An Incredible Anger Management Problem
To be frank I had no real urge to watch "The Incredible Hulk" starring Edward Norton especially after the last outing for the green monster which was both disappointing and unmemorable. Add to this that in this new movie none of those who appeared in the last outing reprised their roles, and I don't blame them either. But then "The Incredible Hulk" is a lot better than expected, not that it is vastly different to any other super-hero/ comic book movie but is a distinct improvement on the last outing for Bruce Banner and his alter ego.
In "The Incredible Hulk" we discover Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton - The Illusionist) hiding out in South America where as well as trying to find a cure for his condition is trying to find ways to manage his anger. But General Ross (William Hurt - Vantage Point) still wants to harness the power which Banner holds and desperately seeks his where abouts. With Ross and his army closing in on him Banner is forced to return back to America where he discovers that Ross has managed to create his own monster known as The Beast who is both destructive and evil.
Despite being an improvement on the previous incarnation "The Incredible Hulk" has one major problem, it is seriously bland, if it was a paint it would be magnolia, that's how bland it is. It takes the super-hero play book and basically follows it step by step delivering predictable scene after predictable scene which are all super stereotypical of many a super hero movie. Even the monster on monster action fails to provide any real change from being predictable and expected. I was hoping that this incarnation of "The Incredible Hulk" would push some boundaries, deliver something unique, fresh and original but nope it resides firmly in the world of being safe, formulaic and bland.
Unfortunately the blandness also covers the characters and actors. Edward Norton takes over the role of Bruce Banner and whilst he does an adequate job he comes over at times unbelievably weak and fails to gain the empathy that the character demands. Do we care that he lives with almost fear of mutating into the green monster, not at all as there is no connection with him at all. Opposite Norton is Liv Tyler who takes over the role of Rose and the big problem here is that she is side lined to what is basically a bit part, not being given anywhere near enough screen time to make any real impact.
The only character which does stand out is Blonsky the aging soldier played by Tim Roth who agrees to become a guinea pig for General Ross. At least Roth provides a character which fills the screen with menace and manages to inject some much needed energy into what is pretty much a one speed movie.
As for the Hulk himself well the CGI is a vast improvement on the 2003 version of the Incredible Hulk but still doesn't look much more than a cartoon character. It's just far too unrealistic and at times I found myself laughing when I know I shouldn't have been.
What this all boils down to is that "The Incredible Hulk" is not the worst super hero movie I have watched but in a genre which is getting more and more crowded it fails to stand out from the crowd. It is far too safe and at times uninspiring because it stays to rigid to a formula which may have worked a few years back but now seems pretty boring. I honestly hope this will be the last outing for the Hulk as so far it is one super hero which appears not to be able to transfer to the big screen effectively.