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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

Edward Norton
Liv Tyler
Tim Roth

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What's it about
After a freak scientific accident leaves Bruce Banner fighting off a big green alter-ego, he leaves everything he loves behind. But the one he loves has a father that wants to find out more about Bruce’s monstrous side and he’ll do almost anything to do it. Another Marvel comic to film done right.
Is it good movie?
Louis Leterrier did something quite impressive here. He made The Incredible Hulk fun and exciting again. While Ang Lee’s take was not the travesty many seemed to think it was, it was lacking the energy and thrill that a movie called The Hulk should have. Louis has spiced up the action and made for a thrilling show, as Bruce Banner/The Hulk is on the run trying to find a way to fix his anger management issues. Much like the classic television series, the opening titles recreate everything we need to know up until we find Bruce (Edward Nortor) hiding out in Brazil. Things are all fine and good as he is working at a bottling company by day, trying to cure his affliction by night. But it doesn’t take the government too long to find him. After all, General Ross (William Hurt) seems to have a personal issue with the green beast.

We all know the story of The Incredible Hulk because we’ve seen it before. There are the comics, the television series, and the much maligned Ang Lee version. But what was a plus for me with Leterrier’s take, he returned to the Hulk that I grew up on. This is very much like the television series with Bill Bixby. It is not campy, but there is humor and there is character. We really get to know most of the players involved. I think with the series recognition, we didn’t have to sit through the sometimes awkward introduction period so there was a little more time to develop each of the players a little more clearly. I also really enjoyed Liv Tyler as Betty Ross. Both her and Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man brought back a sense of femininity without being weak. I appreciated the quiet strength each of them had.

The script by Zac Penn (and an un-credited Norton) was workable for me. While it certainly won’t be up for an Academy Award, it is definitely a good action flick that adds a strong character arc. Speaking of arcs, I also found Tim Roth to be a interesting villain. He shows signs early on that he is taking issue with his aging body, so when he is presented with the chance of unbelievable strength, you bet your ass he takes it.

In the end, I thought The Incredible Hulk was a major improvement over the more drawn out Lee version. It is not a sequel to it, but a re-telling. Thankfully, the action and the special effects are also a big improvement. Yes, the Hulk himself still looks like a CG creation, but it is much better than the bouncing green giant from before. As I said once before, this is the Hulk that I wanted to see. It is an exciting Marvel adventure that is brought to life by some quality choice actors. While it may not be a perfect film, it is certainly one of the better summer blockbusters to come out in 2008.
Video / Audio
Video: This is a terrific 2.35:1 Anamorphic Transfer.

Audio: “Hulk Smash!”, sounds great in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DVS 2.0. A terrific sounding and looking DVD.
The Extras
So how are the extras on this single disc? Well, at least it is a single disc with extras. While I really like director Louis Leterrier and actor Tim Roth, I wasn’t all that excited by their Commentary. It’s fine, but I would have liked to hear more about the production and possibly the challenges that came with it. This one seemed a bit too safe.

Hey, we even get Deleted Scenes (13:21) here. You can play them all or you can watch them scene by scene. They include “Bruce in Brazil”, “Bruce Meditates”, “Searching for the Flower”, “After the Bottling Factory/General Greller”, “Ross and Blonsky Conspire [Extended]. I especially loved what Louis did with all the footage that took place in Brazil, but adding those scene may have been overkill. These are all good scenes that didn’t need to be in the film and were wisely taken out.

Finally, there are Trailers. They include “Beethovens Big Break” (Ugh!) “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”, A creepy Tobacco Free ad, “Iron Man” and a few Marvel Animation commercials. And of course, they want you to buy Blu-Ray.

At least they offered a few extras on this single disc edition, but I always kind of wish they would just release one edition, instead of both a pointless single disc and a more worthwhile three disc “special edition”. I guess some people don’t care about the extras.
Last Call
The Incredible Hulk was a very entertaining action flick that didn’t waste the good actors it had. It wisely offered enough character wise to keep it involving, but it certainly didn’t skimp on the thrills. The sequence in the bottling factory with the Hulk’s first appearance is terrific. And the moments where the Hulk is protecting Betty are surprisingly good. Louis Leterrier did an impressive job that was very reminiscent of the old television series, and for me, that is a very good thing. A great cast and a solid director make for one damn good Marvel comic adaptation. But I highly recommend you stick with the three disc edition, a much better purchase.
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