Old Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Hulk was pretty much my favorite superhero as a kid. I used to watch the old TV program religiously. Loved the haunting melody they played at the end. I’ve been waiting for an Incredible Hulk movie for years. The first one, “The Hulk” with Eric Bana (I think) was disappointing. This one, with Edward Norton, was not. A much better movie. And the cool thing is, the way the set it up, it doesn’t supplant the first movie, unless you want it too. If you liked the “Hulk” with Eric Bana, then you can choose to view this as a sequel, just with a different actor. That movie ended with Dr. Banner in South America. This movie begins (although there is a brief recap of Banner’s accident in the opening credits) with Dr. Banner in South America. So, is it the sequel to the Hulk or not? You decide.

 

Anyway, Dr. Bruce Banner was a scientist working on a gamma ray project when he was exposed to gamma radiation (of his own accord), and altered. Now, whenever he gets angry, he transforms into a huge green hulk, a beast of all muscle, and incredible strength. Of course, a certain general in the military wants to take the Hulk, find out what makes him tick, and replicate it for military purposes. Hence, poor Dr. Banner is constantly on the run, throughout the world, trying to avoid capture and potential vivisection. He’s also looking for a cure. One scientist in the U.S. is secretly helping him, and it is through that connection that he is drawn back into the United States. Of course, a superhero is nothing unless he has a supervillain to square off against. In this case, one of the general’s men, agrees to biological manipulation and ultimately turns into a horrible monster known as the Abomination, a beast so powerful, he can even give the Hulk a run for his money.

 

That’s the story in a nutshell. Basically, the Incredible Hulk is a Smash-Fest. But a well-done Smash-Fest. When I was a kid, I always watched the TV program waiting for the Hulk to appear. He usually appeared once in the beginning, then once again at the end. In this movie, the Hulk appears three times. And each time is pretty great. Satisfies the inner anarchist in all of us. If you are looking for dramatic plot, serious discourse, and well-scripted dialogue… you might like this movie. The dialogue was good, there were some clever lines, and what can be more dramatic than an unstoppable Abomination ravaging Harlem. But it’s the slug-fest that defines this movie. That was the whole point of the movie; that is the whole point of the Hulk. “Rawr… Hulk… SMASH!” If you are looking for chaos and mayhem and a big green fella kicking tail, then this is the movie for you.

 

I’ll give it four stars out of five.

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