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'The Incredible Hulk': Will It Suck Or Satisfy?

April 24th, 2008 9:00am EDT
The Incredible HulkWay back in 2003 Ang Lee, who would go on to helm the critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, lent his vision of sprawling epically long filmmaking to Marvel Comic's not-so-jolly green giant, The Hulk.

Before its release it seemed as if everything was coming together. A stellar cast that included Eric Bana and Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly made up the leads, while a realistic-enough CG Hulk proved to gain support from the fan community. So where did things go wrong? Well, if you saw the film's opening weekend you probably spent the first 45 minutes wondering if you had stumbled into some melodrama love story about scientists. Then you probably wondered why they haven't remade Love Potion Number 9 yet. Then you wondered if Sandra Bullock was ever going to win an Oscar. That line of thinking was pretty much the entire movie.

"The Hulk" was an afterthought to a two hour and 15 minute snoozefest that tarnished Marvel's record for film adaptations. So with a new Hulk movie due out in a couple of months, many fans are asking, "Why bother?" Well fans, it's because The Incredible Hulk won't bite the big one...again. Here's why:

No origin story
That's right, audiences have seen the gamma blast that made Bruce Banner into the Hulk, so they don't need to sit through another retelling of it. Even phenomenal films like the Batman franchise fall into the trap of retelling the origin story over and over again. If you're unfamiliar with the back story of the green guy, check out the opening of the animated series from the 90s. It pretty much sums it up, without any pesky dialogue!



Brand new cast
Edward Norton is playing Bruce, Liv Tyler is Betty and William Hurt is General Ross. Oh, and Tim Roth will be the villain this time around, not Bruce's Dad. Norton is better suited to playing Bruce as he actually resembles a scientist, well more so than Eric Bana, plus he's a fan of the comic books. Liv Tyler has had experience in the adaptation game with her role in Lord of the Rings, plus there's no pesky Oscar to get in the way of really getting into the fun.


Remember the television show?
It has been stated many times that this film will more closely follow the structure of the live-action television show where Bruce is on the run while trying to find a cure for his little issue. So with a cat and mouse game going on, at least audiences will be in for an entertaining ride. Oh, and Tim Roth will become The Abomination, who is basically another Hulk. A building will probably go boom, it should get points for that, right?

How many winks does it take to get to the center of a fanboy's heart?
Keep your eyes peeled for a pre-green haired Doc Samson, a pre-Leader Samuel Sterns and a cameo from Mr. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who fans will know by then as Iron Man. Rumors are circulating still of the appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well, but it is best to be happy with what we get.

Have you seen the trailer?



If that's not the definition of a solid summer adventure flick, then nothing is.

But wait, what might hold this film back?
Fans still might not be able to disconnect this film from its predecessor, which may lead to a reliance on critics, who never seem to understand the comic book movie genre. Many of them liked Spider-Man 3, so they're no help. Also, rumblings Mr. Norton's feud with filmmakers and his rewrites of the script have some believing this project is already doomed. Norton has been known to be a difficult actor to work with, but with a project of this magnitude unity will make or break it.

So what is riding on the film's success?
If "The Incredible Hulk" proves a success along with "Iron Man" in May, look for an Avengers movie to head into production, teaming up Marvel Comic's greatest heroes and finally adding some much-needed continuity into the movie universe. Don't let us down Hulk, don't let us down.


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Dan ChruscinskiStory by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer