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Marter | 15 Jul 2015 08:00
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The Incredible Hulk

Directed by Louis Leterrier. Produced by Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd, and Kevin Feige. Written by Zak Penn. Release date: June 13, 2008.

Originally planned to be a sequel to the 2003 Hulk movie, The Incredible Hulk wound up being a complete reboot of the character, giving him a new origin story. It ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by making the Hulk part of the continuity.

The Characters:

Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Edward Norton): Our leading character. He was experimented on with gamma radiation in order to create super soldiers. Now, when he gets mad he turns into a giant green monster. Edward Norton would not reprise the role in future installments; he would be replaced by Mark Ruffalo.

Betty Ross (Liv Tyler): Bruce Banner's girlfriend, from whom he is separated - for both her and his safety. The daughter of Gen. Thunderbolt Ross.

Emil Blonsky/Abomination (Tim Roth): A villain in the film, he works for Gen. Thunderbolt Ross and eventually becomes a monster to rival the Hulk.

Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt): Another villain, he has dedicated his life to capturing the Hulk - even though his daughter is in love with Bruce Banner.

Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.): The lead of Iron Man, he approaches Gen. Ross at the end of the film to talk about the Avengers.

The Plot:

Bruce Banner has relocated to Brazil in order to both control his Hulk condition and try to search for a cure. He is being hunted by Gen. Thunderbolt Ross, the father of his former lover, Betty. He is tracked down in Brazil, but turns into the Hulk to defeat them and escape, breaking a streak of over 150 days in which he did not transform.

Banner returns to Virginia after this incident to find some data that he needs - only to discover that it has been erased. He also reconnects with Betty. Conveniently, Betty has the data he needed. Meanwhile, Emil Blonsky begins to get injected with super soldier serum. Banner is once again chased by the military, and transforms into the Hulk to escape. Blonsky is "killed" in the incident, although we soon learn he survived thanks to the serum. Banner and Betty escape to New York to meet with a scientist Banner had been contacting for a while, who is working on a cure for his condition.

It's here where the military finally captures Banner. Blonsky becomes a creature similar to the Hulk, nicknamed "Abomination." Abomination begins to destroy New York, so Banner is released to fight him. Hulk beats Abomination and then Banner fleas. Finally, we see Banner, hiding out in British Columbia, able to control his transformations. Gen. Ross is approached by Tony Stark, who talks about a team (the Avengers) that is being put together.

Is It Any Good?

Nope. The action isn't any good, most situations get resolved too quickly, the plot is repetitive, and the characters are all shallow. The Hulk doesn't work as a character all that well - we want to see him transform because that's when the movie gets fun; he wants to stay a human, which is far less enjoyable. The Hulk winds up being a fun supporting character in The Avengers, but that's where he's used the best. His solo outings just don't work.

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