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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Hulk that most people want to see, October 27, 2008
This review is from: The Incredible Hulk (Three-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
A few observations about the mostly successful, mostly entertaining 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk"...

The movie is billed as a reboot or totally new version of the Hulk, not a sequel to the 2003 Ang Lee film that was simply titled, "Hulk". I'd call the movie more of a semi-reboot. Why? Well, the earlier movie ends with Bruce Banner in hiding in South America, with General Ross and his cronies madly searching for him. And the new film, well... opens with Bruce Banner in hiding in South America, with General Ross and his cronies madly searching for him. I think Marvel smartly structured the film to appease both camps: if you liked the earlier movie you can- contrary to all the "forget the earlier movie!" hype- view this one as the next chapter in the story. And if you didn't like the earlier film, you can point to the recasting of the actors and the less introspective, more "big summer movie" tone and say, "Whew, it's NOT the same storyline!" Your money, your choice.

The new film offers a more kinetic, visceral, action-oriented story, peppered with just enough quietly dramatic moments (in other words, talking scenes) so the movie doesn't turn into a relentless, flashing, pinball machine. If you ever read the comic book, it really feels like a three-issue run from the mid-70's "Hulk Smash! era.

The deleted scenes in the 3-disc special edition are interesting. Apparently a more pronounced love triangle between Betty, Bruce, and Betty's new boyfriend Leonard (who we learn, via one deleted scene, is actually comics character Leonard Samson, pre-irradiation experiment) was a bigger part of the original conception of the film. Though the five or six deleted scenes involving this triangle are intriguing to see, I think I like the final film's decision to simply allude to the tension between the three characters instead of turning the middle part of the movie into an episode of "As the Hulk Turns".

There are one or two deleted scenes involving General Ross that I wished were kept in the film. Though never depicting him as warm and fuzzy, a couple of those scenes showed that his motivation to capture the Hulk and harness his power, though misguided, didn't come from an evil place. If they were included in the film, those scenes would have made it easier to swallow the General's semi-change of heart at the end when he decides to extend an olive branch to Bruce and join forces with him to take down the Abomination. That's a quibble, though. The film and its developments in the current cut still work; there's just less explicit evidence on display that the General is capable of making that emotional leap.

Other treats abound. There's a fun little cameo involving Iron Man's alter-ego Tony Stark which was clearly moved from its original "Easter egg" post-closing credits position to the final scene in the main body of the movie after the huge success of "Iron Man". As said, it's an enjoyable cameo, but a little confusing: Is Tony asking General Ross to help him recruit the Hulk into the new super-team he's forming or offering the use of that team to help Ross take down the Hulk? I guess we'll have to wait for the next round of Marvel movies to find out. Also fun but somewhat under-written was the obligatory Stan Lee cameo, where we see him as an innocent bystander who drinks some gamma-infected soda pop (the scenario is not as inane as it sounds) and then freezes up and drops the soda bottle. It's amazing to me that they missed the opportunity to have him writhe on the ground and turn at least a little green, if only for a moment. Oh, well.

More about the three-disc DVD I bought: Though generous, the set is not as lavish as the term "three-disc DVD" might suggest. The first disc is the movie (looks and sounds great) along with a commentary track; the second disc contains a thirty-minute or so "making of" piece, a few short (about ten minutes each) companion pieces that provide additional details about different aspects of the production, the deleted scenes I mentioned, and a cute piece (a few minutes long) showing how a scene from the movie was inspired by a scene in the comics. The third disc is simply a digital copy of the film that you can upload and watch on your PC.

I hope that the DVD release of "The Incredible Hulk" puts the movie over the top financially, offsetting its somewhat lackluster box office (so much for blowing the Ang Lee film out of the water). It would be be nice to see another chapter in this saga, after all, and without having to suffer through another re-boot, or semi-reboot, or whatever confusing technique they'd end up employing in a hand-wringing gesture to overthink the concept of what people want from this character that's simultaneously highly commercial and "what's he really about?" offbeat.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 31, 2008 5:50:15 PM PDT
most Surely another Sequel is comming dont forget the Scientific receive some Gamma Rays and most probably he will be THE LEADER !!

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 4:39:41 PM PST
Thanks so much for taking the time to outline the special features of the three disc edition. So few people do in their reviews and it should be mandatory to help potential buyers.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 9:25:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2009 4:22:40 PM PST
Thanks, I couldn't make out what name the General used in the closing and thought that was supposed to be Nick Fury rather than Tony Stark. As far as why Stark approached the general, it depends on whether they want to lead into The Ultimate Avengers, or be true to the original comics. I remember, during the fairly brief time that I was interested in comics as a kid, that Iron Man and the Hulk hated each others guts. Which I thought was really funny since they were my two favorite superheroes.

Edited to add: I just watched it again and this time heard the name and putting a team together. Apparently, the first time, I must have missed **hearing** the whole scene. I didn't recognize it visually as Stark because I hadn't yet seen "Ironman" the first time through.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2014 9:50:18 PM PDT
Thogek says:
@William, if you're pondering the end-scene with Stark and the General, you might appreciate this "official" Marvel Movies take on that scene: http://marvel-movies.wikia.com/wiki/File:Marvel_One-Shot_-_The_Consultant_(Full_Version) ;-)
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