Monday, June 16, 2008

The Incredible Hulk - Full Review

Who can forget Ang Lee's disastrous attempt at bringing one of Marvel's staple characters, The Incredible Hulk to the big screen? I can. Why? Because Louis The Transporter Leterrier has completely eradicated it from my memory with this, to be added with Iron Man, X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2 as one of the greatest Marvel super hero movies of all time.

Marvel made the right decision in "rebooting" The Incredible Hulk by sweeping away almost all that had been involved in the previous celluloid outing. A new title actor in the form of the excellent Edward Norton, a self confessed fan of The Hulk; was able to lift elements from the comic book and was also able to channel Bill Bixby's performance as a fugitive from the original television show to properly depict the tragedy of Dr. Bruce Banner. I think it also helped that he rewrote most of the script himself which unfortunately has left the future of his involvement with the franchise in doubt. Anne Thompson sums up this debacle here.

The other actors also met or exceeded expectations with the exception of one. As Liv Tyler is hotter than Jennifer Connelly (as well as being a superior actress), she made a better Betty Ross. Betty's father Lieutenant General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross was depicted by William Hurt, whom I always thought was a bizarre choice for Gen. Ross and it seems like as I was right as he did not exceed the performance of Sam Elliot who played the character in Ang Lee's version, the only superior thing about that awful movie. Tim Roth was at the top of his game once again playing a would-be villain as Emil Blonsky, an officer nearing the end of his usefulness as he saw it, jumps at the chance of becoming a super-soldier to subdue The Hulk menace and turning deliciously evil along the way.

The CGI effects for The Hulk were far more believable this time round with The Hulk having superior facial expression, body movement and poses more consistent with the comic books. Other special effects also included a pair of nifty sonic cannons employed against the green Goliath and of course the final battle sequence where The Hulk and The Abomination go at it were spectacular.

There is obvious sequel setups with Tim Blake Nelson's character Samuel Sterns getting a dollop of Banner's irradiated blood into a gash on his forehead. And of course the obvious appearance of Doc Sampson played by Ty Burrell. Unfortunately the scene with Captain America was cut, but Leterrier says it will appear on the Internet soon and also be part of the 70 minutes of cut footage available on the future DVD release, but don't worry there's a serious nod to The Avengers before the credits roll.

Sadly there are a few glaring errors in an otherwise perfect presentation that prevent my full enjoyment of this movie and cost it a higher rating. As usual they revolve around the depiction of the military forces. I'm even going to ignore the tactical flaws Ross made with sending a team to tranquillise a 20 foot monster or his gross miscalculation of Blonsky's potential. The movie takes place in a "present day" setting. This is proven by the relatively new Norton 360 software on Betty Ross' PC. With this in mind we must note that the Army personnel were wearing the old woodland camo pattern BDUs and not the now-standard ACU pattern. Emil Blonsky is clearly described as a Royal Marine Officer who is on loan to them, however when he is being debriefed he's clearly seen in a US Army Class A uniform with US army badges (albeit with grossly incorrect insignia). The nail in the coffin for these errors had to be General Ross' uniform; I've played poker, smoked cigars and sat through dozes of briefings and budget meetings with top Army brass to know when there's something seriously wrong with an Army uniform and I've illustrated the errors here.

Final Verdict: Another great Marvel Comics Superhero Movie which may take a while to recover an audience from it's abysmal predecessor but paints a bright possible future for itself and other Marvel movies. Let us hope the Punisher: War Zone can do half as good at Christmas.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****1/2


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, Stan Winston, the guy who gave us the dinosaurs in Jurassic park and the Terminator, the Predator and the Alien, just kick it. Another blow to the forces of Hollywood originality.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

I have now honoured him.