The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a sequel to 2003’s Hulk movie, just a weird new movie in its own right.

I mean, the movie isn’t weird, it’s a Hulk movie, but it’s weird to have a reboot within 5 years of the movie being rebooted – I guess the other one didn’t line up right with Iron Man and whoever else is going to be included in an upcoming crossover movie.

And what’s the deal?  Well, pretty much what you expect I reckon.  Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is irradiated, turns into a super strong, very big, green… Hulk… And The Powers That Be decide they can’t be having him roaming around free and hunt him down, so he goes into hiding.

Conveniently for us, he goes into hiding in the Brazilian favelas – which are friggin’ awesome high density slums, incredibly photogenic in their filthiness, and provide for some life and vibrancy on screen for a while.  While in the favelas he trains himself in meditation, and gets some coaching from someone who looked suspiciously like a Gracie – in self control and BJJ – all in the hopes of getting sufficient control over himself that he can avoid doing the whole “don’t make me hungry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry” thing.  (You’ll get it when you watch the movie.)

The powers that be track him down when he has an accident (not of the HULK SMASH kind though), and send in the thugs.  Trouble is, you see, he’s the motherfucking Hulk.  So it doesn’t matter how bad arse you are, your puny bullets will bounce off his unconvincingly shiny skin, and P.S. stop being dressed up as an American soldier when you’re a British soldier, you giant tool.

The British guy (Tim Roth) gets some upgrades, and turns evil, and then there’s a great big fuck-off battle. The end, and they all live bittersweetly ever after.

It’s all good except the CG – and given that CG plays a pretty big part in modern superhero movies, this is probably a problem they should have spent a bit more time on.  Maybe you’ll be less sensitive to it than I was, but to me most of the Hulkmode stuff – while highly entertaining and action packed – also looked rather more like game cutscenes than I can tolerate in a movie, particularly given the year (it’s less convincing than “that dinosaur movie”, and that came out a loooong time ago).  I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m sure that the Hulk can be presented in his superhuman form, while still looking like something “real”.

Oh, and how hard is it to render a helicopter?  Seriously.

It’s good fun, very entertaining, and I reckon you should check it out – bonus is a Tony Stark cameo, thick with the syrup of foreshadowing for the upcoming crossover.  And if even that isn’t enough, how about a very sexually frustrated girlfriend for the Jolly Green Giant?  Poor girl.  (teehee.)

(Oh, and it’s really time to stop having Stan Lee cameos in every damn Marvel movie, please. Please!)