Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friend Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

We are 11 sleeps away from Avengers: Infinity War, technically 12 till the official release date; we've got tickets to see it on Thursday the 26th. This week the re-watching crew make a calculated decision. We knew with only two weekends left there was no way our schedules would allow us to watch all 12 movies in Phase 2 and 3. We have narrowed down the essentials for best appreciating Infinity War.

Those reviews will be up later; today's movie is The Incredible Hulk. I've always loved the Edward Norton Hulk; I think because I had such a strong dislike to the 2003 Hulk (which I might need to give another chance). The Incredible Hulk (2008( seems like the forgotten story of Phase One, I suspect that it is because of the cast change from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo. Everyone else got a trilogy. At least he gets a movie (poor Black Widow and Hawkeye).

Again, not sure this is needed, the movie is ten years old, however be advised there could be SPOILERS AHEAD. We will be discussing of scenes, quotes, plot points, and maybe even twists. With that out of the way on with the review...

The Good:
Susi: I was entertained. It was fun. I liked that Hulk used his power for good.
Stuart: Same, we really don't over think the movies we watch. They are for entertainment. It was enjoyable. I did like that he was controlling his powers at the end.
Brendan: I liked Betty Ross. The CGI was good for 2008. A lot of good one liners.
Me: I love that the MCU is international, I made the comment in the Ultron movie review. The rewatch is reminding me that there has always been international scenes and story threads. New York has often been the center of comics (because the original writers and artists were from New York). The MCU has been expanding beyond the city, the Eastern Coast, and the States. Hulk's beginning in Brazil is a perfect. I also love the chase through the mountain-side-tin-roof city. That earned big stars for me. I also love Norton as an actor and think he makes a great Hulk. This was more serious than Iron Man but still had humor. There are funny moments and great action.

I really liked the nods to earlier Hulks: there is the security guard (Lou Ferrigo) who voiced the Hulk in the TV show,  Bill Bixty who was also in the Hulk TV show has a cameo of a television playing a clip from another show he was on, Stanley the Pizza Owner was played by Paul Soles who was the voice of the Hulk in the animated series, and my favourite was the nod to the comics with Betty Ross offering to buy Banner big stretchy purple pants. While I'd want Banner to get the girl, I like the conclusion with him learning to control his anger. I also enjoyed Tim Roth as a villain; seeing him made me miss Lie To Me.

The Less Than Good:
Susi: There was one scene that we needed to cover our young son's eyes.
Stuart: The military's ability to track the drink to Banner in Brazil seemed far fetched. The university computer technology seemed ancient and yet compatible with a modern USB, seemed odd even for the 2008.
Brendan: First, the only character with personality was Betty Ross, everyone else were 2D and as a result meant I didn't care what happened to any of them. Second, I don't care for the serious Marvel movies. It just doesn't work for me. Serious movies should be thought provoking and Marvel always misses the mark. With the material given I don't they can, the superhero movie genre isn't conducive for a serious story. The attempt at serious doesn't feel like Marvel. They are at their best when they are funny and light. (I disagree, serious is possible and I found it a quality I liked about this movie. But he's right that if you are not expecting serious it is off putting and that could be a reason there hasn't been other Hulk movies).
Me: I agree with Stuart about the drink. That seems...forced. There were actions on the part of the General and Blonsky (Roth) that felt forced or unrealistic. Actions that wouldn't be true for a normal person in the situation but were needed so that plot could continue. I also found aspects of the betrayal of Blonsky poorly foreshadowed. It was hard not to see that he would become the big baddie but I felt the leap to killing someone under his command an odd twist. I wanted more hints he was responding the the treatment poorly or was becoming addicted. (Brendan disagreed with me).

This Time Around:
Brendan: I only remembered the bottle scene from the first time around, the movie bored me. Seeing it this time I understand why I wasn't captivated by it at the time.
Watching the thunderstorm scene made me think, "huh, so the animosity between Thor and Hulk had its roots in this moment."
Me: I still really enjoy the movie but some of the shine has worn off for me. There are other MCU movies I like better now. Also I really appreciate Brendan's thunderstorm-Thor observation (I wonder if that was intentional)

Favourite Scene:
Susi: As a former lab rat, I appreciated Bruce Banner bribing the lab rats with pizza for access to the computers.
Stuart: Mr. Blue kicking the computer and cursing the students
Brendan: The almost sex scene that Bruce Banner ended quickly because of the heart monitor.
Me: The chase in Brazil

Favourite Line:
Betty Ross: [Betty and Bruce need to get across town in New York City] The subway is probably quickest.
Bruce Banner: Me in a metal tube, deep underground with hundreds of people in the most aggressive city in the world?
Betty Ross: Right. Let's get a cab.
Stuart: "Hulk Smash"
Brendan: "Where does she find these guys" -The General/Dad
Me: In Portuguese "You don't want to see me...hungry" -Bruce Banner

Susi: 3.7 Gamma saturated blood samples out of 5
Stuart: 3.5 Hulk Smashes out of 5
Brendan: 2.5 enlarged spiky vertebrae out of 5
Me: 3.5 bottles of Pingo Doce out of 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%  (that's 3.1 tomatoes out of 5)

Fun Fact: This is the only Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One film, in which Nick Fury does not appear. However, his name appears in the opening credit montage at the 2:46 mark (on a S.H.I.E.L.D. page, with the text Nick Fury, Shield Command, Code RED, New York, NY 060564). -I realize I am a geek who enjoys reading the trivia pages on IMDb.

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