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Customer Review

on April 17, 2000
"The Death of the Incredible Hulk" has some rather dramatically exciting moments (particularly in the first half, during which Banner's mysterious guiding of the research of the elder scientist is discovered, he reveals his identity, and work begins and nearly ends on curing him of his 12-year curse). Bill Bixby gives perhaps his best performance as Dr. David Banner, aside from the pilot, and all appears in the first act or so to be the makings of perhaps the very best, and final, entry in the series. Supporting players, including Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, are adaquately covered (despite the weakest of first Hulk-outs in the saga as Banner is mugged in the opening minutes and subsequently changes into the Hulk and throws the muggers around and crashes into some walls). Then, the spy plot enters in and we are forced to watch as once again David Banner's hopes for a cure are ruined and in the rage of which he becomes the Hulk further complicatiung any possibility of his ever getting a second crack at the method. The spy plot subsequently consumes the remainder of the film and thus depreciates the film's overall rating. Banner comes through yet another series of heroic events and saves the day (with the help of course of his 7-foot alter ego). Then, as if the screenwriters remembered that they had to justify the title, Banner gets angry one last time and chases down a plane. The Hulk unintentionally causes the plane to explode and then falls in slow motion to the ground with a thud. Dying, the Hulk changes back into David Banner to survive long enough for Bill Bixby to utter the last words, with tears in his white eyes, "Yasmine, I am free..." One of the major problems with this film is that it serves to bookend the entire "Incredible Hulk" TV saga as a big cautionary tale. This is not fair to both the followers of the series or the cast and crew that brought it to life (though endearingly cheesily). Yes, 12 years prior, the character of David Banner made a dumb mistake in his researching into the "hidden strengths that all humans have"; however, 12 years of roaming the United States helping other people with ethical or personal dilemas while on a quest to cure himself is, I always thought, a suitable punishment for his self-ethical crime. David Banner was a good guy that made one dumb mistake that haunted him for 12 years. Death was a cheap marketing gimmick, more than an appropriate end to the saga. (Yes, there was supposedly going to be another "Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk", but Bill Bixby became too sick to act and eventually died in 1993 of cancer). Bixby was such a likeable actor too, partly no doubt contributing to my belief that his likeable character should have gotten to regain his life and have a happier ending than a thoughtless death that bore no narrative sense and didn't really bring the whole thing to a full circle. I don't know, but with such a mythological character, it is not an issue of even death by how he or she dies. It has to work in a narrative sense as well as a production sense. And, of course, another issue, as with the prior film "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk", Jack Colvin's reporter Jack McGee was not part of the story, thus robbing the audience of some of what made the TV show classic. After seeing this film, I just wondered why it was made and why something that began with such vast ideas could end in such narrow cliches...
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