The Incredible Hulk : 3 of 5

The Incredible Hulk (Widescreen Edition)Somehow I completely missed this film in the theater even though I love superhero movies, probably because I was so disappointed in the first attempt to capture the Hulk on the big screen a few years ago. But recently it occurred to me that I need to watch all of the Marvel films that are building up to the big Avengers movie in the future, so I rented this DVD to get up-to-date. The Incredible Hulk is so much better than the Ang Lee version that I might be able to finally forget that one was ever made! Edward Norton is simply a fine actor that truly takes his role as Bruce Banner seriously, and I was really impressed with the way he made the character believable. The film bypasses almost all of the Hulk's origin story by presenting a nice credits montage instead (a pretty bold move), and jumps right to Dr. Banner hiding away in Brazil learning how to control his anger and pulse to prevent the Hulk from emerging. There are lots of excellent nods to the classic live-action TV series, including cameos from Lou Ferrigno and Bruce Bixby (via a clip from The Courtship of Eddie's Father), a funny take on the famous line "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" (which comes out as "hungry"), and they even bring back the sad "walking away" piano music that ended every episode! Tim Roth becomes Abomination, another gamma ray creature that Hulk has to duke it out with while destroying a good portion of New York City! Unfortunately, the Hulk himself is all CG (understandable given his size) which looks pretty cool, but ultimately never fools the audience. I was constantly reminded that I was essentially watching a video game, which is a shame since the other film elements of story and characterization are so great. I enjoyed seeing Robert Downey Jr. show up as Tony Stark at the end, and now I'm pretty excited about the Avengers movie (although it's a shame that Edward Norton won't be continuing his role). I'm glad I finally got around to watching The Incredible Hulk, and I'm hopeful that someday filmmakers will find new creative ways to present this Marvel character!