in Review

Doing the Monster Smash

The Incredible Hulk

Everyone’s favorite green, mean, smashing machine is back and he’s putting the “bust” back in the Summer blockbuster. I mean that in the physical sense not in the “they blew it” way.  It’s been five years since Ang Lee’s underwhelming adaptation of this classic comic book icon, but now we finally have a film that represents what that jolly green giant is all about. With adrenaline junkie Louis Letterier (The Transporter) behind the camera and the contributions of the multi-talented Edward Norton, this latest Marvel Studios production is a competently acted, quick paced, superhero flick filled with effects, humor, cameos, and plenty of sequel potential.

Following a kind of “on the run” theme, this latest Hulk film pays tribute to the 1970s TV show more than anything else. Bruce Banner (Norton) looks for the cure to his gamma-induced condition with help from a mysterious source. Facing a troubled relationship, the US government and a never ending struggle from within, The Incredible Hulk has layers (like an onion) and really moves.

The story here is simple, as the numerous CGI rampages are the centerpiece of the film. Highlights include performances from Edward Norton and the too-often underrated Tim Roth as “Abomination” A.K.A. “Emil Blonsky”. Liv Tyler does here cute helpless heroine bit (which is fine for this film) and William Hurt doesn’t have to stretch too far to play the ruthless General “Thunderbolt” Ross (Though Sam Elliot was perfectly cast for the part in the previous installment.) Tim Blake Nelson also pops in for some quick comedic relief and leaves the film open for a potential sequel (aside from this Avengers film in the works)

This kind of flick is truly what I look forward to with the summer season. You couldn’t ask for a more fun theater-going experience. It may not be the most intelligent or thought provoking piece of cinema, but it delivers on entertainment and when it comes to the Hulk, that’s key.

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