Why Puny Humans no leave Hulk Reboot Alone?
As part of our continuing service to you, The Correct, we continually find things for you to be in favour of. In our crazy, fast paced, webmanic society, it’s easy to miss something. Our “A Case For” series presents something (a TV show, film, Book, Band etc) that might deserve a look.
Our first installment “A Case For: Farscape” was presented by one of our regular readers, and we encourage that sort of behavior. If you have something you’d like to make a case for, write it up and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . See the end of the article for more info.
This week, we bring you A Case for “The Incredible Hulk” Louis Letterier’s 2008 reboot, brought to you by Tbinns
In 2003 we got a Hulk movie by Ang Lee, an enormously gifted film maker. It was what I like to refer to as a bold and magnificent failure. It was less a comic book movie and more a two plus hour haiku about anger. I appreciated the fact that it was taken seriously. I appreciated the effort the cast put in. I appreciated the fact that it was trying to add psychological depth.I appreciated Jennifer Connelly. In fact let’s all take a moment to appreciate Jennifer Connolly…
But “Hulk” was ultimately a mess. Hulk Poodles? Nick Nolte is Bruce’s dad, who kinda becomes the absorbing man, and then they have a cloudy confrontation at the end? Ugggh. No wonder Marvel wanted a reboot.
And so… with a collective rolling of the public’s eyes, Marvel set out to do the Hulk right. Unfortunately the general public had already been bitten once, and were not too keen to give The Ever Lovin Hulk a second chance. They still had fresh memories of not enjoying the last one. Consequently, 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” got short shrift and is generally regarded as Marvel Studios worst effort.
I have been a Hulk fan since childhood. Who didn’t fantasize about sending their playground tormentors running as you Hulked out and smashed the jungle gym to splinters? (No? Just me? Fair enough). And as a fan with anger issues I have to say I dug the HELL out of the Incredible Hulk. More than Iron Man 2. More than Thor even. I maintain that if THIS movie came out first, it would be held in much higher regard by the public. So in the midst of a superhero heavy summer, I urge you to give The Incredible Hulk a second look. And here is why…
1. Edward Norton
The problem with Bana, I think was that he looked like a hero to begin with. He was definitely a leading man type. I have always pictured Banner to be a weedy little scientist with a desperate and haunted look in the eye. A brilliant man who wants nothing more than to eliminate the possibility of hurting anyone, especially those he loves. Norton played this perfectly… a man on the run from himself and the military machine who wants to use him as a weapon. Norton captured the intensity, the loneliness, the inherent decency, and yes even the sense of humor perfectly. Bana was definitely good…but Norton was better
2. The Fight scenes
Let’s get the big complaint out of the way…Of course the CGI looks fake. It’s a giant green man. It is NEVER going to look photo realistic…it’s so outlandish the human eye rejects it almost immediately upon seeing it. If you can’t let that go you have no business going to see a Hulk movie in the first place. This was a meaner leaner Hulk that kicked some serious ass. Exhibit A) The fight sequence on the Campus. Hulk versus the Super Soldiered Blonsky. We got a real glimpse of what Cap vs. Hulk might look like on the big screen and it was awesome.
And the best part was the delightful little button right on the end…
“Oh it looks soo fake and rubbery!!!!” comes the cry from the internet.
Here’s an extra big slice of “Shut the Fuck up, it’s fun” for you, then.
And exhibit B) The big fight at the end…Hulk and Abomination, knocking the living shit out of each other as it should be. Not enveloped in a cloud that wants his anger and ultimately can’t handle it (again, what the fuck?) Just two gamma radiatiated gentlemen working out their differences , using police cars as boxing gloves, and destroying half a city while doing so. I’m not huge fan of the DESIGN on the Abomination…but clearly THAT was the villain the movie needed, and the fight it needed. Like I suggested in my “How to make a Superman Movie” article, our hero needs to face something bigger, stronger, and meaner, and defeat it using determination, guts and brains.
And the theatre audience I saw it with cheered like crazy when he said “Hulk Smash!”
3. It Fits Seamlessly into the Marvel Universe
I actually quite like the little Easter eggs linking the Marvel movies together and this one sowed plenty of seeds to make it fit into the bigger picture. We saw the origin of the Leader, Stark Military technology, Super Soldier serum in action and of course the now traditional post credit sequence. And if the film hadn’t been cut quite so frantically, we might have even seen a glimpse of Cap himself. Unlike some of the bits in Iron Man 2, most of this is worked in very cleverly and without a heavy hand. There’s even a couple of nods to the TV show for a few sharp eyed viewers
4. Liv Tyler in Tina Fey Glasses
5. General “Thunderbolt” Ross is a Douche…As He Should Be
The casting of Sam Elliot as General Thunderbolt Ross was kind of a stroke of genius, but ultimately there is always going to be something sympathetic and noble about a Sam Elliot character. And indeed, in this case, Ross was a man whose priorities were to keep his daughter, and the civilian population safe, even if that meant locking Banner away for life in a bunker. And while that does take the character out of the realm of cartoon bad guy…I’m not sure that is the right call. I prefer the idea of Hurt’s General Ross, a die hard military opportunist, looking to exploit the Hulk for his own nefarious purposes, willing to endanger his soldiers with unproven enhancement drugs , and his daughter by using her as bait. General Ross is a slimy bastard, and William Hurt made him suitably oily
As we come to the Avengers movie next year we will be on our third cinematic interpretation of the Hulk in less than 10 years. We have yet another Bruce Banner and probably yet another CGI Hulk design. Personally, I don’t think it is necessary. I think the 2008 reboot is a gem, with some awesome action sequences, some good acting, some great shots (The pan up the slums of Portugal is fantastic)and more importantly it was true to the character and FUN. Do you hear me Ang Lee? FUN!! And how many of our fellow internet shut ins bitch about wasting time on Superhero origin stories? This one didn’t waste any time on that…it was all taken care of neatly and effectively in the credits. And yet, people still bitch… I say to them that The Incredible Hulk is not the Abomination (Ha! Word play Liz Lemon!) that they think it is, and they need to give it a repeat viewing.
Now excuse me , I’m going to go put on my Hulk Hands and frighten the neighborhood children.
If you have a show or film or book or band you’d like to make a case for, we’d love to hear from you. Read the rules below, and drop us a line.
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