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The Incredible Hulk Review



The Incredible Hulk

Poisoned by gamma radiation, Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) searches the world to find an antidote that can destroy the monster inside him.

This film version of Marvel's Hulk takes its cues from the successful 1970s television series starring the late Bill Bixby as Banner and Lou Ferrigno as his green-skinned alter-ego, both of whom make clever cameos. This time Banner is being pursued by U.S. Army General Ross (a surprisingly good William Hurt) instead of a newspaper report, which is almost as scary. Ross recruits a battle-hungry Royal Marine (Tim Roth) who, after facing down the Hulk and successfully controling his bladder, wants what Banner's got. Liv Tyler plays Bruce's old flame, Betty Ross, who also happens to be the general's daughter, so expect daddy/daughter conflict. It would be easy to say that Tyler is the weak point in the movie, but she really doesn't have alot to work with.

The effects are pretty (wait for it) incredible and the action is restrained just enough for the viewer to follow, but there is still a lot of great action. If there is a downside to the CGI-Hulk, it is that it looks more like Ashton Kutcher on super-steroids than Edward Norton. There are several references to other Marvel characters including Nick Fury and, apparently, Captain America. Although the reference to the World War II-era super-soldier plan that created Cap' was pretty obvious, I didn't spot any Cap' paraphernalia or his name. I half-expected to see Spider-man jump in during the battle between monsters in New York, and I was kinda hoping to spot the Baxter Building somewhere in the background, too. I'm not really familiar with the Hulk mythos, but I was kinda hoping that the mysterious Mr. Blue that Bruce was sending blood samples to help cure him was actually the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards. And, per usual, it is always a fun surprise when Stan Lee makes his cameo early in the film. Marvel literally pulls out its trump card at the very end, this time before the credits.

Edward Norton's Split-Personality Trilogy, which began with American History X and Fight Club, comes to a successful conclusion with this film and gets a surprising A- from me.