Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

What can one say about a giant green man bounding around in tight pants and no shirt---
HULK SMASH!!! Exactly, I truly enjoyed this smash 'em up romp as Bruce Banner travels from South America back to the states to try and find a cure for his Jekyl and Hyde condition. This film utilizes the same fun and Marvelesque world view as it's predecessor Iron Man. There are references to S.H.I.E.L.D the rockets that are used against the Green Goliath are all from Stark Industries. There is also the cameo of Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) himself adding his voice to the conversation about a superhero team up. The script was written by Marvel regular Zak Penn (X-Men 2, X-3 and Elektra) who is scheduled to write the upcoming Captain America flick and the Avengers movie after that. As you know Ed Norton also took a stab at writing for this story. Although I'm not certain how much of his script is actually in the final product. Director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) and Norton attempted to tone down the action once again and tell a personal story about a man and his demons. Thankfully Marvel explained to them that they had gone down that road before and what they really wanted was some 'splosions and shit. And that's what we got too.Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) finds himself working in a South American juice factory attempting to use Buddhist calming techniques to control his rage. He is sussed out by his arch nemesis General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) and decides to come back to the states in order to find a cure. He of course runs into his old girlfriend Betty (Liv Tyler) and her new beau Dr. Leonard Sampson (Ty Burrell) . Now for those of you not versed in the comic book, Sampson, became Banner's shrink when Banner had seemingly lost his power. He exposed himself to the gamma radiation by siphoning it off of Banner. Thus granting him superhuman strength and long green hair. But don't get your hopes up cause this doesn't happen, at least not in this film. Anyway Banner tries to get some help from Doctor Sam Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) in New York who tries to help Banner in his affliction. Banner tries to be calm while in constant danger and there is a very amusing scene where Bruce and Betty are being all romantic and his heart rate explodes almost causing him to Hulk out, of course they are forced to stop. Talk about safe sex. They had some nice homages to the TV show starring Bill Bixby. Even going so far as to steal a few chords from the sad theme at the end of every episode. Ed Norton handles the material well and seems to have fun with it.But the best parts of this flick are the fight scenes between Hulk and his new arch nemesis Emil Blonksky (Tim Roth) a hard core soldier tasked with taking the big green guy down. Blonsky gets to try out the old school super soldier serum, from the days of Captain America, and finds that he wants more. When he becomes the Abomination later in the film we get to see a really great kick ass action sequence that tears New York to shreds. Plus Hulk gets to say the magic words that everyone who watches a Hulk film dies to hear him say--- "HULK SMASH!"
It was a really fun flick and, along with Iron Man, fits in the canon of Marvel films leading up to the most excellent Avengers movie. It's action packed and entertaining and is exactly what the doctor ordered for a great Summer Blockbuster.

Grade: 3 Buckets

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