“The Incredible Hulk” is the ultimate summer blockbuster for special effects movie junkies and Marvel Comics fans that want to see “Hulk smash!” more than he did in Ang Lee’s cinematic interpretation of the character.
This time, the Hulk (Edward Norton) is not an emo boy. He is more like the misunderstood, ragaholic he was in the Bill Bixby TV series.
In addition, a certain Marvel Comics hero makes a cameo appearance. He is a tech-savvy billionaire who wears a lot of red and gold armor.
Moviegoers can expect to see Bruce Banner in Brazil where he has been hiding for quite some time. The opening scene is a beautiful aerial wide shot that brings moviegoers into Banner’s new life. He has since been working on keeping the green giant at bay.
When the Hulk makes his grand appearance, he is not given his close up right away. The audience is teased with bits and pieces of the green giant before the whole package is thrown at them for their amazement. Banner soon makes his way back home to find a cure for the green monster that is the Hulk.
Norton plays Bruce Banner perfectly. It might not have been a long script, but Norton made do with what he had, that is, blunt dialogue.
He meets Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) on the steps of a Virginia university. Tyler gives a solid performance as Ms. Ross. Her performance is as good as it could be, given that she has very few lines. The doe-eyed starlit is perfect for the part of Banner’s love interest. Tyler might not say much as Betty Ross, playing the typical damsel in distress, but she works with what she is given, which is not a whole lot in terms of dialogue.
It is a good thing she has her famous rock star dad’s lips, which came in handy during scenes in which her character is left in a state of shock.
Nevertheless, Tyler and Norton are matched perfectly. It is a convincing attraction, and buried beneath the heavy special effects, the romantic undertones of the film are captured by Norton and Tyler. She is the graceful beauty who tames the wild green beast by looking deep into his eyes as if it were a cheesy love story with sparks going off around them, but in this case the sparks are explosions and gun fire.
One thing moviegoers should keep in mind before about venturing to a theater to watch the movie is if that if they have the slightest discomfort with loud sounds, they should stay away. This is not the movie to see for its silence. The majority of the film is loud, almost deafening at times.
The special effects team not only did an amazing job at perfecting the green beast that is the Hulk, they nailed every explosion, every round of gun fire and also the creature that is the Abomination (Tim Roth).
Roth’s pre-Abomination character, Emil Blonsky, becomes obsessed with the Hulk’s power. With help from General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), Blonsky finds himself on the path to becoming the Hulk’s ultimate rival.
In one locker room scene, Roth looks like a skinny muscular rat with absolute rage in his eyes. His muscles have deep groves and give Blonsky a sick infected look. This is the Abomination, the Hulk’s foe.
Samuel Sterns, or Mr. Blue, played by Tim Blake Nelson, is Banner’s aid in trying to find a cure and delivers the best performance out of all the characters.
Though his role is considerably smaller than his fellow cast mates, Nelson delivers his lines as the geeky science nerd and brings the right amount of physical comedy to the movie that it needs. His performance adds a light funnier side, which comes as a relief from all the fancy visual effects. Sometimes, the best visual effects are the facial expressions or physical humor Nelson gives during his performance.
Visual affects aside, the film’s cinematography is breathtaking. The lighting is immaculate and the sequences in which the film is shot have the right combinations of wide, medium and close-up shots. A noticeable feature of the film is its abundance of aerial panning shots, which are used to establish each new location and introduce viewers into the movie’s action.
This film is a definite summer must-see. Everyone leaving the theater, even if they are not fans of the Hulk, will have something to talk about. This movie will make anyone want to go green and it surpasses 2003’s poor attempt to bring the Hulk to the big screen.
As for Hulk fans, do not forget to watch for Tony Stark.