Finished work today and enjoyed the comforts of our new local cinema (and I should think so for an £8 ticket!) as I settled in to watch the Incredible Hulk (after no ads but three superhero trailers!). So what was it like?
The tone: a fusion of the TV series and the Bruce Jones comic run before easing back into 60s Hulk vs army, the film is exciting and gripping. There's not too much plot and I was getting restless near the third quarter as I was waiting for cameos and was realising there was less and less time for them to appear. The lonely man theme is there from the TV show, a neat recap of the origin in the title sequence and various little nods for fans.
For something produced on a lesser budget than the first one, I don't know how they did it. This is more epic, more action packed, more realistic and more stunning (and how the hell do people live like that in Brazil?)
The Ang Lee comparison: I was one of the few fans of Lee's film but have to admit, the new one kicks its arse and pisses on it from a great height. Losing the restrained tone of Lee's vision, this is more emotional by far.
The cast: Well, Tyler is less pretty but also less of an ice cold emotionless bitch than Connolly seemed to be so she wins out as Betty, Hurt is as great as Eliot was as Thunderbolt Ross (both wisely avoiding the comic version's blustering) and while I loved Bana as Bruce, Norton is more believable, rounded and sympathetic. As the linchpin of the movie, he's flawless and it seems Marvel might already be stepping astray by possibly alienating him, Downey Jr & Favreau with their decisions when it's those individuals who helped in the success of the films.
Tim Roth is also great as Blonsky, although as he's the spit of my mate Martin, it was very distracting!
The Hulk: Well, I always loved the Ang Lee Hulk and it still stands as the better creation. There's some weird texture on the new Hulk that makes him odd looking at times. However, when cast in shadows or water swathed, he looks bloody great and his design is truer to the comics, seemingly a mix of Keown and Trimpe. The Abomination also suffers from some dodgy CGI but that doesn't detract from a HOLY GOD!! of a smackdown. This is the Hulk as he was meant to be seen, just smacking the crap out of everything, even using two of his signature moves from the 70s comics.
The cameos: well, Doc Samson doesn't even get name checked and some of his scenes have been cut (parts of the trailer are absent) but the Tony Stark cameo is intact---I couldn't be arsed to sit and see if there was another Nick Fury end appearance as I can watch that on the DVD (his name pops up in the title sequence though). There was supposed to be a Cap America appearance but I didn't see it, unless he was draped under PVC sheeting in Ross' storage chamber that he takes Blonsky too.
Overall then? Not the greatest movie ever but a damned entertaining bit of action fun---stroll on the sequel (and you'll know who the villain will be, but I hope he's less annoying than in this one!)