Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Incredible Hulk


With the release of two marvel films in as many months, comparisons are bound to arise. So I’ll get them out of the way straight a way…

I enjoyed Iron Man better, only slightly, but it just goes to show how strong of a force Robert Downey Jr is in that film, because I actually think Hulk has a better overall story and action set pieces. Yet Downey Jr’s charisma gives Iron Man the edge.

Edward Norton plays a good part as Bruce Banner, yet the problem with Hulk as a character is the huge difference between man and monster (superhero). With the majority of other superhero’s you get the same man just wearing their costume, so the emotional connection remains for the audience much easier between the transition. With Hulk and Banner the transformation is much grander and causes the connection to almost be lost, to the point that they become two quite separate characters.

This is no fault of the filmmakers just an underlying issues with the character itself. Despite how great Norton is, I wanted more Hulk. With Iron Man and Batman Begins, I actually enjoyed the time with Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne almost more than their hero counterparts (no easy feat within a superhero film).

With that minor gripe out of the way, (and it is minor considering how good the rest of the film is) lets get on with the review.

The story is relatively simple and is essentially a long chase in the same vain as the original TV series. This works well though and gives it it’s strength, leaving room to build characters and their relationships and dedicate time to the creation of Abomination (a rarity in a Superhero film to have the villains origin given more time than the heroes (which was my only problem with Iron Man)).

I did like this as it breaks the regular superhero origin template that most “first” films follow.

The action is pretty spectacular and delivers full on comic book thrills for the silver screen, with sonic cannons and an excellent (almost pitch-perfect) climatic battle.

The special effects are brilliant, Hulk and Abomination both look incredible even though (admittedly) the CG is still quite apparent. But then again is it ever going to be possible to make a 15 foot mass of green muscles look real?

I’d highly recommend this film to anyone, it’s definitely one of the better super-hero movies.


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