I have to be honest, I never liked the Hulk. Not when I was reading comics as a kid, not when I was reading comics as an adult. I didn’t care when he popped up in the pages of the comics about the heroes I did enjoy, I never even attempted to get my hands on any of his own stuff and I NEVER EVER watched the Bill Bixby TV show.
I saw the movies though. Ang Lee gets a bad rap for making a movie not close enough to the comics, but my main critique of the whole thing was that it was just SO boring! Then, Ed Norton turned up, and I thought maybe I could get into this, but there again on the screen was something I felt I’d seen A MILLION times before this Hulking-out nonsense this tortured scientist and everyone learning that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearances. Sigh. Just not for me.
Then I saw The Avengers. Then Hulk became my favorite superhero ever.
Why is that? Glad you asked.
He’s Fucking Terrifying
Hulk NEVER ever scared me before. Every single depiction of him in movies showed a tortured but brilliant man. A scientist who had simply lost his way and had quite the temper on him. Yes, there was tones of carnage but it never felt like the Hulk was a scary guy. The movies spent so long making you feel sorry for Bruce Banner that by the time he Hulked-out you said to yourself ‘aw, now that’s a shame’.
The first time Bruce Banner turns into The Hulk in The Avengers he’s the opposite of this. Banner hasn’t spent the movie whining about his problems. He’s been pretty quiet really, keeping to himself and tinkering in the lab. When he Hulks-out you can tell he’s angry, he’s scared and is ready to kill. Indeed, he spends 15-20 minutess searching for Black Widow so he could end HER LIFE before duking it out with Thor. I’ve never been scared of The Hulk before but I was this time.
Ruffalo Is The Man
As I mentioned earlier, I hate my heroes whiny. It’s part of the reason I love Iron Man because he just doesn’t give a shit. He just goes for it and loves every minute of it. Now, Mark Ruffalo may not have been loving his life but he NEVER complained. In fact he was one of the most cheerful motherfuckers on that flying boat. Bantering with Stark, fixing stuff and seemingly never leaving his lab. Ruffalo brought a warm and human heart to a role that never really had it before. He was charismatic, self-effacing and at no point tried to steal the show from anyone. Ruffalo is soft-spoken, and is a joy to behold as the unstable glue that barely stops the group from murdering each other. He also gets to deliver one of the most pitch-perfect lines in the entire movie: ‘I’m always angry.’ Oh yeah, and the moped.
He Kicks Way More Ass Than Any Other Hulk
Bana-Hulk had to fight dogs, tanks and his Dad. Norton-Hulk took on Tim Roth and… a CGI Tim Roth. Ruffalo kills a metal dragon, swats alien soldiers like they were flies and sucker punches a god. That’s right, this Hulk kicks MAJOR ass. After ripping the guts out of a plane in mid-air, he next turns his attention to a giant metal lizard who he proceeds to mash to bits. Not content to sit on his giant green behind, Hulk then LEAPS into the air smashing the Chitauri to bits one after another. This Hulk could take on anything.
Shit Gets Real
Banner talks about putting a gun into his mouth at one point. Jesus Christ. Shit just got real. Nuff said.
All the way through those other two Hulk movies I was waiting, just waiting for Hulk to develop his abilities to a point where Banner could just turn him on and off. To use him as a weapon, the weapon of mass destruction that we all know he can be. But it never happened. ‘We’re saving it for the sequel, right now he’s just a monster’ said studio execs. GAAAAH! So annoying! Finally it happens. Banner reveals that PLOT TWIST, it’s pretty much under control. He manages to successfully ‘Hulk On’ just in time to kill the Leviathan and he responds to commands from Captain America. Remember when he saved Iron Man? This Hulk is thinking! This Hulk is awesome!
That Line And That Scene
The Line: ‘We have a hulk.’ The Scene: ‘Puny god.’
Agree! Disagree? Let me know in the comments. (I have a feeling most of you comments will be Norton related!)