The Incredible Hulk (2008)

August 5, 2008 § Leave a comment

Look, I’m sorry. But the truth of the matter is, I’m not sure it’s possible to make a terrific Hulk film. The main reason is that however good the actor playing Bruce Banner, however complicated your plot (and, it never seems very complicated) and whatever heavy-handed allusions you make to male ego, repressed anger or primal whatever, there will always be the unsatisfying fact that your main actor is repeatedly replaced by a big hunk of CGI. And finally, a big hunk of CGI finishes off the film. Superman and Batman don’t have this problem — the audience gets to finish the film without visually abandoning the actor that started the narrative. Then there are the cameo appearances by Stan Lee (does he have to show up in every Marvel film?) and Lou Ferrigno that take you out of the film on a couple of occasions. As Bruce Banner, Edward Norton tries his best, both in front of the camera and behind it — he apparently wanted a slightly longer, more character driven film — and the first half of the film hums along pretty well, but by the time the Hulk appears for another long digital slug-fest at the end it’s all getting a little tiresome. Someone should tell studio executives that sometimes, less is more, and we don’t need to see one city block after another destroyed. But hey, including the sad, tinkling piano theme from the 1970s TV series was a nice touch.

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