Company: Marvel Studios
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writer: Zak Penn (Click here for info)
Runtime: 114 minutes
What I Expected
Remember Ang Lee's Hulk film back in 2003? You know, the guy that later on did Brokeback Mountain? I don't. Somehow I've managed to suppress the memory and with new generation of CGI for comparison, I'm thankful I can't summon up the memories. Even with that out of my mind, I still expected a lot of flying/jumping green mass, leaping over fields and off buildings or something. Lots of rooftops. I really expected a lot of rooftop chases since what action film with a fugitive plot device is complete without a rooftop chase scene?
What I Hoped
As a comic fan post-Iron Man 2 hour visual-audio orgasm, I had hopes that were practically in orbit of the moon. I wanted Hulk dialogue.
Marvel was never my God being a DC (*cough*Batman*cough*) fan at heart, but I did get an appreciation for the other side of the fence after reading some of Civil War, Marvels (which if you have not read yet, your life is forever incomplete) and House of M, which I am collecting. [shameless plug] If anyone out there knows where I could get a good price on Prelude to House of M: Excalibur or House of M: New X-Men, I'd appreciate it. [/shameless plug] House of M: Incredible Hulk has to be one of my personal favorites because of the Hulk's lines alone, much less the scene where he uses a whale to help hide a submarine from radar. It's kind of full of awesome.
Not to mention, it wasn't too unreasonable an idea that the Hulk might actually get some lines in this film. After all, many fans know that the Hulk is in fact quite intelligent and in some ways, smarter than Banner or at least, more practical.
What It Is
Is it an abomination? (haha, comic joke) Definitely NOT. Will it change your life? Not unless you really like the Hulk series or Edward Norton in a very strange way that you might need professional help.
It's a good action film all around. Not a great one, but a good one. Visually, it looks great , the pacing is fast, but still transitions from story to action and back rather smoothly and the story stays interesting more or less with decent dialogue. The best part is that it's for everyone really. The only reason why anyone would not recommend taking your smaller grade school tykes to it is that it has one sex joke and almost-sex. Yes, almost-sex, the bane of teenagers everywhere. That brief moment of almost getting it on and end up not getting any. In any case, with a combination of animatronics and CGI for the Hulk, the mean green Marvel money-maker looks fantastic throughout the movie. There are a couple scenes when they seemed a little overzealous with the slick rain look, but that is a small, small offense that can easily be overlooked.
As far as writing goes, it was okay. The romantic subplot was subdue, but still corny. It didn't help that LotR's Liv Tyler (Betty Ross) was not as hot as I expected. Between bad costume choices in certain scenes and strange directing, it didn't seem they were trying to make her more attractive, which confused me greatly. When Hollywood has a love interest, don't they usually spice her up for the potential fan boys?
All they really give to the hard-core fans is the intro which is just riddled with all sorts of goodies that are gone in a flash. Granted, there are very obvious jokes throughout about the Hulk series in general with the obligatory Stan Lee cameo, but there was little evidence of anything more. If they had anything after the credits, I would have given it a slightly higher score.
Overall, the movie is okay. If you've seen Leterrier's Unleashed with Jet Li, you have a good idea of what to expect. Good action, mediocre movie. Go to it with low expectations and try not to think too much during it and you'll have a great time. It's a film you go to strictly to have fun, not to mentally masturbate your fanboy-ness.
My Rating: C+