Hulk Smashes

Well time to catch up on some posts I’ve been neglecting over the past few months (they’ve been hectic and I promise to do better).  So, I noticed one of those posts that I meant to and never did was my review of the new Hulk movie, The Incredible Hulk.

First let me say the movie was excellent, and was a pleasant surprise compared to the Ang Lee crapfest that came out before (I never could get through it).  The new movie has an excellent cast starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner.  What this movie does well that Ang Lee failed to do is pay homage to what’s come before.

The opening credits suck you in telling you the story as to what’s going on instead of the usual Marvel comic book panels.  References to Stark Industries, SHIELD, and Nick Fury all play out before the movie has even begun.  Mixing the various histories of the character the movie is much closer to the origin told by the Hulk television series that ran from 1978 to 1982.  The first half of the movie plays out more like the Bourne movies with Bruce Banner on the run from the military.  A nice mix of action but not the usual smashing you’d expect from this movie.  The second half of the movie plays out much more as expected with Banner attempting to cure himself and the eventual showdown between him and the Abomination.  At that point the movie loses some of its originality but is still very enjoyable.

All kinds of fun nods to fans plays out including a television clip of Bill Bixby (who played Banner in the tv show) in the Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Lou Ferrigno playing a security guard, Doc Samson is a character (though you need to check the credits), the purple pants make an appearance, and the usual Stan Lee cameo.

What the movie does great is expanding the Marvel movie universe.  Marvel has brought its movie production in house allowing it to “cross-over” it’s movie franchises, starting with Iron Man and the Hulk.  You’d think DC being owned by Warner Bros. would of done this a while ago, but Marvel has decided to combine the islands it’s movies characters live on.  This will eventually include their upcoming Thor and Captain America movies.  Not sure if Ant-man will be apart and SONY still has the rights to Spiderman

SPOILERS – At the end of the Iron Man movie we saw Nick Fury approach Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative, a hint at things to come.  At the end of the Hulk, we see Tony Stark approach Gen. Ross about his “getting a team” together, a hint at the Avengers movie down the road (I assume).  I’d guess the Hulk will be involved somehow either as a member (he was a member of the original comic book team) or maybe the threat the team forms around.  We also know the next villain for the eventual Hulk sequel As Samuel Sterns is in the movie and the origin of him becoming the Leader is shown.

Overall, while the film doesn’t quite hold up to the Iron Man movie, the Hulk on it’s own is an intelligent, fun time worthy of your $10.

Top comic movies of 2008 so far:

1) Iron Man

2) the Incredible Hulk