Last night, Brandi and I saw The Incredible Hulk. In some ways, I liked it better than Iron Man, but then, I've always been a Hulk fan, while I never had too much interest in Iron Man. I never read the armored avenger's book on a regular basis, but I collected ol' greenskin's title for a number of years, and as a kid, I loved the TV series.
That's probably why I enjoyed the latest film incarnation so much; it's a canny amalgamation of elements from the comic book and the 70's television show. I think that was a smart move, along with the choice of making it more of an action film than Ang Lee's 2003 adjectiveless Hulk film. Director Louis Leterrier – a veteran of the first two Transporter films – wisely raises the action level and stages (with the assistance of several armies-worth of computer animators) several exciting "Hulk-out" scenes, beginning fairly early in the film.
In general, the cast is a large improvement over the 2003 film. While Ed Norton's not quite as amazing as everyone seems to think, he's still a huge improvement over bland Eric Bana. Liv Tyler (who I've lusted for since the crappy Empire Records) is an effective love interest, and her character is much better-handled than in the previous film, where Betty (portrayed by a dour, emaciated Jennifer Connelly) betrayed the love of her life repeatedly. At least this Betty stands up to her military father (played by William Hurt very much like Sam Elliot in the previous film), and doesn't keep turning poor Banner over to the clutches of the Army.
Even the obligatory Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno cameos are cleverer and actually integrated into the story.
The script is decent, the pace is good, and the CGI Hulk is considerably more convincing than in the earlier film. Even though – like most super hero movies – the film eventually degenerates into two computer-generated cartoons beating up on each other, the rest of the production was executed well enough that I actually managed some emotional investment in the big FX scenes.
Anyway, I liked it and am looking forward to owning it on DVD. I have a feeling I'm going to re-watch this one a lot in the years to come, as opposed to the Ang Lee version, which I've watched just twice....