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Movie Review: "The Incredible Hulk" (2008)
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers.
I don't know about you, my fellow readers, but if I were assigned to remake a movie that came out only five years prior, I'd feel pretty embarrassed, regardless of how big my paycheck would be. Seriously, how low can you go when it comes to a predicament like this? But it's not a full remake, like from the ground up, so I'll give it some credit for not boring us with the same origins story that we've already seen in Ang Lee's "Hulk" back in 2003.
"The Incredible Hulk" is more of a loose sequel to that film. It picks up after it. "The Incredible Hulk" does many things right this time around in terms of character, story, and tone. No longer do we have to sit through a 'Hulk' adaptation with a dreadful cartoonish tone and style. Bravo, well done.
However, I don't think they paid too much attention to Ang Lee's "Hulk" because they kinda sorta repeated some of that film's mistakes.
"The Incredible Hulk" picks up after "Hulk" with our titular character living a low-key life in a foreign country. But General Ross hasn't given up on his pursuit and his daughter Betty is still in love with Bruce. Soon enough, a clever clue leads Ross to find the location of Bruce Banner. To aide his mission, he enlists Emil Blonsky, a dedicated British Royal Marine to lead it.
And so the chase is on, leading all the way back to East 125th Street in New York City for a big computer animated spectacle that would make Pixar Studios proud.
Here We Go Again
We are in the most advanced age of special effects technology, which also means we are in the most laziest one as well. Yep. I guess they couldn't get someone like Christopher Nolan to save this project, could they?
I said it in my last review of "Hulk" and I'll say it again in this one... Big actor (i.e. Pat Roach) + FX makeup + Minimal CGI = Realistic version of the Hulk character. When Ed Norton transforms into the beast, they could simply use CGI to blend the two separate actors together. I guess they were either too lazy to do this or too stupid to not think of it.
The Hulk doesn't need to be twenty feet tall. Just look at Bane from "The Dark Knight Rises", he's not as big as he is in the comics but he is convincing enough.
It also doesn't help that the final climatic battle between the Hulk and Abomination in Harlem is filled with CGI. So much stuff is thrown left and right, up and across, I don't even remember anything significant from this fight, and that's saying a lot about your fight scene when there's nothing really memorable about it, you know? That it's just a bunch of colorful crap being thrown around.
"RoboCop 2" has one of the most memorable climatic fights in cinematic history. Who can forget when RoboCain crawled up the elevator shaft and collided with RoboCop, tossing both of them to the edge of the roof? Or how about that bit at the end when he sneaks behind RoboCain, jumps on him, and takes out his brain to smash it?
Music Composed by Eric Generic
Joe Schmoe... Eric Generic... Did you... get that joke?
HA... HA... HA...
Well that pretty much sums up the soundtrack for "The Incredible Hulk". I haven't actually checked the credits to see who did the music this time around, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were Eric Generic, he does soundtracks for a lot of bad mainstream flicks nowadays.
I mean Eric Generic is a change from Willy Kiddy, whom I believe did the soundtrack for Ang Lee's "Hulk", but neither is no better than the other.
The Abomination... of a Villain
So they decided to use one of the Hulk's most iconic villains in this movie, the Abomination. What tricks did they use to bring him to the big screen? Apparently, all they did was copy/paste the Hulk's CGI, add a few bony bits, and paint him over in a grayish color. Seriously, when these two guys are fighting, they look almost identical except one is green and the other isn't.
If James Cameron were to redo "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and make Arnold's T-800 fight an identical T-800 model, it would be pretty stupid and boring to look at. Did the filmmakers of "The Incredible Hulk" ever look at a picture of the Abomination from the comics? Would it have hurt to spend a little more time making him look significantly more different than the Hulk?
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