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on September 9, 2008
The second film to be produced directly by Marvel seems eager to prove why comic book companies should exercise direct control over their films. Rather than being nothing more than a new director's take on an old classic, The Incredible Hulk is both an engaging film and a love letter to every other incarnation of the The Hulk that proceeded it. This film truly endeavors to understand and assimilate the entire history of the character into one new project, and boy does it succeed.

At the center of The Incredible Hulk is an ambitious attempt to marry the two most popular and conflicting visions of the character. The film borrows many elements from the fondly remembered 1970s television series but also incorporates many of the more important elements from the comic book. It's a tough balancing act, but the film makes the disparate elements mix together in a way that makes complete sense and (I believe), leaves fans of both series feeling satisfied. The origin and characterization come largely from the TV series (though, thankfully, it's Dr. BRUCE Banner this time), but the more memorable supporting characters and conflicts from the comic are worked in as well (though Rick Jones was quite fortunately forgotten). Additionally, the enemy is a highly logical choice from the comic book series. Finally, the bad memories of a mutated Nick Nolte are beginning to subside.

The film also incorporates minor elements from the TV movies, the previous film (which is neither acknowledged nor completely contradicted), and even the previous Hulk video game. Of course there are also many wonderful nods to fans of each of the Hulk incarnations. The flashing danger light, the appearance of student reporter "Jack McGee," and Stan Lee's cameo proved to be my personal favorites. Lou Ferrigno also receives a far better cameo than in the previous film.

Most importantly, whether you have any interest in previous Hulk incarnations or not, this film is exceptionally well plotted. It resists the urge to shine the light fully on Hulk or Dr. Banner, instead carefully developing the two in unison. Dr. Banner (masterfully played by Ed Norton, who actually outshines Bill Bixby) gets farther than his television counterpart was ever allowed, and that experience necessarily changes him. The transformation is satisfying, yet still allows the franchise to return to familiar territory by the end.

In parallel, the monster also receives his share of development, though this isn't made clear until the end. His final scene cements this film's brilliant unison of television series and comic book, leaving no doubt that this is the most impressive project ever to come out of the Hulk franchise. I was left so excited, so convinced for the first time that the character had truly come to life, that I almost expected Doctor Strange and the Defenders to show up in the next moment. For only the third time in all my movie going experiences, a beloved comic book character actually seemed real (or at least possible), even in spite of the sometimes questionable computer animation.

Finally, true Marvel fans will be amazed to see just how much continuity this two hour film packs. Clear and meaningful ties are made to Captain America, Iron Man, and S.H.I.E.L.D., and just you wait for the film's final scene! While DC is still trying to decide who should play Superman and Batman for their Justice League movie, you can rest assured that Marvel is getting ready to tie their films together in a meaningful and impressive way. The Marvel Universe has truly made the move into Hollywood and, with The Incredible Hulk as a shining example, it's safe to believe that they've just begun delivering everything a humble fan boy could ever hope for.
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2008
"THE MADDER HULK GETS, THE STRONGER HE GETS". Apparently, ol' Jade-Jaws has been rebooted for the screen under the moniker; "Incredible Hulk" with a new director; Louis Letterrier, a new script by Zack Penn and has a new lead actor in Edward Norton. To be honest, I'm one of the few who appreciated Ang Lee's "Hulk", appreciated but didn't love. Sure, it was too moody, nary a smile on anyone's face, full of human angst and fake looking CGI, but I thought it was reminiscent to the comic book when Paul Jenkins was at its helm. 2008's version of the Green Goliath trumps the 2003 version, with a different origin, more action and the CGI is a vast improvement over its predecessor. No, it is not a sequel to the 2003 film but a re-imagining that has close links to the "Hulk" (except for the color) who appears in Marvels' "The Ultimates" comic book.

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is hiding out somewhere in South America, looking for a cure for his gamma-induced affliction, trying to keep his temper in check, keeping a low profile and avoiding a certain General Ross (William Hurt) who intends to make an army of super-soldiers from his own D.N.A.. After being pursued by a team led by Emil Blonsky (Eli Roth), Banner returns to America to pursue a cure and asks longtime love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) for her help in finding a man named "Mr. Blue" who may be able to cure him of his gamma-powered alter-ego. Blonsky is hot on their trail and asks Ross to experiment further with the workings of gamma radiation and cellular manipulation with him as the guinea pig. Blonsky is a man who wants power--at any cost.

The origin of the Hulk has been re-written from its 2003 version. Banner is a scientist who is unknowingly performing experiments on gamma applications to try to replicate a serum based on a World War II super-soldier serum (Captain America anyone?) that apparently got out of hand. Ross wants it as a weapon (no surprise) and Banner is the victim. Readers of Marvel's "the ULTIMATES" may see some similarities and may applaud this move. It was a good move to incorporate a new script to this 2008 film and Louis Letterrier seems to be the right man for its directorial duties. The script by Zack Penn in the hands of this director still has the usual touches of human drama and a moody atmosphere but at a better pace than Lee's rendition of ol'greenskin.

The CGI effects is a step forward from its previous incarnation; an improvement but still not perfect. The Hulk looks more ferocious and feral than the 2003 version and the moments where he says "Hulk Smash" still puts a smile on my place. I was waiting on the line "Hulk is the Strongest one there is" but I guess this would ruin the film's mood, and become a bit too comical. The battle with the Abomination is the film's main draw. The fight is fierce, savage and above all, very hard-hitting. You feel the impact of the blows, and the snarls add a lot of animal-like ferocity. There is also quite a decent number of action sequences dispersed throughout the film. Banner's encounters with a Black-ops team in the first 20 minutes and with a small army contingent helps the film's pace. Hulk smashes cars, humvees, and crushes almost everything in sight; Hulk also "claps" with such devastation. There are also moments that put Hulk's relationship with Betty in the spotlight and the savage monster is truly only savage when provoked. Hulk gets to display some emotion and sensitivity in the presence of Betty. Nice touches, truly reminiscent of the comic book.

Edward Norton's Bruce Banner may well be a little underdeveloped but by now, the film is probably relying on the fans to know what he is all about. Banner has that nerdy look but at the same time, strong and determined. Banner trains in the Brazilian style martial arts to try to control his anger by discipline. I almost wanted him to say: "Hulk knows Kung fu" but thankfully that didn't materialize. Norton gives a strong performance as our tortured scientist, I rather thought that he displayed the right emotions when one is afraid of losing himself. William Hurt is an outstanding General "Thunderbolt" Ross, his character is reminiscent of the other ruthless ones, Hurt has played throughout his career. Ross is a man of duty and has that `someone needs to get their hands dirty' attitude that gives his character a lot of depth. Liv Tyler is on par with Jennifer Connelly's Betty Ross. She's the anchor that pulls Bruce through the hardened moments.

While the film has the tendency in becoming a bit overlong and fall to the pitfalls of too much melodrama and excessive display of human angst, the film has some cleverly placed bits of satire that assists the film's pace. You wouldn't believe Banner's attempts in communication in Portuguese; " wouldn't like me when I'm hungry." Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno makes cameo appearances which also add some subtle bits of humor.

Ultimately, "Incredible Hulk" is a success and an effective reboot from Ang Lee`s 2003 version. The film managed to stay focused in its context of a "Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde" formula and the same time delivered a cleverly action-filled popcorn film that delivers the goods. There are hints of an underlying plan with Robert Downey's guest appearance and the hints of a "super-soldier" does give comic book fans something to look forward to. The film is a great comic book adaptation and it comes highly recommended from me who has seen Jade-Jaws' ups and downs since 1979.

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on June 16, 2008
This version of The Hulk is by far more enjoyable than Ang Lee's overblown nonsense a while back. There is something for everyone in this film.

This film never acknowledges the earlier version in any way that I could pick up on; it just acts like that film never existed. There is no father role here for David Banner, but we still have the military's involvement in Banner's gone wrong experiment. There isn't a lot of plot here and many of us already know the story behind the hulk's creation and Banner's attempt to rid himself of the violent alter ego that he transforms into whenever he is either overly excited or angered.

Ed Norton, who contributed to the script, is the perfect David Banner and even reminds one of Bill Bixby who played him on TV (and has a humorous cameo in this film even though he's been dead for many years now). Lou Ferrigno who played the actual Hulk on the TV series also has a cameo as does a young version of the reporter who chased after him on the series. In fact, the light script has numerous references to the old TV series and the comic book as well. The film is serious enough, but has enough wisdom to remember that this is only a film based off of a comic book and not Shakespeare or something as Ang Lee seemed to think he was dealing with in his version of the Hulk which while not a bad film itself, was just not what Marvel fans wanted. This film is much more what Stan Lee and Hulk fans had in mind.

A plot synopsis of this film is rather a waste of time I think as it is fairly true to the comic book and TV series, so I'll just move along to my hits and misses approach:

The Hits:

(1) A much lighter version than the last one. This one is FUN! Much credit goes to the writers and director for not getting carried away this time.
(2) The outstanding special effects don't crush the film under its own weight. The CGI is perfect for this film.
(3) The acting is very good by all. Ed Norton is the perfect David Banner, William Hurt gives his usual bad guy routine as does Tim Roth, and Liv Tyler (from LOTR) is okay verging on almost boring.
(4) The direction is confidently done and we always get the feeling that he knows exactly what he wants on the screen.

The Misses:
(1) They could have had a more interesting girl friend for David Banner. Tyler was okay, but she did nothing much for me or the movie. She was just kind of there. I would have liked Zooey or Emily Deschannel (The Happening for Zooey and [[ASIN:B000HT3P60 Bones for Emily in the role as his girl friend. These sister actresses both have an unusual beauty to them and make perfect scientists.

(2) The score was very unmemorable.

(3) Some of the action was a bit too fast and was a blur at times.

Overall, this is a typical summer blockbuster with a promise of future films in one fashion or another has me excited about what is next from Marvel.
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on August 14, 2011
I like this movie, but for this review I'm not going to talk about the actual movie. There's plenty of reviews about that. I just want to warn everyone that the digital copy included in this pack is EXPIRED. While the digital copy disk is included in the package, you cannot download the movie to your computer. You will get a message that says the digital copy is expired and no longer allowed to be downloaded. Just be aware of that.

Someone else mentioned this fact in their review, but I didn't see it, unfortunately. Buyer beware.
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on April 21, 2016
Love this movie more than I can express in this little box. Ed Norton is a fantastic Hulk (though I must admit, Mark Ruffalo is even better). Great CGI effects, a story with heart, and holy crap, that army vs. Hulk scene is intense!
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on August 3, 2011
I know a lot of people who despise the Hulk as a super-hero but I throughly enjoy watching his green-enraged-awesomeness. Actually, I enjoy the storyline following Bruce Banner more than the actual Hulk's because Banner is a very likable character. This movie is quite good and the cast supports it very well. I wasn't unhappy with the Eric Bana version a few years ago, but this was a well-done reboot and I was quite impressed with Edward Norton's performance. The final battle is quite epic!
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on April 10, 2012
I just viewed the '03 and '08 versions back to back and it's interesting comparing their strengths and weaknesses because they're essentially the same movie. The main difference is that the '08 version omits the conflict Bruce has with his father and exchanges the Absorbing Man (Bruce's father) for the Abomination.

The 2008 version starts out better than the 2003 version, more interesting and entertaining, but tends to lose steam by the third act with the ultra-cartooney fight between Hulk and the Abomination. By contrast, the '03 version starts out slow and relatively boring but strongly revives interest by the 90-minute mark when the Hulk has that spectacular rampage that starts in the desert and ends in San Francisco, which lasts a whole 22 minutes. In fact, this rampage is easily one of the most entertaining action pieces in the history of cinema and worth the price of admission. The '08 version has some quality action, for sure, but nothing that even comes close to the main rampage in the '03 version.

Edward Norton in the '08 version plays a better Bruce Banner than Eric Bana. Not that Bana isn't likable, it's just that he's simply too much of a tall, muscleman to fit the role. He looks like he could kick some serious arse without even becoming the Hulk, which takes away from the whole concept.

Although the Hulk in the '08 version has a grittier overall appearance, the filmmakers opted for a snot-greened hue, whereas the '03 Hulk has a better shade of green. Furthermore, '03 Hulk looks more realistic and less cartooney, although the facial features of the '08 Hulk are excellent.

The '03 version also shows the Hulk jumping around with incredible leaps - almost flying - as he does in the comics, which the '08 version barely implies. The likely reason for this is that the filmmakers rightly realized they couldn't even touch Ang Lee's film in this area.

Of course the '03 Hulk is bogged down by the origin story, while the '08 version breezes through it in literally 3 minutes. To make matters worse for the '03 version, changes were made that slow the story down and needlessly complicate it. In the comic Bruce Banner became the Hulk after accidentally being exposed to gamma rays from a huge government test-bomb in the desert. In Hulk '03 the Hulk's origin is complicated by being tied to Bruce's mad scientist father who experimented on him when he was a little boy. Although one has to allow some latitude in comic-to-film translation these changes definitely slow the story down and make the origin less immediately gratifying. BUT it does offer a father/son conflict to the table.

The '08 version changes the Hulk's origin as well, making it similar to the TV show, plus tying it in to the "super soldier" serum. The '08 version wins the prize on this front.

Some say that the '08 version opts for brawn over the brainy approach of the '03 version, but -- with the exception of Hulk's fight with the Abomination at the end -- this isn't even remotely true. Each film has a lot of drama and I was impressed with the reverent, realistic tone both films have in their non-hulk portions. Banner's relationship with Betty Ross is particularly well-done and moving, especially in the '08 version. Great job by the principles here -- Bana, Norton, Jennifer Connelley and Liv Tyler.

Great soundtracks in both versions.

So, both films are quality Hulk flicks with some great moments and the '03 version with its spectacular 22-minute Hulk rampage, but each have their strengths and weaknesses. Take the best parts of both and you'd have an incredible Hulk film! (Sorry)

Needless to say, if you're a Hulk fan it's necessary to purchase BOTH films.

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on August 7, 2008
Although Ang Lee's 2003 "Hulk" was interesting from a creative standpoint, summer movie goers were not prepared to watch a convoluted psychodrama about repressed emotions playing out amid visual meditations on microcosm and macrocosm. Hulk's final confrontation is with his DAD?!? Transformed into a giant jellyfish made out of water?!? W.T.F.?!? Lee's film registered with audiences as an ambitious failure -ponderous and unwieldy.

Louis Leterrier's "The Incredible Hulk" is an aggressive attempt to gather all Hulk fans under one tent pole, and is largely successful, providing a tightly paced story with big budget thrills while staying close to it's pulpy, heroic action/weird science monster roots.

The opening credit montage serves as shameless retro homage to the 1970's TV show, a retelling of the origin story of the Hulk and re-establishment of the basic characters: Dr.Banner (Edward Norton), General Ross (William Hurt), Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and their conflicting relationships.

When a military team led by Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) sent by General Ross catches up to Dr. Banner, the resulting chase though a Brazilian favela is reminiscent of something you would see in a Bourne movie with a bit of parkour thrown in for good measure - exciting, but not all that original.

The first confrontation with the Hulk is set in a darkened factory and, while providing only teasing glimpses, gives a solid example of his destructive power when provoked. What Blonsky experiences in that confrontation plants the seed of his obsession with the Hulk - his desire for that kind of power leads him to undergo dangerous experiments in the pursuit of 'performance enhancement'.

After Dr. Banner recovers from his Hulk-out, we get a sense of the toll each episode takes - that he has to rebuild his life each time. There's not a whole lot of character development for him, but Norton plays it with a quietly desperate intensity that works.

Dr. Banner reconnects with Betty in his search for a cure and the old flames of romance are rekindled. Norton and Tyler have good chemistry in their scenes together. Tyler does a great job of conveying her character's deep connection to Dr. Banner and it doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes.

The military closes in again, and Banner's second Hulk-out is the heart of the film. All of the character conflicts collide and the action delivers the goods. Leterrier creates images that are ripped out of the pages of the Hulk comics and breathes life into them on the screen. When the military hits hulk with some experimental sonic cannons, the result is pure weird science goodness!

After Hulk/Banner and Betty get a little down time, Blonsky begins his transformation into the Abomination. This is what fans have been waiting for: a downtown super-brute smash-em-up! "HULK SMASH!"

All in all, this movie does a solid job of balancing character drama and big budget spectacle without really taking any risks. Perhaps somewhere, between this straight ahead action film and Ang Lee's art-house take, is an even better Hulk movie yet to burst the seams of it's potential. But that, gentle reader, is another story...
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on May 9, 2016
Great Marvel Hulk movie, it makes up for that first one. The first hulk movie had some great parts but this one is great from start to finish. If you are a gamer & have played any of the Hulk video games - then look out for the "steel fists".
Please make a sequel from that villain teaser you gave us (hint: see hulk juice dripping onto "someone's" head).
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on November 18, 2013
Beware gamma-sickness, and don't drink the imported Guarana Soda stored in Stan Lee's refrigerator, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"The best way to control your anger is to control your body," learns Dr. Bruce Banner. Edward Norton gently altered the intelligent script to artfully integrate The Hulk's narrative. Norton brings a level of pathos and depth to his role. I first became interested in watching this film after seeing Mark Ruffalo's distinctive version in Marvel's The Avengers. Ruffalo will be reprising his role in Joss Whedan's sequel in 2015, "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

This chapter in The Hulkdom oeuvre does not disappoint, as Ang Lee's version did. Watch for a great cameo by Lou Ferrigno (Hulk's voice too), another little bit of twisted Stan Lee humor with Banner working in Stanley's Pizza Parlor, and the corrupted Dr. Samuel Sterns (the great Tim Blake Nelson, memorable as Delmar, loved-up and turned into a horny toad in O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The one negative is that the film feels like it was wrapped-up abruptly. It begins vividly, with Norton's Dr. Banner/The Hulk hiding out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, desperately searching for a cure while for his Hulk-condition while collaborating with the mysterious "Mr. Blue," and loyally protected by his super-smart dog companion. The end is not as strong; it would have helped to have a final scene with Banner waking threadbare and footloose, trying to cope with closure with Betty (Liv Tyler), his angst, and survival.

Sometimes, life can be so stressful that folks just need a little fun entertainment. Enjoy!
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