15/06/2008

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (with some spoilers)




The Incredible Hulk is not a sequel I repeat its not a sequel. Do you here me. Well I guess it isn’t but then again it doesn’t take into account the gamma experiment that went awry and made Banner become Hulk, as played by Eric Bana in the previous incarnation. Cleverly the director has decided to sum up Ang Lees’ first version in the pre-film credits and some well appointed re-filmed flashbacks. To me it seemed that one could watch the earlier version and move straight into this one without a problem of continuity. However it is not a sequel……..(the marketing department of) marvel wish to point this out!……..not a sequel……ok we clear?…..no sireee….
ANYWAY

The film is far superior to its predecessor in every way possible and the studio has obviously learnt from its mistakes by following comic history and not casting Nick Nolte, well that’s a low blow but fare I guess. Norton is amiable and suitable angst ridden as our anti-hero, but never really commits to dealing with the acting as much as Downey Jnr does in iron man and Toby Maguire definitely does in the Spiderman films.
Willaim Hurt is an excellent replacement in the role of General Ross, and if anything steals many of his scenes from the assorted cast. I have always liked Tim Roth and if you can forgive his CGI muscles (sounds weird but you’ll see.) he suitably plays the part of military legend who is slightly past his sell be date, and tempted by Cap America’s serum!
The film however as we all know (I seem to write this a lot when discussing superhero films) is all about the (CGI) hulk, whose presence let down the first film in the franchise. Hulk here is realised very effectively and the interaction with the abomination on the real set was enough to make me glad I had came. It is difficult to pinpoint what made the hulk seam "realer", and if I had to be pushed I would say the sound design and the cinematography were far superior than before.

Both the strength and the weakness of the film is the way it has been perfectly sculpted to fit into franchises already started and about to unfold. Daredevil is Spiderman’s acquaintance, but the two never met cinematically as they are (or were) owned by different film companies. This forced characters to exist in their own world and not rely on cheaper crossovers to push plot.
With obvious references to the avengers, Cap America, Iron Man, as well as subtler overtones to possibly Thor, and definitely The leader, the film at times tends to feel like a two hour precursor to something bigger.
Regardless of what I have just warned, the film is rightfully hubba bubba flavoured; being action packed, and successfully letting Norton have the first 30 minutes before we see the hulk. It does lack the substance of Crystal Skull (really?) and the buoyancy of Iron Man. However I can forgive the makers of a film who have to be slaves to CGI. Wait a minute didn’t we do this all in the 70’s without any CGI
Remember this is not a avengers prequel…….I mean sequel…….you get the gist…Have a look for yourself at these lovely photos and then at the trailer.


now look at the lovely trailer

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