Review: Hulk Revisited
A look back at the green guy's films
Like many moviegoers, I was blown away by Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of the Hulk. In my opinion, his character was easily the coolest (and funniest) part of the Avengers movie. Naturally, I can't wait to see him in his very own flick. To tide me over until that glorious day, I chose to revisit the previous Hulk films. And while one of them was pretty darn good, the other one made me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry.
Ang Lee's Hulk
Going into this one, I knew that it had a bad rep. But I also knew that I had only seen this movie once, and that was way back during its theatrical run. I was just a kid back then, and I definitely wouldn't have appreciated any subtle depth or characterization in the movie. Reading a bit about this flick before diving back into it, I learned that many people regard this version to be underrated and, in some cases, superior to the film that followed it, mostly because it was somehow "deeper" than its successor.
Well, I have to disagree. Strongly disagree. I just re-watched this movie, and I honestly think it ranks among the worst films I've ever seen. From the first frame, it looked and felt more like a cheesy Nickelodeon TV movie than an actual big-budget title. And aside from the action scenes, there's really nothing to offer here. The dialogue is bad. The acting is (mostly) bad. Even for its time, the Hulk effects are pretty lame, as well. And don't get me started on the "WTF?" moments. This film is littered with 'em. I wanted to tear my eyes out after this little number:
The only way to end a movie like this is with something outrageous like a Giant Bubble of Doom, and that's just what Ang Lee did. If Avengers made you consider giving this film another chance, don't. Just don't.
The Incredible Hulk
This take on the character is miles above the Ang Lee version, but there's still a little cheese that needs to be grated off. Edward Norton is terrific as Bruce Banner, and the rest of the actors are great, too. But the problem here isn't the cast, it's The Incredible Hulk's CGI abominations. (See what I did there?)
Don't get me wrong. The Hulk looks pretty good, and so does his spiny nemesis. But something about their brawl at the end rubs me the wrong way. The crazy comic book action in Avengers worked for me, but somehow this fight felt a little silly. Maybe it was Abomination's one-liners. I'm not sure. But I found myself wishing this film's ending could have lived up to its build-up. (The very last shot is pretty bad-ass, though.)
In conclusion, Norton's Banner is awesome and the movie deserves a solid B. Ang Lee's Hulk, on the other hand, has nothing on Smoochy. I'd give it an F minus.
Next up... MARK RUFFALO SMASH!
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