Director: Louis Leterrier
Writers: Zak Penn (screenplay), Stan Lee (Marvel comic book), Jack Kirby (Marvel comic book)
Stars: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth
Released in 2008, “The Incredible Hulk” is a superhero film based on the popular Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and Tim Roth, the film follows the story of Dr. Bruce Banner, a scientist who transforms into a raging green monster known as the Hulk whenever he gets angry.
The film begins with Banner (Norton) hiding in Brazil, trying to keep his emotions in check and prevent his transformation into the Hulk. However, he is eventually discovered by General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), who is obsessed with capturing Banner and weaponizing the Hulk’s powers. Ross sends a team of soldiers, led by Emil Blonsky (Roth), to capture Banner, but their efforts fail and Banner manages to escape.
As Banner travels to the United States to find a cure for his condition, he reunites with his former lover Betty Ross (Tyler), who is also General Ross’ daughter. Meanwhile, Blonsky undergoes a dangerous procedure to become a super-soldier and is transformed into the monstrous Abomination. When Abomination goes on a rampage in Harlem, Banner is forced to transform into the Hulk to stop him.
One of the strengths of “The Incredible Hulk” is its action sequences. The film features several thrilling battles between the Hulk and Abomination, and the CGI effects used to create the two monsters are impressive. The film also does a good job of exploring the psychology of its central character, Bruce Banner. Norton’s performance as Banner is nuanced and understated, and the film is effective in conveying the character’s internal struggle to control his emotions and prevent the emergence of the Hulk.
Another highlight of the film is its supporting cast. Liv Tyler is excellent as Betty Ross, providing a compassionate and empathetic portrayal of Banner’s love interest. William Hurt is also great as General Ross, conveying both the character’s cold military demeanor and his deep-seated concern for his daughter. And Tim Roth is suitably menacing as Emil Blonsky, the soldier who becomes the Abomination.
However, the film does have its weaknesses. Some of the supporting characters, such as Banner’s colleague Dr. Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson), are underdeveloped and feel like they were included simply to set up future films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, the film’s pacing can feel uneven at times, with some scenes dragging on too long while others feel rushed.
Overall, “The Incredible Hulk” is a solid entry in the superhero genre. While it may not be as memorable or groundbreaking as some of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is an entertaining and well-crafted action movie that does justice to its iconic comic book source material.