Double-Teaming It: Movie Review for The Incredible Hulk

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This Friday, Marvel unleashed The Incredible Hulk upon the masses, in a ballsy relaunch of one of its most popular and beloved characters following Ang Lee’s 2003 bomb of a film. The movie begins in Brazil, where Bruce Banner is in refuge away from the U.S. government that wants to use him for evil. Quickly, he’s found, and has to make it back home, meeting lost love Betty Ross and trying to figure out a cure for his condition in the process. And, unlike Ang Lee’s movie: HULK SMASH.

 

They have a new director (Louis Leterrier), a new screenwriter (Zak Penn) and an all-new cast headlined by Edward Norton and Liv Tyler. Was it a good movie? Was it a good decision? Goki and Spiffy both think so, and read the following for another GGG special, a 2-person review!

 

 

False Start, Due to Bowels

spiffygy (4:16:05 PM): I’m ready

Gokitalo (4:16:18 PM): Let’s DO IT

spiffygy (4:19:10 PM): lets just go forth, each of us arguing/asking topic questions

spiffygy (4:21:07 PM):

Gokitalo (4:22:55 PM): Oh sorry dude, I had to rush to the bathroom

spiffygy (4:22:58 PM): haha, “rush”, that’s bad news man.

 

General Impressions

spiffygy (4:24:36 PM): I liked it. I didn’t know what to expect. The Incredible Hulk was one of the riskiest moves Marvel could make, and I wanted it to be successful, but after being burned by Ang Lee’s first one, I didn’t know where to stand, but I was cautiously optimistic. But this one was miles better: the action was terrific and the effects, particularly of the Hulk were much more fine-tuned despite still having some flaws. It was definitely stayed a lot closer to the comicbook and the acting was WAY better, of course.

Gokitalo (4:25:56 PM): Ed Norton usually equals good acting, after all

spiffygy (4:26:17 PM): Exactly. Norton didn’t disappoint, and is definitely a better Bruce Banner. He’s nerdier looking, to boot.

Gokitalo (4:26:41 PM): I liked that a lot.

Gokitalo (4:27:03 PM): I pretty much agree on all your points. Yes, it was a risky move, especially since they were starting from scratch again, but it definitely paid off. There was a very solid mix of action and character moments.

spiffygy (4:27:35 PM): And I think the movie benefited from ignoring the origin story. It was a sequel, but almost in the loosest way possible. And a relaunch all the same.

Gokitalo (4:28:07 PM): I thought it was a nice touch that [MINOR SPOILER] they basically showed us the origin during the opening credits of the film.

spiffygy (4:28:34 PM): True. That was what I was gonna say, basically a recap of telling you what you need to now. [MINOR SPOILER] And a bunch of well known Marvel character names were flashing across the screen if you keep your eyes peeled!

Gokitalo (4:29:18 PM): It’s true! Weapon Plus, TWO Hulk villains, Iron Man, Nick Fury

spiffygy (4:29:34 PM): And I may have been seeing things…but I believe I saw Rick Jones name in the documents. The added benefit of this movie, almost more so than Iron Man, which is hard, is all the little Marvel tidbits and that’s going to be a pattern that will stick with the advent of Marvel Studios

Gokitalo (4:31:10 PM): I thought it was kind of a shame Rick Jones didn’t play a big role in the origin at all, but very true! The movie also made quite a few references to the Hulk TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.

spiffygy (4:32:03 PM): I probably didn’t catch most of them, except for the play on “You won’t like me when I’m angry” which was fairly hilarious, and the Ferrigno cameo was great. Also, the Stan Lee cameo might have been my favorite one he’s done

Gokitalo (4:32:29 PM): Ditto! That was great. And I agree, the “You won’t like me when I’m angry” twist was hilarious.

spiffygy (4:33:29 PM): This movie did have some good humor, which is needed. Because a lot of time it’s hard to balance the seriousness of a movie like this, because very easily you can lose an audience. And Hulk didn’t try to be too serious (like Ang Lee’s, which is funny, because how can an audience take hulk dogs seriously?), and it wasn’t too cheesy either, so it was perfect in that way. For example: The Hulk/Betty scene could have ruined the whole movie or put off the entire non-comicbook reading audience, but it didn’t. It was very King Kong-ish, which is inescapable, but not overly so, and better than that, which I was happily surprised about.

Gokitalo (4:34:12 PM): Exactly. While you’re dealing with some very dramatic stuff here, you can’t go overboard either. The scene with the crazy taxi driver was great.

spiffygy (4:35:32 PM): Yes, the fallout from the crazy taxi driver WAS great, especially because it followed the funny/clever subway line.

Gokitalo (4:35:45 PM): Haha, yes. Another nice touch was when we saw anger isn’t the only thing that gets Bruce Banner’s heart rate up.

spiffygy (4:36:36 PM): Ah yes, probably the 2nd biggest drawback to being poisoned by gamma rays (although some people would kill for sex).

Gokitalo (4:37:24 PM): He’d probably have to wear a radioactive-protected condom, anyway

spiffygy (4:37:42 PM): I feel like Hulk would be more dangerous in the sack then Superman practically. But that’s neither here nor there.

Gokitalo (4:37:59 PM): Superman would at least try to hold back. But we’re digressing

spiffygy (4:38:09 PM): Exactly, he could control his power somewhat.

 

Acting and Direction

spiffygy (4:38:28 PM): Okay, so we touched on Edward Norton, but lets sing his praises again

Gokitalo (4:39:02 PM): Physically and acting-wise, Ed Norton fills the scrawny shoes of Bruce Banner very nicely. And don’t be fooled when I say “scrawny”: Norton’s Banner may be thin, but he sure is agile.

spiffygy (4:39:19 PM): Yes, and his intensity shines through in a fugitive movie like this one

Gokitalo (4:39:50 PM): Exactly.

spiffygy (4:39:57 PM): I hope he repairs his relationship with Marvel though. He had quibbles with the studio over the final cut of the film.

Gokitalo (4:40:18 PM): I read a quote from Norton about that and basically he said the media was kind of blowing it out of proportion.

spiffygy (4:40:43 PM): I hope that’s the case, but I think Norton should be given a lot of credit for the final product of the movie regardless, because apparently he took a very active role in re-writing the script.

Gokitalo (4:40:58 PM): That he did, he wrote a draft, I think.

spiffygy (4:41:16 PM): And since the screenwriter, Zak Penn, is the same guy who wrote Elektra, Fantastic Four and X3, I’m glad Norton got in there.

Gokitalo (4:41:50 PM): Same here. I really like a lot of the little details and touches that went into his Banner, e.g. using a watch pacemaker and learning all kinds of techniques to control his anger.

spiffygy (4:42:03 PM): Of course, maybe Penn’s scripts were bastardized by other studios, which I hope is the case, because we’ll be seeing his screenplays for Captain America and the Avengers.

Gokitalo (4:43:02 PM): As I recall he did work on X2 as well though, so maybe he works better with others

 

spiffygy (4:48:25 PM): And by the way, I think we should point out that Lou Ferrigno provided the voice of Hulk, which is awesome.

Gokitalo (4:48:35 PM): He did?!

spiffygy (4:48:45 PM): Yeah, the wonders of IMDB, I had no idea

Gokitalo (4:48:47 PM): Which remind me: Hulk’s voice was EXCELLENT

 

spiffygy (4:43:16 PM): So how about Liv Tyler as Dr. Betty Ross? Liv Tyler’s gorgeous, and I thought she played a great Betty. She did really well in scenes with Hulk and Banner especially. I don’t even remember who was Betty in the original, and I think that says it all

Gokitalo (4:44:24 PM): Jennifer Conelly

spiffygy (4:45:18 PM): Oh wow. How’d I forget her? lol

Gokitalo (4:44:55 PM): Liv Tyler’s Betty didn’t blow me away, but she did a nice job. Her Betty was sweet but incredibly brave. I mean Liv actually jumps on Norton when he’s Hulking out and tries to calm him down.

spiffygy (4:46:18 PM): Yeah I know, this movie made Ross much more involved with Hulk, and that was a big plus.

 

spiffygy (4:46:34 PM): What’d you think about Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky and the Abomination?

Gokitalo (4:47:50 PM): Not bad, I thought. They kept a hint of his Russian background, but it didn’t really play a role in the character’s portrayal of him. Not surprising, since the Cold War’s over

spiffygy (4:49:53 PM): Yeah, I don’t know the Blonsky character at all, or really any of Hulk’s supporting cast, so I didn’t really have any strong feelings either way. Roth was an interesting choice, because in a lot of ways he reminds me of Edward Norton because of their intensity, so it was cool that they end up being paired against each other, and Roth adds the extra edge as the villain.

Gokitalo (4:50:28 PM): I think Roth nailed the cockiness of the movie’s Emil Blonsky perfectly.

spiffygy (4:50:32 PM): I also really liked the look of Abomination, actually. In the trailer I was kind of meh about it, but the scene between Hulk and Abomination was EXCELLENT

Gokitalo (4:50:46 PM): Yes! I loved the Abominaton’s “updated” design

spiffygy (4:51:05 PM): Honestly, the real villain though…is our boy William Hurt as General Thunderbolt Ross (and the U.S. government, yay political implications in comicbook movies)

Gokitalo (4:51:16 PM): That’s our boy! And hahaha, yes. A friend of mine who’s a war buff was like, “wait, how can he have that much power?” but who cares.

spiffygy (4:52:07 PM): Yeah, I really doubt anyone in the military has that much carte blanche to do whatever he can, especially after he CREATED the green monster fiasco.

Gokitalo (4:52:19 PM): Still, this is the Hulk. As for Hurt’s acting… well, it got the job done.

spiffygy (4:52:40 PM): They didn’t really give Hurt a lot to work with as Ross, because he was basically doing the obligatory barking orders thing all movie. It’s funny that the final scene in the movie is his most memorable, and that’s not because he was in it. Although he plays a good drunk.

Gokitalo (4:53:09 PM): Ha, very true. The final Ross scene, where he meets the Very Special Cameo, was his shining moment. “Reload!”

SPOILERS BEWARE: Discussion of Special Cameos and Use of Future Hulk Villains, and all other kinds of debauchery

spiffygy (4:53:23 PM): And on that note, lets go into a spoilers section

Gokitalo (4:53:40 PM): Okay, we’ve done SOME spoilers so far, but we’re going all out now, Groin Lovers.

spiffygy (4:54:20 PM): As expected, with Marvel owning most of its properties, we got to see Robert Downey Jr. reprise his role as Tony Stark in the final scene of the movie.

Gokitalo (4:54:39 PM): And we didn’t have to wait until after the credits!

spiffygy (4:55:00 PM): In a “chance” meeting at a bar with General Ross, Tony mentions that they are putting a team together, obviously looking for the talents of Dr. Banner

spiffygy (4:55:08 PM): AVENGERS ASSEMBLE BABY

Gokitalo (4:55:44 PM): I absolutely love that Marvel’s building a movie universe, now that they’re doing their movies in-house

spiffygy (4:55:55 PM): Recruitment time!

 

 

COMING SOON

spiffygy (4:56:19 PM): (we should have a special three way where we discuss all the upcoming films and what we want from Avengers btw)

Gokitalo (4:56:24 PM): (I agree)

spiffygy (4:56:30 PM): (put that on the docket!)

Gokitalo (4:56:39 PM): (DONE)

Gokitalo (4:56:52 PM): Anyway, I love that Marvel’s building its own movie universe, now that it can do everything in-house

spiffygy (4:57:05 PM): Yes, I know. It’s geektastic, and they are doing it SO WELL

Gokitalo (4:57:09 PM): YES. With the upcoming Thor and Cap movies, we’ll have the Big Three ready for Avengers in 2011.

spiffygy (4:57:26 PM): 2011 is shaping up to be the year of Marvel

Gokitalo (4:57:41 PM): I agree, Marvel’s going to be rocking in a very big way

spiffygy (4:57:44 PM): I only fear that audiences will tire of comicbook movies at that point. But if its quality, I don’t think it matters whether its a superhero movie or not

Gokitalo (4:58:01 PM): You know, I don’t think they will. Superheroes are quickly becoming their own genre, like romance and comedy.

spiffygy (4:58:10 PM): (lol we need to save this for the separate convo)

 

SPOILERS CONT.

spiffygy (4:58:18 PM): Alright so lets move on to Dr. Samuel Sterns and Doc Samson. Somehow I didn’t catch that Betty’s girlfriend was Doc Samson

Gokitalo (4:58:54 PM): And I didn’t catch that Samuel Sterns was going to be the Leader until a friend of mine pointed it out.

spiffygy (4:59:09 PM): Yeah, I didn’t know the Leader’s real name, I had to wiki Sterns after the movie.

Gokitalo (4:59:40 PM): Especially since you were like, a) oh cool, he didn’t die and b) what was up with his head?

spiffygy (4:59:42 PM): But with Banner’s blood going into an open wound on his head…making it bigger….yes, Hulk has his villain for the sequel

Gokitalo (5:00:15 PM): He does! Samuel Sterns’ personality is very different from the Leader’s (as far as I know), but he was one of my favorite characters in the film.

spiffygy (5:00:17 PM): It’ll be weird to see a green man with a big head on the big screen, but Im down

Gokitalo (5:00:42 PM): If they’re smart, they’ll go for the “my head is shaped like my brain!” version

spiffygy (5:01:02 PM): Not knowing who Sterns was, I was let down by finding out who Mr. Blue was.

Gokitalo (5:01:18 PM): I was scratching my head thinking “who?”

spiffygy (5:01:21 PM): And Sterns was basically a kook, which is fine, and he was kind of funny.

Gokitalo (5:01:31 PM): Yeah, I liked the kooky take and thought Tim Blake Nelson, the actor playing Sterns did well.

spiffygy (5:01:37 PM): But he was basically an idiot and a bitch when it all comes down to it

Gokitalo (5:01:46 PM): A GENIUS idiot. He had all those ideas for gamma rays. That could make him a very sympathetic villain in Hulk 2

spiffygy (5:02:10 PM): I really liked the Mr. Green and Mr. Blue aspect of the film, taking it from Bruce Jones’ arc. Although Mr. Blue was Samson or somebody else in the comics, right?

Gokitalo (5:02:37 PM): Oh definitely. Bruce Jones’ early work on Hulk was very good, and Mr. Green/Mr. Blue was great.

spiffygy (5:03:55 PM): As far as Samson goes….I don’t know much about him, but Ty Burrell, the actor, didn’t really work for me. But I guess he’ll look a lot different when its all said and done.

Gokitalo (5:04:17 PM): Yeah. I mean, he seemed like the smart, nice guy Samson was, but he just didn’t have the look. And yes, I know Samson’s hair wasn’t always green.

spiffygy (5:04:31 PM): And we didn’t get to see him do much, so I’ll reserve judgment.

 

CGI/ACTION: HULK BRINGS THE GOODS

Gokitalo: What did you think of the CGI?

spiffygy (5:06:20 PM): In the first Hulk movie, I didn’t have a huge problem with Hulk. It’s really hard to make a green monster look real.

Gokitalo (5:06:24 PM): I thought the action scenes were very dynamic and Hulk was generally well-rendered, but there were some obvious CGI moments and I agree about the first one.

spiffygy (5:06:32 PM): But in this movie they’ve definitely made him a lot better looking.

Gokitalo (5:06:37 PM): Yeah. He looks SCARY

spiffygy (5:06:41 PM): I think its partly because he was a darker color, and more grey and not as bright green, which I dug.

Gokitalo (5:07:09 PM): I dig bright green, but the faded green was probably a good choice

spiffygy (5:07:16 PM): It works better on the big screen

Gokitalo (5:07:27 PM): Slight aside, the nod to the purple pants was hilarious

spiffygy (5:07:39 PM): Oh yes, that was one of those Marvel tidbits that I loved about this movie. He should’ve worn them dammit!

spiffygy (5:08:22 PM): But yes, the action scenes were really well done. It showed that the director was the guy behind Transporter (ugh). Very creative stuff, and it was just a wonder to see Hulk do damage.

Gokitalo (5:08:52 PM): Hulk vs. slightly-pumped Emil Blonsky was great. Especially the kick.

spiffygy (5:08:56 PM): Yes. That scene at Culver University was my favorite action scene aside from the Abomination fight, because of the tanks/sonic stuff . Of course, every scene with Hulk and the transformation were the best scenes.

Gokitalo (5:09:29 PM): The “acting” for CGI Hulk was pitch perfect, too. Oh yeah! The scene with the sonic weapons was spectacular, good point.

spiffygy (5:09:50 PM): Yeah, I had mild problems with it…because I’d like him to talk more instead of just grunt a lot. If there’s a sequel, I want to hear him yelling “HULK IS STRONGEST ONE THERE IS” and then bash the Leader in his big melon.

Gokitalo (5:10:43 PM): I actually kind of liked how they limited his speech. Made him kind of scarier, I thought. And that’d be awesome.

spiffygy (5:11:09 PM): I could see him doing more talking in the coming movies and probably in Avengers, as Banner gets some sort of control over Hulk. Do you think we’ll see Grey Hulk, Joe Fix-It or any other incarnations? And would you want to?

Gokitalo (5:11:58 PM): Ha, I don’t know if we’ll see Hulk walking around in a hat and trenchcoat or anything, unless it were played up for laughs.

spiffygy (5:12:07 PM): Haha I know, but it’d be a sweet after credits scene

Gokitalo (5:12:37 PM): Ha, it’s true, I can just envision it. “Hey, watch where you’re going, buddy!” Joe Fix-It: *GRUNT*

 

spiffygy (5:13:09 PM): Louis Leterrier, the director, did a really nice job. I read an interview where he didn’t want to just forget Ang Lee’s first film and start from the beginning, and he did a good job, sidestepping that whole disaster and still making it easy on the audience to get, and not stepping on the toes of the first film. And most importantly, the action was a whole different level of incredible.

Gokitalo (5:13:42 PM): It really was. And I agree, I like how they didn’t diss Ang Lee’s film in interviews or in the movie itself

 

CRITICISMS: HULK HATE PUNY CRITICS

 

Gokitalo (5:14:34 PM): So, any criticisms?

Gokitalo (5:15:11 PM): Actually, I have one. While the film was well constructed, especially in terms of plot, there wasn’t much about the dialogue that really stood out. Oh sure, there was the twist on “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” and that other thing we mentioned, but other than that

spiffygy (5:16:33 PM): The dialogue between Bruce and Betty was pretty solid, there was some good romantic undertones and stuff, which doesnt always work in comicbook movies

Gokitalo (5:16:57 PM): True

spiffygy (5:15:59 PM): There weren’t any glaring flaws. I did like how Banner started in Brazil and all that, but it kind of took awhile to get going, but it was necessary to see “the days without incident” thing, and him practicing ways to control his anger.

Gokitalo (5:16:23 PM): I agree. We needed to see that this is something Banner’s actively trying to control and get rid of.

spiffygy (5:17:12 PM): I’ll say that General Ross’ character was too one dimensional and not as evil or complex as he needed to be since he’s the real mastermind. They should have showed him rebelling or acting outside of government regulations, because like your friend said, there’s no way he should’ve been able to do any of this stuff

Gokitalo (5:17:35 PM): I don’t know if he needed to be more evil, but yeah, added complexity wouldn’t have hurt. If he were rebelling though, he’d still have to pull a lot of strings to get that kind of firepower

spiffygy (5:18:13 PM): Well yeah, you could play off the fact that all his soldiers are still loyal and stuff. It could be done, and I think the movie would have been stronger for it

Gokitalo (5:18:44 PM): I could see Ross’ obsession with the Hulk causing him to make his crusade more personal, yeah

spiffygy (5:19:07 PM): Also, the stuff at the factory was fine, and proved a way to track Banner, but the added conflict with the “Brazilian thugs” was almost cringe-worthy and unneeded, really.

Gokitalo (5:19:29 PM): I agree it was unnecessary, but I didn’t mind it so much

spiffygy (5:19:39 PM): Like when Bruce said “You gotta be kidding me” when he ran into them on the street. They didn’t need to add them in, because I was thinking the same thing

Gokitalo (5:19:54 PM): Ha. Can’t have Banner going up against just the military all the time, you know?

spiffygy (5:20:55 PM): There were some liberties taken with the plot, but it was necessary to make the movie going (like how he got through all the borders without going Hulk and without having anything on him in ways of ID or money).

Gokitalo (5:21:29 PM): Right. We can just assume Banner was clever enough to make those things work for him

Spiffygy (5:21:13 PM): But a lot of this is nit-picking, and ways that the movie could have been made BETTER, not ways that the movie was horrid or anything. Which I think speaks to how successful the movie is.

Gokitalo (5:21:34 PM): Exactly

Gokitalo (5:21:44 PM): There is one other thing that bugged me: you noticed how quick Blonsky was to turn on Ross and everybody when he became the Abomination?

spiffygy (5:22:03 PM): Yeah, I assumed that was because he was just more unstable than Banner. It was fine with me, but maybe thats because I just expected that to happen

Gokitalo (5:22:22 PM): True. One last thing I’d like to add: I like how this movie avoided the all-too familiar Hollywood trap, the convenient death of the villain. Which I welcome: I remember how weird it was in Batman Begins when Batman left Ra’s Al Ghul to die, so it was nice that this movie didn’t make the hero act out of character or have the bad guy die in some convenient way (see all three Spidey films)

spiffygy (5:24:27 PM): Which is funny, since Hulk is the most unstable and dangerous out of all of those.

Gokitalo (5:24:42 PM): Ha, love the irony.

 

GRAND FINALE

 

spiffygy (5:26:16 PM): Following its tremendous success with Iron Man, Marvel continues its unbelievable roll with Incredible Hulk, producing another great movie. The plot problems were minimal, and any complaints are nitpicky as we’ve proven. The movie proves to be accessible to all audiences, and adds many easter eggs for fans of the comics, even things that Goki and I didn’t catch, which shows how clever the movie was made. While I would say that the movie doesn’t shock you in too many places (there aren’t any jaw dropping cliffhangers or plot twists), but it’s not that type of movie. It’s a surprisingly well crafted moving by the Transporter director, with intense action that is never boring or predictable, and the acting itself was fairly superb all the way around. Spiffy’s fly was down throughout the movie

Gokitalo (5:29:09 PM): The Incredible Hulk is a solidly entertaining movie, with a very nice mix of action and drama. It’s got some flaws, but none of them are terribly major. Fans of the comics and the classic TV series will find many little references to both, but casual fans and those unfamiliar with the Hulk don’t need to catch any of these to understand the plot. “If you see only one Marvel movie this summer, see Iron Man. But if you see TWO movies, see Incredible Hulk.”

 

Goki Shirks Responsibility

Gokitalo (5:32:24 PM): That was most grointacular. Alright my friend, it’s dinner time. I leave editing in your more-than-capable hands!

spiffygy at (5:32:38 PM) cries.

 

THE END. Thanks for reading!

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6 Responses to “Double-Teaming It: Movie Review for The Incredible Hulk”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Ha, poor Spiffy. We shared a banquet, but I left him with the check!

  2. davidry214 Says:

    OK, finally saw the movie, and I think I have to agree with most of what you guys say. It was a good movie. I guess it’s almost too obvious to say it was better than the first one, which has my vote for worst comic movie ever (I’d watch George Clooney Batman over it in a heartbeat), but The Incredible Hulk was enjoyable in its own right, not just in comparison to that disaster.

    The acting here was very strong, which was to be expected with the all-star of Norton, Tyler, Roth, and Hurt. Edward Norton did a very good job in the lead role, and he had solid chemistry with the gorgeous Liv Tyler. I’ve thought for years that Tim Roth is highly underrated, and he had a chance to show off a bit here. He had that arrogant swagger down well, and he worked well for me as a villain, even though they changed more about Emil Blonsky than I would have liked. William Hurt is a brilliant actor who was, unfortunately, not in his most brilliant role. I wasn’t a big fan of General Ross in this movie. He lacked complexity and clear motivation.

    The nods to the old show were great. Having Lou Ferrigno in there was a good choice, both in person and in voice. He’s in his late 50s and still may be the buffest man alive. I think it would’ve been cool to have had a picture of the late Bill Bixby sitting beside Ferrigno during his cameo, but that’s OK. One of my favorite references came much earlier though, when they played the infamous sad walking away music from the tv show. Almost every episode ended with Banner hitchhiking as that piano part played, and they put it in as Norton was walking the streets in Brazil, looking lonely. I’m not sure anyone else noticed, but I erupted when that happened.

    The CGI was strong, significantly better than the first. The action is general was very good, although some of the chase scenes bordered on lasting a little long.

    Now for the sequel setup, particularly our doctor friends. When they started the Mr. Green/Mr. Blue dialogue, I assumed it would be Doctor Samson. Then he showed up, kinda, and it didn’t seem to fit, so my next guess was Sterns, and I was pretty excited when his name first flashed on screen. It was a really good choice, and I’m glad they look to be going with The Leader for the next one, since I actually think he’s the better Hulk villain. Tim Blake Nelson seemed like a slightly odd choice to play him, though. I like Nelson, and it could be that I have a hard time associating with something other than his mostly comedic role in O Brother, Where Art Thou? Still, he seemed too goofy for Sterns, and I have a hard time seeing him as a major villain.

    As for Samson, there isn’t a ton to say, because he was barely on screen. I didn’t really feel it was really even worth introducing him, especially doing so as Betty’s boyfriend and then having her immediately not care about him once Bruce shows up. But actually, I was glad she acted like that, because I don’t think I could’ve taken another comic book movie love triangle. Those are getting old, IMO. Also, this is a little tangental, but it annoys me when studios use a clip from a movie for the trailer (the one with Samson and Bruce talking), but cut the clip from the film itself. I swear, the entire Fever Pitch trailer didn’t make the movie.

    Other criticisms? The Hulk/Betty interaction was slightly too King Kong-ish for me. Perhaps the worst moment in the movie (there weren’t many bad ones) was when Hulk, who’d just been shrugging off bullets, sonic weapons and explosions in one the best fight scenes, hurts himself by bumping his head against a rock. Really? Come on. Another complaint would be the lack of real conclusion with Abomination. I know he was defeated, but gamma-irradiated monsters seem to heal quickly. Was the military just going to put it in handcuffs now? Is he even capable of turning back into Blonsky? It would’ve only taken about ten second to wrap that up.

    But like you guys said, most of the flaws were fairly minor, and didn’t detract from me liking the movie. It wasn’t great per say, but it was a good, enjoyable movie that had a lot going for it.

  3. spiffyithaca Says:

    I don’t know how impressed I was by Roth, because I feel like anyone can play an asshole, but he looked cool/like an asshole while doing it. And I don’t know shit about his character, like I said.

    And yeah I agreed about Hurt. He could really be seen as THE villain in these movies, and he should be IMO, but there’s not enough substance or method to his roles either.

    Yeah Sterns was goofy and I wasn’t sure I liked that, but I’m sure he’ll be a lot different in Hulk 2 as The Leader, and Samson really had nothing to do in this movie and so little that I didn’t even realize that was his name. It threw me for a loop. It seemed like they introduced him just to introduce him, and with a weird actor at that. And I have no issue with stuff in trailers not in the film unless it’s something sweet, and the Bruce/Samson talk was creepy/really gay.

    Agreed about the King Kong stuff, but I thought it was actually okay.

    And the rock and Abomination thing seems like nitpicks, to me. Hulk OWNED Abomination, so who cares if he isn’t locked up or put away or whatever, and Hulk has to get hurt sometimes, even if that was a lame way, I agree.

    I’d say it’s pretty great, and a strong step for Marvel.

  4. davidry214 Says:

    I heavily disagree on Ross. He shouldn’t be THE villain. He’s not supposed to be evil. But they’re leaving him in this murky area where you can’t tell what he is. Poor writing.

    As for Abomination, like I said, it would’ve only taken a moment to resolve that. But ending the scene with him just lying there wasn’t a strong way to go. If there’s something between a nitpick and a significant problem, i’d categorize it as that. And sure, Hulk has to get hurt sometimes, and he did throughout the movie. And I know it was supposed to be funny/cute/not serious, and this one is definitely a nitpick, but I just thought that was dumb.

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    I don’t know, Ross is pretty morally corrupt. He cares for his daughter, but he’s a terrible father and doesn’t really make any effort to change in his ways. He used Banner for his research (how’d that turn out?) and then followed that up by manipulating Blonksy’s genes, creating Blonksy into a monster with very questionable reasons behind it, and then believing that these people belong to him and the US government, but by the way he acts he certainly thinks he has first dibs. He’s also presumably going on this rampage without the government’s express permission, or at least I’d hope so. I think the government and Ross is the real villain here, at least in the way he’s portrayed, and I like it if it was more pronounced that way and clearer (because like we both said Ross was kind of a dud), because there’s some definite social commentary in there.

  6. The Belated Top 25 Films of 2009 « Goki’s Giving Groin Says:

    […] 25. The Incredible Hulk: It’s a shame Edward Norton and Marvel got into a fight over this movie, because it was a far cry from the original clunker with Eric Bana. Tim Roth was excellent as Abomination, and the final fight scene with between him and Hulk was fucktastic. Goki and my review is here. […]

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