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The Somewhat Incredible Hulk
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On the other end of the spectrum is The Incredible Hulk. First of all, it was about 100 times better than the lifeless Ang Lee misfire of a few years ago. This version isn't some tricked up Freudian-Shakespearian pseudo-art-house truckload of bullcrap like the Lee film. It's an actual comic book movie. The Hulk actually says things like "Hulk smash!", which is good.

And it's a hell of a lot shorter, and generally faster-paced. That said, it takes a while to get moving, and the early Hulk scenes are shrouded in darkness. (Hint to film-makers: if you're going to show preview ad nauseum of the Hulk in broad daylight punting Tim Roth, you shouldn't be coy about showing him in the actual movie.) The acting is universally flat, from Liv Tyler to William Hurt, which is a shame. There's a lot of talent here, but there's not a lot of characterization or snappy dialog.

There are a lot of cute in-jokes for those who watched the original series with Lou Ferrigno with a bad green spray-paint job, but not a lot else. I never really thought Hulk was all that interesting a character, and Bruce Banner even less so. He's basically a raging, indestructible 2 year-old, and most of the entertainment value basically comes from watching him rip buses in half.

And that was done reasonably well. The final showdown was staged pretty effectively, although the resolution was pretty flat, and there were lots of unanswered questions. All in all, it was a decent popcorn movie, not quite as good as Iron Man, but somewhere in the upper middle of the pack as far as superhero movies go.


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