Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By: Zak Penn, Edward Norton
The Hulk is a hard character to center movies around despite all the attempts to do so. The Hulk is a really popular character in the Marvel Universe but the Hulk isn’t really a hero per say. He doesn’t necessarily save, he destroys. The Hulk is the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide of Marvel Comics. Bruce Banner is a man always struggling to control his power because his power is dangerous and he is afraid of hurting the ones he loves. That’s a great character dynamic but it makes formatting a film story line difficult, that is part of the reason the Hulk films are never successful.
I grew up watching the Incredible Hulk television show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. I have always loved the character and I have liked all his incarnations in film. Despite the popular opinion on Ang Lee’s Hulk in 2003, I thought it was OK. I thought Eric Bana was a good casting choice for Bruce Banner, and I liked the movie despite its flaws. The movie was far too long, but it was an Ang Lee film. His movies are good for great action and incredibly long retarding points with a really long running time. The movie was exactly that too, it had long stretches of boredom but where most people found that to be disappointing I had merely seen it as something to be expected. We do not own the movie but I wouldn’t mind revisiting it at some point and writing a review about it. I like Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross and I think Sam Elliott is awesome whether he was a good choice for the role or not. If I get the opportunity to see it again maybe I can pinpoint exactly what made this movie so hated. It was built for a sequel but was a complete and utter box office flop so no sequels were made.
This movie, The Incredible Hulk, is a reboot of the franchise and I thought it was an incredible movie. Like its predecessor though, it did not live up to studio expectations profit wise. Despite that, this was a great movie and I thought it was awesome. I am really not familiar with Louis Leterrier but he made a fantastic Hulk movie, even honoring the original Bill Bixby television show along the way. What I liked most about this movie was that it was connected to the universe of films Marvel was beginning to create. It was connected with the Iron Man movies as Robert Downey Jr. made a late scene cameo as Tony Stark. However, when that universe the studio was building came to fruition this film was not included. Edward Norton was replaced as the Hulk in The Avengers film and everything we saw in this movie became nothing more than an after thought. I know that after this film came out Edward Norton got into a dispute with the studio over a writing credit and things got a little ugly. I think that in the end the studio obviously won because Norton wasn’t included in the party when things really got going. I was really disappointed by that decision but I will admit Mark Ruffalo did a great job in the film. There will probably be a Ruffalo Hulk movie made eventually unless the studio has finally learned its lesson in regards to centering a film on the Hulk character.
It really was a shame that the studio gave up on this movie and the franchise it might have created because I think Edward Norton was excellent in the part. I really liked what was done with his character, how hard he worked to control his curse, the Japanese Judo breathing methods and what not. I don’t think Liv Tyler was bad in the part of Betty Ross but I did prefer Jennifer Connelly to her. William Hurt is an outstanding actor and I think he is awesome, but Sam Elliott may have had an edge on him too despite how good he is. The mustache looked ridiculous on him, and nobody wears a mustache like Sam Elliott. I think Tim Roth was a great bad guy and I liked seeing him in a big time movie again. Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno both had really good cameos in this movie too. No Marvel movie should be made without an appearance from Stan Lee for as long as we have him with us, and no Hulk movie should ever be made without paying its respects to Lou Ferrigno.
This movie might not matter anymore after the phenomenal success of The Avengers, but it is still worth your time to see. Mark Ruffalo may have been great in that movie but with all due respect he robbed all of us by taking the part that rightfully belonged to Edward Norton. This was an awesome movie and it’s just flat out not fair that it was discarded by the studio. I cannot argue with how awesome The Avengers was, but I will always wish that things had went differently and Ed Norton had been involved.
I don’t love this movie. It’s okay I guess, but to be completely honest, I just don’t really like The Incredible Hulk as a super hero. Not my favorite. Let’s go ahead and move on to the poster.
Ryan sorta gave me some kind of picture in my head when he told me what this poster looked like. He said he was going to write my post for me, so thank goodness I didn’t let him do that. I hate this poster. It looks like Ed Norton is coming out of the Hulk’s ass. I am literally laughing out loud at the whole premise. There is this obtrusive glow on the typography of “Hulk”. I just really do not like this movie or poster. Not a fan.
NEXT MOVIE: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)