daniel cohen looks at the second theatrical incarnation of the hulk…
Release Date: June 13, 2008
First Saw It: I didn’t see it in the theaters, so I probably netflixed it sometime in 2009.
What Drew Me to See It: Well, it actually took some prodding because I hated the 2003 Ang Lee Hulk. I was also confused on whether this was a sequel or a reboot, so that was frustrating. After good word of mouth, I finally got around to it.
Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson
They Were Also In: How about Lou Ferrigno who does the voice of the Incredible Hulk, and was the actual Incredible Hulk in the old TV series. Ty Burrell also portrays Leonard, Betty Ross’ boyfriend. Who’s Ty Burrell you ask…none other than Phil Dunphy on Modern Family.
Deleted Scene Shenanigans: As this is the second Marvel movie to build towards the Avengers, a deleted scene in which Bruce Banner wanders the Arctic and encounters a frozen Captain America can be seen in the special features in some of the DVD editions.
Director: Louis Leterrier (The Transporter, Clash of the Titans)
The Best Performance: When Edward Norton is in a movie, he’s usually the answer to who gave the best performance. Bruce Banner is such an easy character to root for, and it’s all in Norton’s subtlety and empathy. When you look at the cold, unlikable bastard Eric Bana was in the Ang Lee version, Norton is a breath of fresh air.
The Supporting Scene Stealer: Tim Roth is an awesome bad guy, playing the overly competitive deranged soldier Emil Blonsky, who later becomes the Abomination. His best moment is after Banner “cures” the Hulk, and Blonsky tackles him to the ground demanding to fight him. Wow…this is the type of guy who would probably want to take on the entire Miami Heat roster completely by himself.
The Moment to Remember: The fight between Hulk and Abomination is pretty damn epic. These guys just smash the shit out of each other…what more do you want?
The Memorable Quote: “The smell of stale beer…and defeat.” –Tony Stark approaching a wasted General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross at the end.
The Groan Moment: I know Stan Lee shows up in every Marvel movie, but his scene in the Incredible Hulk just annoyed me for some reason. He takes a swig of the soda that was accidentally contaminated with Banner’s blood. He gives a quick ‘wow,’ and faints in slow motion. There was just something about the way it was shot, and the slow motion to draw out his cameo that irritated me.
Why I Can’t Stop Watching It: I just feel bad this movie never gets talked about. It’s the Marvel outcast if you will. I think this film suffered box office wise because of the Ang Lee Hulk, and the fact that it was sandwiched between Iron Man and the Dark Knight back in 2008. It’s a solid blend of character development and action, Norton is fantastic, and the score is excellent. I’m sure Mark Ruffalo will be a good Bruce Banner, but I wish Norton could be in the Avengers with all these other guys. When you marathon the Marvel movies before watching the Avengers, don’t forget about this little gem, and give it a chance.