OK, movie fans, time for another review. This time I pick another highly-anticipated summer blockbuster, "The Incredible Hulk".
I went into this movie not sure what to expect. I remember the LAST "Hulk" movie, 2003's "Hulk", starring Eric Bana as the Bruce Banner/Hulk, Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross, and Sam Elliot as General "Thunderbolt" Ross. That one was a talky disappointment to me, with unconvincing special effects.
This time, with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, and William Hurt as Gen. Ross, the operative word here is ACTION.
The movie starts out right away by telling the back-story of how Banner came to be the Hulk in the opening credits. And I think that's a good thing, because it lets you get that information right out of the way and into the story. This new movie follows the old 1970's-1980's TV show's story line, painting Bruce Banner as a nomad of sorts, always on the run from the Army/the government. This film starts out in the slums of Brazil, where Banner has taken up residence working in a soft drink bottling plant. He spends his time with a sort of zen master, trying to control his emotions and therefore the rage that lurks inside him. He clearly doesn't want these powers; they are a curse to him, something he wants to get rid of.
When General Ross sends a crack military team after him, after tracing him to that bottling plant (you'll see how in the movie), Tim Roth plays a Marine named Emil Blonsky who heads up the team after Banner. They almost catch him, but he gets away, and Blonsky is at the same time fascinated and scared of what he has seen.
Back in the old US of A, Banner pays a visit to Betty Ross, and together they search for a way to rid him of what turns him into the Hulk.
The action sequences are pretty entertaining in the film. The first time you see The Hulk out in the open, he is much more convincing than in 2003's "The Hulk". And later on in the film, Banner's old lab partner, Dr. Samuel Stern, is forced to inject Blonsky with some of Banner's blood, turning him into the Abomination, setting up the last big action scene of the film, and confrontation between the Hulk and the Abomination. That scene goes on a LITTLE too long for my taste, but overall, this movie should be a hit with action and Marvel fans alike.
Look for several famous cameos (including Stan Lee, creator of the Hulk and many other Marvel characters, and Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk to Bill Bixby's Banner in the TV show, and they even pay tribute to Bixby in an early scene).
Also, look for a neat setup for a future Marvel movie at the end of this film. I am not going to give it away here, but suffice it to say you'll understand what I'm talking about after you see it.