The Incredible Hulk: The Marvel Reboot
– A Hero-Corner Catch-up Review by David 2

2008 was the start of the all-mighty Marvel Comics launching their own movie studio and their own cinematic universe.  “Iron Man” was the first, but he was far from the last.

In that same year, Marvel Studio worked with Universal Pictures to make up for the mistake Universal made back in 2003 with the Ang Lee failure known simply as “Hulk”.  It was a rather depressing story filled with a whiny Bruce Banner and a bad CGI Hulk that was almost gelatinous at times.  Marvel needed the Hulk for their ultimate gamble, and Universal was willing to work with them to “redeem” themselves and their hero.

“Fight Club” star Edward Norton stars as Bruce Banner in this movie, with Liv Tyler as his girlfriend, Betty Ross, William Hurt doing a pretty credible Sam Elliot impersonation as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination.  The original “Hulk”, Lou Ferrigno, has a quick cameo and also voices The Hulk.  Yes, the Hulk talks.  Oh, and creator Stan Lee is in it too.

The story is pretty simple.  Bruce Banner created a monster called The Hulk.  The Hulk comes out when Bruce is angry or stressed.  Bruce has been trying to keep The Hulk contained and keep him away from General Ross, who wants The Hulk so he can use it as a weapon.  Bruce wants to destroy the Hulk, and Ross wants to make Hulk his personal weapon of mass destruction.  See?  Simple!

Eventually Bruce finds himself back in America, and back with his girlfriend Betty – who just happens to be the general’s daughter – and with the promise of a cure.  General Ross, however, decides to create his own “super-soldier” to take down The Hulk.  As you can imagine, this ends up being a bad idea.  And now the only thing that can stop this new “abomination” is The Hulk.

In terms of stories, this one was somewhat weak.  It did redeem itself from the Ang Lee movie, but it didn’t give you that feeling of excitement that we saw with “Iron Man”.  The casting was done well, the characters were adequately developed, and nobody looked like they were moping around or were throwing emo tantrums.  The pace was consistent and it wasn’t bogged down with flashbacks like the first movie was.  I suppose that’s a good thing.

The movie does have an after-credit scene… because it’s Marvel… and this one brings Tony Stark into the mix, letting us know (if we didn’t figure it out already), that this was also part of the great gamble that will lead us to “The Avengers”.  Chalk that one up as a win and a “whew” for the Mighty Marvel.

 

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