When The Incredible Hulk (2008) came out it was received with mixed reactions. It was compared to the, very recently released, Iron Man (2008) movie. Plus it didn’t have an “Incredible” Box Office performance (I just couldn’t resist!). Some fans of Marvel disregard it as an official Marvel movie; even though it is connected with the MCU by showing SHIELD, Tony Stark, and having the super soldier serum in it. A lot of critics panned the movie mostly because of the climax of the film, saying it was mindless and uninteresting. Also, the fact that Edward Norton was not coming back for [The Avengers](movie:9040) made people distance themselves from the movie even more. Not to mention the sour taste left behind from Ang Lee’s version.
I kept all of this in mind while re-watching it for the upcoming [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035), and afterwards I wanted to dissect what went wrong and what went right for a fair analysis. So let’s dive in!
What The Movie Got Wrong!
1. The CGI
Another harsh criticism from most people was the CGI and the character design of The Hulk. I have to agree. The CGI looked awful, especially right after we saw how impressive the visual effects looked in Iron Man that came out a month before it. The Hulk looked like a cartoon on steroids. His transformation sequences came off as comedic and silly. He didn’t really fit well in the world. When a real character interacted with The Hulk or any CGI background you could see the lines around the CG. Like it’s a border halo. It felt like the animators weren’t finished compositing the images.
2. The Supporting Cast
The biggest problem for me was I never bought Tim Roth as a soldier. He’s short and scrawny, and even after the second dose of super soldier serum his abs are CG’d on. It looked terrible! He was horribly miscast and was never intimidating. Liv Tyler and William Hurt put in sub par performances. They weren't good, but they weren't bad. Also, Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Stern is over acting to the point where he gets annoying. Even the other actors stop listening to him.
3. The Climax
The end fight scene was overly long and had no real depth to it. I never felt like the Hulk was in peril or anyone was in any real danger. It looked like two awfully rendered CGI monsters fighting. It was put in there just because we have to have a huge climax. You can put all the explosions you want, but if the scene doesn’t have any emotion or weight behind it then it won’t work. It will not make your audience care. Side note; at the end when the Hulk said, “Betty” I laughed out loud (I LOL’d).
What The Movie Got Right!
1. The Opening Credits
They should be doing this in every superhero movie that is going to be rebooted or remade (Like that new Spiderman film). The opening credits gets Bruce Banners/The Hulks origin story out of the way. Now the movie isn’t bogged down for forty minutes while they set everything up. It jumps right into the action; right into the heart of the story without this long drawn out telling of what we know already. He gets exposed to gamma radiation and transforms into a monster! Ang Lee’s Hulk took half of the movie to tell us that. This one took two minutes, and we still got all the information we needed.
2. The Pace
The film moves at an extremely quick pace. When the movie does take a break between the action, the pace picks right back up. It’s a story about a man constantly on the run, and The Incredible Hulk captures that perfectly with it’s pacing. We are always moving and we only stopped maybe once or twice to collect our bearings to find out what is going on in the story, and what’s going on with our characters. No scene out stays it's welcome.
3. The Action
The action was shot very well. It’s not were you can’t make out anything, because the editor used 100 different cuts during a one minute scene to make things more chaotic. They show you exactly what’s going in nice wide shots, and if they don’t want to show you anything, like The Hulk in the bottling plant, then they won’t show you because it’s building tension. Even the end fight scene was choreographed fairly well. Everything feels tight and tense. Especially during the Favela chase scene.
4. A Consistency of World
I give this movie bonus points for working alongside Captain America: The First Avenger. When Tim Roth is injected with the super soldier serum again and again he is obviously changing. He is becoming a monster even without Banner's blood inside him. But that’s exactly what Dr. Erskine was talking to Steve Rodgers about. “Good becomes Great. Bad becomes Worse.” Blonsky's lust for power is corrupting the serum and making him into a Red Skull wannabe. All the movies are connected by using both subtle references like this, and not so subtle references.
Is The Incredible Hulk a terrible movie that should be forgotten? Definitely not. The movie is good and it has some flaws like any other. It’s a decent [Marvel](channel:932254) Blockbuster with it’s patented humor and ability to take the material seriously while still having fun. I encourage everyone to give this movie another chance now that some time has passed. Thanks for reading and tell me what you guys think about the movie in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from all of you!