Monday, June 16, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

Acting:  B
Production Quality:  B
Plot:  B
Positive Elements:  B
Negative Elements: B

GPA:  3.0

Comments:  The Incredible Hulk sort of sat on the line between really good movie and decent movie.   I enjoyed it, but wished I was drawn in a little more.  It was definitely superior to Marvel's earlier effort a few years ago and made a great effort to be consistent with the themes and visuals of the TV series.  For those of us who watched every episode of the Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby when it was on in the late 70's and early 80's, there are many great, nostalgic throwbacks to the series: the theme song, the lab setup, Bruce Banner's lonely mission to rid himself of his alter-ego, "You wouldn't like me when I'm . . . ," and his name change at the end of the movie.

While I am sure the animation is a good as it can be, I kept wishing that I did not constantly think of it as animation.  The best animation was in the scene in which the Hulk is sitting calmy with Betty Ross in a cave.  He looks more real than anywhere else in the film.  Real skin, real size, real massiveness.   I was able to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the rest of the film very much, but the technology is not there yet to make the animation totally ignorable.

Also, I thought the much anticipated and built-up introduction of the Abomination was too quick.  It appeared to me like the editors knew they were running out of time and had to rush to get to the action on the other side of his final reveal.

One of the funnest aspects of the film is the hidden easter eggs that show the development of the Marvel Comic universe.  Look for the name of the scientist on the cryo-storage unit that contains the supersoldier serum, the references to the WWII program through which it was first developed, the name of the government agency that General Ross is utilizing to track the Hulk, and Tony Stark at the end of the movie with his not so subtle hint about the future.  I am sure there are many more that I will catch again upon second viewing.  The producers are laying the groundwork for a fully integrated Avengers universe containing the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and others.  I hear that we can expect the Captain America movie next followed by the full Avengers movie.

The movie is worth watching twice--once in the theater and once on DVD.

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