Jenny Peters