From Atlantis to Interzone

The Incredible Hulk (Leterrier, 2008)
December 23, 2008, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Film

“Incredibly banal” sums it up quite well because this is one of the dullest action films in quite some time. After Ang Lee’s film I had my suspicions that this character just can’t work on film, and this follow-up/reworking confirms them. There just seems to be this inherent weightlessness to any CGI Hulk, as well as the character of Abomination, and so every scene with this transformed Bruce Banner is like watching a big uninteresting green shape bouncing around. This may be somewhat excusable if the rest of the film were remotely interesting but it isn’t. Banner’s psychological issues aren’t dealt with in any meaningful way and he really is quite a weak protagonist. I don’t think Edward Norton is bad in the role but for an actor known for portraying psychologically complex individuals I expected a little more to his performance. Likewise, I could say the same for Tim Roth, who seems to attempt to chew the scenery but gets stuck choking on the bad dialogue and poorly realised character he’s given. William Hurt has something of a dull voice, and this works for him in some roles, but in the role of a high ranking authority figure he completely fails to be at all menacing.

I found it interesting, and not in a good way, that the end of the film sees Bruce Banner in pretty much the same situation he was in at the start. That there was barely any progression during his plight made the feeling I had wasted almost two hours even greater. I was pretty much bored throughout the whole thing due to the unengaging action sequences (of which there are a few), uninteresting characters and a script that doesn’t seem to know what to do with the potential of the character. As shown by the Hulk comics over the decades, so much can be said with the character and the failure to interestingly address these psychological issues or even supply a decent spectacle of big green rage render this yet another failure in attempting to bring Bruce Banner and his alter-ego to the big screen. I think it is time to give up on adapting the character because, to me anyway, it doesn’t seem like there is an effective way of doing it.


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[…] the second movie, the new Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) meets with General Thaddeus Ross (the character appeared in the first movie, […]

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