The Incredible Hulk is a 2008 film directed by Louis Leterrier, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Ty Burrell. Following the story of Bruce Banner dealing with his alter ego, The Hulk, he’s a reluctant hero and pursued by the relentless general Ross, he has another big problem do deal with in the form of a new mutated, weapon.
The Incredible Hulk is a bit of a weird film, not really seen as part of the MCU but also actually a part of it, it’s remembered for being the better Hulk film but it’s not a great or iconic Hulk film on its’ own, it definitely captures the essence of the character of the Hulk as we’ve come to know him but the story isn’t quite as good as it could have been. The film looks great, the CG is good with a lot of motion capture being used and The Hulk looks like the muscular tank that he essentially, so the visual effects are pretty on point with some great looking action scenes also taking place.
If the 2003 Hulk was the emotional, contemplative Hulk film, this is the opposite, although there still are emotional moments in the film, with Bruce Banner being at his lowest and feeling like he can’t carry on existing as he is, portrayed brilliantly by Edward Norton who seems to be adept at playing characters out of their depth. He brings the compelling duality of Banner and the Hulk to the film as the characters realize they need each other to exist in their own symbiotic relationship, however much they may dislike each other. Meanwhile his relationship with Betty (Liv Tyler) as both Bruce and The Hulk is interesting, it’s not fully explored aside longing stares and Betty being a calming influence for The Hulk, Liv Tyler is good in the movie for the material she gets though.
While William Hurt is a great general ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, Bettys’ father and a longtime nuisance for the Hulk, seeing him only as a threat that needs to be contained, he plays the role with that believable authority and is a bit of a pantomime villain, though he is is a good portrayal of general Ross from the comics, a not particularly deep character. The films plot plays out decently enough as far as engagement goes, albeit a bit predictably, while Tim Roth brings a twist and an added edge to the story as Emil Blonsky and The Abomination, a long time foe of The Hulk and a formidable physical challenge for him.
Their fight scenes are well done with added elements of the threat of collateral damage when they fight in a populated area like a city, The Incredible Hulk is a good film and the MCUs’ actual first film, it brings a good portrayal of the Hulk to the table but falls short of being the iconic, memorable film in the MCU that Iron Man has gone down to be. And there is definitely an absence of a lighter tone and humour there, resulting in a film you’ll probably even associate with the MCU ironically.
. Fairly good cast, Ed Norton is a great Bruce Banner
. Good action scenes
. Film isn’t that memorable