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Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

***½ The Incredible Hulk. Science fiction, action/adventure.

Directed by: Louis Leterrier.
Starring: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Lou Ferrigno

We saw this at the Embassy theater during our month in San Antonio this summer. It was one of the first movies we saw in the States, and we nearly missed it. It wasn't out on the AAFES circuit yet, but in San Antonio, it was already down to one matinee a day by the time we got there. Lucky we caught it, because by the time we got back here, it was gone from AAFES, too, and we'd have had to wait for the DVD. And movies like this you really want to see on the big screen.

It's impossible not to compare The Incredible Hulk with Hulk, and this one comes out so much better. In particular, the special effects were vastly improved. The big green guy looks realistic, and, most importantly for me, moves believably. It sounds trivial, but older CGI movement is seriously irritating and distracting for me. It creeps me out. I'm guessing everyone has different levels where the creepiness kicks in. For me, it's the weird movement, especially when limbs bend at the wrong place. There's an ad at the AAFES theaters reminding patrons not to put their feet on the backs of seats (gives you an idea about AAFES, doesn't it?), and the CGI legs shrink and bend, and it never fails to give me shivers.

Anyway. It was important to me, and this film delivered.

I have a love-hate reaction to Bruce Banner's (Edward Norton) all-out search for a cure. On the one hand, it's understandable, especially since the first time he hulked out, he injured his girlfriend (Liv Tyler). On the other hand, I have very little patience with characters with supernatural abilities who hate what they are and try to deny it and/or avoid dealing with it while they search for a cure. It's not just The Hulk. I have the same impatience with vampires and werewolves who live in denial as well.

I much prefer supernatural characters who try to work with and learn to control the monster rather than letting the monster control them. Though, as I said, Bruce Banner did have a reason for his feelings, and that was convincingly portrayed.

Speaking of the portrayal, I really liked Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. Though Eric Bana did look more like Bill Bixby. And speaking of the original series, how cool was it to have Lou Ferrigno there? Yes, I know, he was in the 2003 movie, too.

Fun movie, even though The Hulk isn't my favorite superhero. And I'm getting very excited about the connections between these movies.

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