The Incredible Hulk
United States, 2008
Directed By: Louis Letterier
Written By: Zak Penn
Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Lou Ferrigno
Running Time: 114 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content.
4 out of 5 stars
Ditching the standard origin-story that most comic book franchises kick off with (if nothing else, Ang Lee can be thanked for getting that out of the way), the film thrusts us straight into the action. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton replacing Eric Bana) is hiding out in the slums of South America, working at a soda bottling plant while he desperately searches for a cure to his condition. The U.S. military, however, has a hankering for that condition and the legions of super soldiers they could create with it. Headed by General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt of Vantage Point) and special ops guru Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth, Youth Without Youth), it isn’t long before they’ve tracked Banner down and are chasing him over sheet metal rooftops and through congested alleys and streets.
Regardless of its missteps, The Incredible Hulk is a genuinely entertaining piece of comic book goodness. From the fanboy service (Lou Ferrigno’s cameo, the musical score that references the original TV series, and Hulk’s classic line of subtle dialogue, “HULK SMASH”) to the city crushing confrontation between the Hulk and his psoriasis-challenged nemesis Abomination, Marvel and co have effectively rebooted a series that seemed destined to sulk in the corners of Blockbuster’s bargain bin. It’s not a reinvention of the wheel (one painful lesson was enough), but it is smashing fun.
Evan Derrick loves movies, loves talking about movies, and even makes them from time to time. In the rare moment when movies aren’t consuming his grey matter, he enjoys eating grilled cheese sandwiches, playing with his baby daughter, and pretending to be the senior editor for MovieZeal.com. Use the Tulsa Today search feature to read previous reviews by this author.