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THE INCREDIBLE HULK, 2008
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THE INCREDIBLE HULK MOVIE POSTER
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Movie Review

Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler
Review by Eli Manning




SYNOPSIS:

Fugitive Dr. Bruce Banner must utilize the genetic accident that transforms him into a giant, rampaging hulk to stop a former soldier that purposely becomes an even more dangerous version.

REVIEW:

They screwed up the first making of this series just 5 years ago. An Ang Lee duller that could be one of the worst films made in Hollywood this decade. So they went out and made another The Incredible Hulk to try to piece this series together (which of course could lead to many future sequels).

This time they succeeded as they added the secret ingredient of storytelling that the first time forgot: EMOTION!

How they forgot that key to telling a story is beyond me in the 2003 version. But this time they tell us who these people are and what they are dealing with internally and externally so we actually care about their journey.

Actor Edward Norton playing the lead Bruce Banner is the key to the success of this film. We must like him first playing the scientist on the run in order to like him when he turns into the mean green the Incredible Hulk when he's killing everything in front of him. We feel for the computer animated Hulk because we felt for Bruce Banner. And this is the key to us being emotionally involved in this piece for its entire duration of the film.

The film gets the exposition out of the way in its opening credits. In what easily could be a short film, we find out everything we need to know (without using any dialogue) so the story can begin right away. Excellent stuff and perhaps a groundbreaking action in movie-making that could be seen in future films to come. Think back to first Fantastic 4 film. That movie was a two hour exposition of how these characters became a superhero. The Incredible Hulk tells its exposition in 5 minutes and we're completely satisfied!

Director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter 2) knows how to make a film. We're completely into this story and it's characters while the action scenes are a joy to watch. This film was made in the city I live in, so I knew many people who worked on it. I kept hearing about Edward Norton's intrusion in the direction and the screenplay while the film was being made. I guess Leterrier learned to deal with Norton's notorious perfectionist nature. This is his vision mixed in with his stars vision. Sometimes two hands in the kettle can result in failure and sometimes is can lead to brilliance. And this film leaned on the brilliance side.

The thematic of The Incredible Hulk is about Science VS Power. Science has lead to the invention of The Hulk and power (the military) wants it. Science thinks it can control it, and power thinks it can control it. In the evolution of man, both science and power have lead to where we are now. Some would argue for both sides in terms of who was more positive and both sides have their argument. And this film talks about those arguments.

I think we're at that stage in film making where black and white emotions and sides don't work for the audience anymore. We are smart enough to know that the world isn't that simple, and this film knows that. They easily could of chosen the good VS evil storyline, but they didn't which is why this is a solid film. Everyone gets something from this film. The hardcore fans get their story, the popcorn fans gets their story and the intellectual audience gets their story. Good stuff!

A little more plot was needed in the really interesting character, Military lifer and obsessed fighter Emil Blonsky (played by the always great Tim Roth). This is the character that is the straw that stirs the drink in this movie and we really needed more of a character arc to what really made him tick. If we got that then the climax would of worked emotionally a lot better. Now it's just your basic action scene to end a film. I think we've seen enough of those endings. Other than that this is a perfect Summer Hollywood movie.

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