In just a few days, The Avengers would be showing in thousands of theaters worldwide. To celebrate it, I have been watching films of the Avengers, and this particular entry would focus on The Incredible Hulk, released in 2008, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and Tim Roth.
To start off, I realized that there were some parallelisms between Hulk and Captain America (my review of it here: http://mrfilmreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/04/captain-america-first-avenger.html). For starters, they were created because of a desire to create a serum that would transform regular soldiers into super soldiers. The difference is that in the former, Hulk became a superhero because of a failure, while in the latter, Captain America became Captain America because he was formed to be him. Another parallelism is how they chose to end the films. I like how they decided to end the films, and emphasize the dramatic farewells of the characters. What made it touching, I guess, was the authenticity of the pain present in both endings; and for me it's always great to feel the genuine emotion that the scene calls for.
The start of the movie was very confusing for me, mostly because I wasn't all that familiar with the back story of the Incredible Hulk. Although it set the premise, the manner they did it was a little bit confusing in my opinion. It was disorganized, I felt, and was not coherent. However, as the film progressed it made a lot more sense to me. I completely understood it midway, which I though was very clever on the part of the filmmakers.
Once the actual movie started (the actually story how Bruce Banner was in South America), it just went uphill. It had just the right mixture of drama and action, with a little pinch of comedy. One reason why I liked this movie was because it featured two exciting chase scenes, and I love good chase scenes. I measure the quality of the chase scenes by how nervous I get for the one being chased (I know they're gonna escape, but there's still this sense of worry). The first chase scene was gold and the second was just as good.
I also enjoyed how they utilized the technology to produce effects, most notable in the last fight scene between the Hulk and Abomination. That was really good. I think most of the action scenes in this movie were great. I was literally on the edge of my seat, but I didn't care because I was really engaged to what was happening on my screen. If that's not a good sign of how I liked this movie I don't know what is.
I read that Edward Norton edited the script of the movie, which is actually impressive. I knew he directed because I remembered he directed Keeping the Faith. However, I didn't know that he also wrote/edited screenplays. Well, that worked well, I thought. The screenplay was nothing short of excellence as it was coherent and had a clear sense of direction to where the characters would be, what the characters would say, how the story would develop. Also, I also want to point out that even though the film had a romantic side to it, the dialogues didn't sound cheesy or forced. It was natural, huge thanks to the actors playing it.
I've seen a couple of Edward Norton's films, and when I found out he was going to play the Hulk, I wasn't too sure. I always saw him as a gentle, kind-hearted person in the characters he portrayed. I remember watching Keeping the Faith in our religion class when I was much younger, and I couldn't believe that the same person would be playing the Hulk. but to be honest, while watching the movie, I can;t think of a better actor to play Hulk. He was perfect for it and he did nothing less than capture the true persona of the Hulk. He was effective, believable and just plain awesome! It's a shame he wont be returning as the Hulk, because what he did in this movie is beyond commendable. It was also refreshing to see him in a character full of angst because, as far as I know based on interviews, for example, he's a calm down to earth person.
There's no use in talking about the cast because it was evident how all the actors delivered and made this film what it was - one hell of a great film! Liv Tyler (from Armageddon http://mrfilmreviewer.blogspot.com/2011/11/armageddon.html) Tim Roth, William Hurt as the general, Tim Blake Nelson and Ty Burrel were all amazing in this movie. I hope someday they will all work together again in one movie, although I know the chances of that happening is very slim.
Out of all the superheroes, Hulk is probably one of my least favorites. I have always thought he was one of the most destructive characters which made him less appealing to me as a kid. However, considering all factors, The Incredible Hulk has become one of my favorite superhero films, if not my all time favorite. After a confusing start, it developed and progressed in a very well-thought of manner. I could go on and on about how great the movie was because it really was. However, I don't think any length of this entry would do the fil justice, so you should just probably check this out.
It's a bummer that Edward Norton won't be returning as the Hulk for The Avengers movie, and any of the possible Hulk sequels. But Mark Ruffalo would do well in it as well so we can't complain.