I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The opening credit flash through how Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) underwent an experiment dealing with gamma rays. The experiment went wrong, changing Banner into a huge, green creature who caused a hell of a lot of destruction. In the melee, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), Banner's girlfriend, was hurt. Her dad, General Ross (William Hurt) and the U.S. goverment conducted a manhunt for Banner, which is where the plot begins.

Banner is hiding out in Brazil, taking martial arts lessons, working in a bottling factory, and learning to keep his temper under control. It's his temper that causes the green Hulk to appear. The U.S. government finds where he's hiding after a minor accident ends up with some of his blood dropping into the juice the bottling factory distributes. An unlucky consumer (Stan Lee) ends up drinking it. Banner turns into the Hulk and escapes capture.

He ends up hiding out at Betty's place, but trouble follows him there. General Ross has enlisted the help of a top-level military guy named Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) to help nab Banner. Blonsky agrees to be injected with the same gamma rays that now infect Banner. Unlike Banner, Blonsky likes having destructive power.

I didn't see the earlier Hulk movie that was directed by Ang Lee, so I can't compare the two. There were some nice touches. Stan Lee, who created The Incredible Hulk (as well as Spiderman and the Fantastic Four) for Marvel comics, has a cameo. Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on the TV series which ran from 1978-1982, shows up as a security guard. Even the late Bill Bixby, who was Bruce Banner on the same TV show, is seen in a clip from an earlier series he was in, "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969-1972). Robert Downey Jr. also has a cameo, tying in Iron Man with this movie. Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?) appears as a scientist.

However, the film is not as good as Iron Man, which is based on yet another Marvel Comics superhero. The chemistry between Norton and Tyler is not there, and after awhile, the fights between the Hulk and others seem to run into each other.

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