Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

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....

5 comments:

Craig Zablo said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this version of The Hulk. It's kind of funny though that you and I are usually in sync, but I had no real interest in The Hulk as a kid, but did enjoy Iron Man -- especially the David Michellini [sp]/ Bob Layton issues.

I'll have to check out The Incredible Hulk at some point.

laughingwolf said...

i could not be bothered to see lee's, the trailers were boring

this version seems a lot more promising; waiting to see when it gets up here....

Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely thought this looked like it would be better than the Bana one of a few years back. I have to say, though, I think Jennifer connoley is much hotter than Liv Tyler, although I like Liv as well.

Christopher Mills said...

Connelly *used* to be hot, back when she still had some curves and smiled occasionally. She was gorgeous in Labyrinth, The Rocketeer, Dark city, etc.

Unfortunately, now she's just another Hollywood skeleton who looks like an undead echo of her former self.

The King Of Cool said...

I was a big fan of the Incredible Hulk tv show when I was growing up. I was always more into him than Iron Man. I saw Ang Lee's Hulk film, but for some reason never got around to getting to see this one. My bro and some of my buddies did though. All of them loved it. I definitely wanna catch it when it hits DVD.