The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Dir. Louis Leterrier

I’m pretty sure most of you reading this would probably enjoy this film, at least to some extent. I’d recommend seeing it, especially if you’re in the mood for an entertaining film.

After seeing trailers of the film–with the cgi Hulk–I lost interest in seeing this, but I was desperate to see an action film, so I took a chance on this. Maybe because my expectations about the cgi was so low, I was able to resign myself to this part of the film. While I still think the face (especially the eyes) of the cgi characters look fake, I think some of the action sequences were pretty good, and surprisingly, some of the scenes got my heart pumping.

This film doesn’t have a great story, but it does have good direction and good casting and acting–at least by Edward Norton and Liv Tyler. Norton is likeable, and he and Tyler bring life to what is an otherwise a bland romance.

I was more impressed with the direction–specifically the way the director kept only the essential scenes–giving the audience important information, without much wasted scenes. This contributed to the good pacing in the film. The opening montage which basically tells the origin story was well-done for it’s economy as well as a nice homage to the TV series (using the similar machines and even film stock).

The story and characters aren’t very interesting in an of themselves. There are no psychological nuances of the characters or interesting metaphors or symbolism that filmmakers mine. Basically, it’s a guy scientist who turns into this super-strong monster and kicks butt–especially the butt of another super-strong monster. The second monster, played by Tim Roth, was probably one of the weaker elements of the film. I don’t think he was able to bring life to his character, which is not really very interesting on paper (none of the character are, really).

All in all, I think the film does a good job of introducing the character and staying true to the comics. Like Iron Man (which I liked more), the real test is going to be in the next films. Marvel, which has taken over production of these films, has gotten off to a good start. (I’m skeptical that they can bring Thor and Ant-man to life though.)

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