The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) has been on the run for 5 years. He works at a soft drink factory in Brazil, but has a little accident that causes a drop of his blood to fall into a bottle meant for export.

The bottle is shipped to the USA, where none other than Stan Lee takes a sip of that powerful drink. When the American army general Thaddeus Ross hears about the incident he immediately sends a team over to Brazil to capture Dr. Banner. As everyone who knows anything about comic book lore, when Dr. Banner becomes angry he transforms into the incredible Hulk. General Ross wants Dr. Banner's blood so that he can generate super soldiers.

One of the soldiers sent to capture Dr. Banner is Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), a passionate fighter and highly ambitious soldier, who gets interested in the green beast after he survives a fight with him. He convinces General Ross to include him in his task force.

Bruce Banner has been working on a formula that is meant to cure him from becoming the Hulk at any time he gets excited or angry, but needs to go back to the University of Virginia to recover some research data. There he meets his old fiance, Dr. Elisabeth Ross (Liv Tyler), the daughter of the corrupted general. The army discovers the whereabouts of Dr. Banner and the chase goes on.

The story has some problems that hardly tolerate the light of day, but has some qualities that overpower those superficial problems. I have a feeling that the uncut DVD will fill in some of the gaps. Edward Norton is phenomenal in the lead role, and the rest of the cast is very good. The special effects are excellent, even though the Hulk and the Abomination look a bit cartoonish at times, but that doesn't bother me since I'm very much aware that they are cartoons anyway.

I noticed during the end credits that Edward Norton's name was not mentioned as a screenwriter for The Incredible Hulk, which is a shame, since he rewrote the original script, but the Writer's Guild of America prevented him from sharing the credit for the story or screenwriting, since he's not a member of that association. That's a shame, because Edward Norton's part in this movie is exactly the heart and soul that a superhero movie about a giant green monster needs. I just hope this won't prevent him from participating in future adventures of the Hulk.

No review of The Incredible Hulk is complete without mentioning the artsy Hulk (2003), directed by Ang Lee, a movie that would have been tolerable only with another title, since it didn't have anything to do with Marvel's Hulk. Everything that the 2003 version did wrong is corrected in this version, so that the audience will have a bit brainless time but a lot of fun witnessing the return of Hulk.

Director: Louis Leterrier

Rating: 7

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