Sunday, 1 April 2012

FILM: The Incredible Hulk (6/10)

Following on from the 2003 film Hulk, Marvel decided the best course of action prior to the Avengers film was to reboot the series with a new director and cast, resulting in this 2008 update starring Edward Norton in the title role. Hulk is a different type of superhero to most of the traditional good-looking all-American heroes such as Spiderman or Iron Man. Although tamed by Betty Ross, the Hulk is not capable of relating to humans and therefore the audience and I feel this has always made it difficult for storytellers and directors to produce engaging films with this character. 

On the occasions that the Hulk appears during the first half of the film, in a repetitive series of chase and escape scenes, he destroys almost everything in his path without remorse as Banner is unable to control his rage. At the end of the film, Banner intentionally turns into the Hulk in order to fight the Abomination, leading the audience to believe that the Hulk is now a fully fledged crime fighting superhero. This transformation between out of control animal and useful superhero may be the films idea of character development but apart from reuniting with Betty, no other significant events occur that explain this. Norton and Liv Tyler play their characters well and William Hurt is impressive as General Ross, despite the occasionally cheesy lines he is fed. Tim Roth gives an intense performance as Blonsky prior to his transformation into the Abomination. Ultimately though, despite being visually impressive, the final battle is between two CGI monsters and I found the film did not do enough to make me engage with Hulk. This is in part to do with the Hulk being unable to portray any real human emotion, this having to be shown through Betty at his side. Worth watching if you are a superhero film fan or as a warm-up for the Avengers.

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