Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Incredible Hulk (2008) Review

The gist of it is that it's the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno show.

Exact same origin from the TV show, the look of the Hulk is basically a modernized version of Ferrigno's Hulk. Same hair too. I'm glad Sci-Fi has been running marathons of the TV show durring the day this past week cause I'd be utterly lost without them. They pull out everything! References abound. They even pull that ending walking away down the street lonely man music. Even a sly reference to the Death of the Incredible Hulk TV movie. Honestly, I've not seen too much of the show except what Sci-Fi has been showing, but there's some fun stuff.

Also absolutely zero relation to Ang Lee's Hulk. None. I thought maybe it would be mostly ignored. Nope. Completely different. Not a remake, the origin is done in two minutes in the opening credits. Lots of references to SHIELD and Stark Industries in this bit as well.

Speaking of references, tons of comic references as well. The best one being the reference to the doctor that created the Super Soldier Serum, Dr. Josef Reinstein.

Starts off with Ed Norton, who doesn't do too bad as Bruce Banner I should add, in Brazil working at a soft drink bottling factory. The government is after him, of course, and they find him when Stan Lee gets sick from drinking a bottle that was accidentally tainted with his blood. So they find him and start chasing after him. It pretty much goes from there.

For such a short movie it sure takes its time. The pacing is a bit on the slow side, which is good cause they actually fit a story in there. I thought maybe they got too quickly to the climax. It's like, okay, we're here in a lab with the mysterious Mr. Blue talking and doing some science stuff when BAM! They got the Army up their ass and then it just basically rushes headlong into it.

The story is, of course, Bruce Banner looking for a cure to his Hulking out problem. William Hurt plays a pretty good Thunderbolt Ross (though I think I liked Sam Elliot better in Ang Lee's Hulk). Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination was great! Seriously, he owned the movie. Ed Norton was pretty decent as Bruce Banner but I can't watch him without expecting him to go beat up some black folks or hassle some Jews. What we see is, like I said, the Bill Bixby Bruce Banner. Constantly on the run trying to quell the raging spirit dwelling within him, etc etc etc. What we don't get a chance to see is the big brained super smart Bruce Banner. Sure, we see him do some science, but mostly he's doing Bill Bixby. Liv Tyler was definitely a better Betty Ross then Jennifer Connelly. Her lips are enormous. Honestly, I can't fantasize about her cause she has Steve Tyler's lips, and I don't wanna imagine his lips slobbing on my knob. That's just fucked up. Speaking of which there is one very funny scene between Norton and Tyler and they're about to get all up each other and...ah, just see it for yourself. Very funny. But Norton is really eager to grab her ass, man. Or at least that's where my eyes were.

Oh, you know who comes out in this movie? Delmar! The dude from O Brother, Where Art Thou? He comes out as Mr. Blue/Samuel Sterns. Honestly, the name meant nothing until a moment towards the end when I realized that, holy shit, it's the fucking Leader! We do see one other important Hulk supporting character, but he's never really named (unless I missed it), Doc Samson. That was more of a bone to the fans cause this Doc Samson is a total pussy.

And the coolest cameo of the film, of course, was Lou Ferrigno! Yeah, comes out for a minute as a college security guard. It's just a stupid fun moment but worth pointing. Lou is the fucking man, indeed!

But since this wasn't an origin movie, there was a certain lack of...something. Banner is running, General Ross is hating, Betty Ross is longing...things are already in motion at the beginning of the movie and we're not given time, except very briefly, to see the characters actually get there. I suppose this is why Tim Roth owns this movie so much. We get to see why he goes where he goes. He starts off tracking Banner and ends up finding the Hulk and he's dying, DYING, to get an opportunity to prove that he's as bad ass as he was when he was younger. Better even. So of course when they present the new Super Soldier experiments to him of course he jumps at the chance. Dude's 39, feels 50...time has taken its toll hardcore. He's a great soldier, but he wants to prove he can be the greatest. This is the guy the audience really gets to know and I think he'll prove to be the most memorable of the movie.

But how was the action, right? Yeah, the action is pretty damn good. Tight, solid shit. The clip AICN posted with Tim Roth fighting the Hulk in a field was part of the best action sequence. The stuff between the Hulk and the Abomination was pretty good. Worlds better then the final fight scene in Iron Man between Iron Man and Iron Monger. There's this great bit with the Hulk grabbing a police car, ripping it in half and using the halves like boxing gloves. Yeah, man, bring that shit! And yeah, we get a "Hulk Smash" moment too. The way Hulk puts out a fire is classic comic book Hulk. Oh, I can't forget the chase sequence when Norton is being hunted by Tim Roth and his team. I love the fact that all that was shot in Brazil. Looks ghetto georgous. During the entire Brazilian sequence in fact, nothing but beautiful women. Damn, I gotta get me one of those. Hot!

As for the look of the Hulk, it was tight. I never had any complaints about the Hulk design from Ang Lee's version, but hand down this version is superior. A lot more detail, a lot more emotion shows through. And this Hulk fucking throbs and ripples like no one's business! I mean he's got veins running everywhere, huge rippling muscles. It's an impressive sight. Actually, now that I think of it, he almost resembles a Dale Keown version of the Hulk. A cross between Dale Keown's Hulk and Lou Ferrigno.

Now I can't review the Incredible Hulk without making some mention of the 2003 movie version of the Hulk by Ang Lee. First things first, I liked Ang Lee's Hulk. I generally liked Lee's approach to the character as it was what was being done by Peter David when I first picked up a Hulk comic book. Lee was examining Bruce Banner's anger issues and goes into the whole child abuse thing, the dead mother thing. I thought it was a thoughtful approach and was a great treatment of the character's back story. By comparison, this Bruce Banner doesn't get angry. Since no examination of his anger takes place, instead we have a Bruce Banner that Hulks out when his heart rate goes above 200 beats per minute. We have a scared Bruce Banner, but not really an angry one. Contrast Banner to when we actually see the Hulk on screen in this new movie, and we see this Hulk angry. But this movie is about Banner's predicament, not his anger so it's a minor complaint. Still, maybe not so much the incredible Hulk so much as the hypertensive Hulk. It's kind of unfortunate, in hindsight, that the 2003 movie was made. Ang Lee went one way, and since Marvel Studios wanted to get away from that they took the stuff that he didn't work with. Because of that, each movie lacks something and each has something the other needs.

Now let me complain about the audience for a second. I fucking HATE audiences. During the opening credit sequence I was a bit distracted by this fat Mexican woman in front of me. She was handing snacks to her friends in the top row of the bottom section and RIGHT in my FUCKING way. It didn't help that this tubby bitch moved like an arthritic slug. Jesus, even some stupid girl selling pizza opened her big fat mouth during the opening sequence. "Pizza, $3.50!" Seriously, how does a theater expect to get audiences to behave when their own employees won't shut the fuck up? And the idiots right behind me? Christ, they would open their greasy shit traps at the most inappropriate times (being at any time during the movie). Seriously, people! You pay money to watch a movie, not fucking talk over it! No one gives a shit about your day, your retarded friends and you realize you could talk on your cellphone at fucking home, right? I don't think you have to pay money to do that. Christ!

So yeah, the movie was pretty good. Probably not as good as Iron Man (though thankfully lacking godawful dialogue), though maybe the audience being so stupid didn't help. Overall, it's a fun movie and I liked it.


Can't forget the damn spoilers can I?


So, how was it? The ending? The ending we've all been longing to see? Oh yeah, it was fucking GREAT!

So there's General Ross, pounding back shots, miserable that his prize got away and in walks Tony fucking Stark. Of course, he's silhouetted against an open door and swaggers over and chastises Ross for the repeated failures of the Super Soldier program, saying it was a waste of time. I lost some of the dialogue as the audience went apeshit at seeing Robert Downey, Jr. Massive win, I know, but I knew this was coming for over a month. And then, of course, the reference to the creation of a new team. YEAH! The Avengers! RAWK! Seriously, it was pretty bad ass. Fundamentally, not really different from the post credits ending in Iron Man, but still exciting to see. The next time they do one of these sequences I think they should do it as an advancement of the team's creation. A slight advancement, nothing major, but to give it the feel that there is forward motion. But I suppose there already was since it was Tony Stark delivering the message and not Nick Fury. Awesome. Pure fucking awesome.


Post a Comment

<< Home