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|The Incredible Hulk|
dir Louis Leterrier
scr Zak Penn
with Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, Christina Cabot, Peter Mensah, Debora Nascimento, Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee, Robert Downey Jr
release UK 12.Jun.08, US 13.Jun.08
08/US Universal 1h52
Don't get angry: Norton and Tyler
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
It's difficult to know what the filmmakers were going for with this recast sequel to Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk. While capturing the same inner-angst tone, this film then drifts into incoherent silliness, complete with a cartoonish final battle.
Bruce Banner (Norton) has been hiding in a Rio favela, trying to control his anger as he searches for a cure to the gamma poisoning that turns him into a hulking green brute when his heartbeat rises. But General Ross (Hurt) is still on his trail, aided by the vicious soldier Blonsky (Roth). After a frenzied confrontation in Brazil, Banner returns home to seek help from his ex, Ross' biochemist daughter Betty (Tyler), and a New York scientist (Nelson). But Ross is experimenting on Blonsky with his own formula for a super-soldier.
The film gets off to a great start, with a gripping Bourne-style chase across the favela rooftops that's far more exciting than anything that follows, simply because it involves actual stunt men rather than animated effects, impressive as they may be. Also satisfying is the way the film strikes a darkly gritty tone, digging into the internal struggles of the characters, which gives the film a kick of emotion, especially in one astonishing transformation sequence.
This also gives the cast interesting scenes to play, with frequent comical touches and moments of wry irony. That said, there's not actually that much to the characters. Norton can act his socks off, but the story never embraces Banner's personal journey; Tyler looks both beautiful and smart and yet is essentially just another female sidekick; Hurt merely channels Sam Elliot (who played the character last time); and with nowhere else to go, Roth is left to gleefully chew on the scenery.
Along the way, director Leterrier keeps the action brutal while breezing past the plot's gaping holes, dropping in nods to the classic TV series and helping to develop the Marvel cinema universe. But the film's final act consists of a gigantic effects sequence that has no resonance or relevance because it's contrived, badly chopped and features two animated monsters trashing the city. Yes, it's the final act of Iron Man again. And in losing the human touch, the filmmakers lose their connection with us completely.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
|Harish, UK: "The Hulk was truly incredible. The film was just as story-based as Ang Lee's effort, but this reboot has far more entertainment for story, as oppose to the 2003 version which was story, with a 'little' Hulk peppered on top. This story was far more satisfying, as were the cast, but it still had some lacking moments. The Hulk character is hard to watch for the most part, with myself personally finding that I couldn't not think 'CGI!' The final fight itself was pure adrenaline, and brutal as it should be, but I couldn't help feel that if it had just a BIT more 'HULK SMASH!' then it would've been better. Enjoy an entertaining new spin on what is probably Marvel's second best-known superhero." (Jun.12.08)|
© 2008 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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