In the latest round of comic book movies, Iron Man has been getting all of the love. While it didn’t get panned, the reviews for the Incredible Hulk have been lukewarm at best. I finally understand. It’s obvious that the people who made The Incredible Hulk actually cared what people like me, comic book readers, thought. As a result, much of the shmaltz that is woven into movies so that the general public can swallow then is not here.
I’m not going to give any spoilers here but I have to make a few comments. First, this movie doesn’t see the need to give us a long-winded and cliched origin story. Actually, it uses the origin found in the television show as a backdrop to the credits. I actually prefered this because, as a long-time reader of the Hulk, if they’re going to tell an origin story I’d prefer it to involve a gamma bomb. It also allows us to sidestep what would end up being an hour of slow story development and trade it in for some action.
That being said, we get Bruce Banner in Brazil, trying to learn to control the monster inside. Of course we know that won’t happen because otherwise there would be no movie. What we get in addition to a great Hulk is a supporting cast full of the characters needed for any Hulk movie. William Hurt plays a great General Thunderbolt Ross and Liv Tyler is adequate as Betty Ross. What we get in addition to these two is Tim Roth in a fantastic performance as Emil Blonsky and Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns.
Other nice touches include cameos by Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno. Additional touches for long-time Hulk fans include Jim Wilson (one of the Hulk’s former sidekicks) and McGee (the name of the reporter who hounded the Hulk on television) within the film. I do wish that Rick Jones had somehow been worked into the movie as his sidekick.
Overall this movie was fantastic. It includes yet another teaser for the Avengers movie scheduled to be released in 2011 and remembers that the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. Don’t believe the reviews that say the movie has no heart, is lacking, etc. This movie was well worth the price of the ticket.