Review Rating: 8
Doctor Bruce Banner and his scary alter ego the Hulk face down the army, General Ross and a soldier who underwent the same treatment Banner did to become the Abomination.
This movie is remarkably different from Ang Lee’s Hulk, and let’s face it, we’re all grateful. The beginning of the movie actually glosses over the whole story of how Bruce Banner became the Hulk in the first place, with dreamlike sequences while the opening credits are rolling. All of us comic book and Marvel fans know the story anyway, so it’s fine. Then we move right along to this movies story itself: Bruce Banner has escaped the army and the country, he’s living in a third world country and searching for a cure while keeping his head low. Inevitably the army catches up with him and a chase across rooftops ensues, and we’re introduced to Tim Roth’s character, the crazed soldier of fortune Emil Blonsky. Anyone who’s seen Four Rooms or Rob Roy knows the great diversity of Roth’s acting talents, and he pulls off the insanity of Blonsky beautifully. Combine that with the manic way Edward Norton can balance hyper insanity as in Fight Club, with truly heartfelt and heartwrenching emotion as in American History X, and boy have you got one hell of an acting team.
William Hurt stars as General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, and I think he does a fine job. His ability to show rage simmering just below a very deadpan expression (think Mr. Brooks) lends a very real sympathy with the conflicted character of the army general who stops at nothing to get his experiment back and the doting father who wants his daughter out of harms way.
Liv Tyler was an interesting choice for Betsy Ross. Sure, she cries a lot and it makes her eyes all sparkly. But does that make the character for the movie? The Hulk, that childlike monster hiding from the army under in a rain soaked cave with Betsy, seems to think so. He sits and coos at her and they both sleep eventually, so yes you can go by that old adage of beauty and the beast.
And yes yes, for you Marvel fans there is of course the cameo of Tony Stark at the end, to speak with General Ross. There was no easter egg after the credits, but the cameo of Stark at the very end seemed to do just nicely. Although why they tacked that onto the end of the movie and didn’t make it an easter egg, I don’t know.
The Incredible Hulk SMASHES his way into your heart!