So here’s a new thing. We pick a movie, we review it from opposing perspectives and at the end you get to vote for the side you agree with. For the first round: The Incredible Hulk!
Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Funk: Coming off the back of the big green flop that was Ang Lee’s Hulk, it’s pretty clear that they want to get back to the source material. This comes across mostly in the story and the depiction of the Hulk, and less so with Bruce Banner himself. He’s now not just a scientist but some kind of awesome Jason Bourne type character and it doesn’t add anything to the role, just the action scenes. Kinda feels like they didn’t know what to do with the character, so they just stuck on some generic action dude traits.
The casting of Edward Norton is an odd choice. Unlike the majority of the geek population I don’t worship the ground he walks on. I did once, around the time of Fight Club when he was kicking all of the ass, but since we have the 10 year anniversary Blu-Ray and he hasn’t done anything worthwhile since he’s fallen out of favour with me. He’s a fine actor and all, but he doesn’t seem to be putting much effort into his roles of late. Not once during this film do I actually buy him as a super-genius scientist, and I never feel the link between him as Bruce Banner and him as the Hulk.
SuperMarcey: It kind of was inevitable that the Hulk would return to screens in a different take, after Ang Lee’s Hulk did not perform as hoped. It felt like we were getting promised more action, and more of a comic book film. There were hints before this was released that this would tie in with Iron Man. I was excited for a new Hulk film, and when I first saw this I was not disappointed. This felt like the Hulk, and Bruce Banner well felt like Bruce.
I enjoyed seeing more into the character, with Bruce being in hiding and trying to keep the other guy under wraps, and even find a cure. He gets found out, and this becomes an on the run film, which worked fine for me. The character works well that way, because when he gets angry the Hulk is unleashed. Edward Norton did a fine job in the role, it was a surprising role for him and it worked in this setting. I felt he pulled off being Banner and what comes with the territory and I bought what he sold.
Funk: This is one of the areas where the movie holds up a little better. Liv Tyler as the love interest is a much better developed character than what Jennifer Connolly got to work with and Tyler is an actor who we never get to see any more.
The villains are less interesting – Tim Roth is a fine actor but he brings little to the role other than snarling and grimacing at people. There’s nothing more to say about him until he turns into an uglier version of Hulk, and even then he’s just an uglier Hulk. William Hurt featured just because they didn’t someone to deliver some lines.
SuperMarcey: I loved the supporting cast, I felt Liv Tyler worked a lot better as the love interest Betty. I really thought she just brought so much to the role, and the chemistry was there with Norton. William Hurt was fantastic as her father and General, he doesn’t disappoint me at all and he was great here.
Tim Roth was a casting choice I was excited about, one of my all time favourites playing a villain in a comic book film *drool*. While I liked what he brought to the table, and I did like his performance, the character needed more. He tried to do what he could, but we really needed more meat to that character.
Action & Story
Funk: I have a serious problem with the action in this movie. It’s packed with good ideas and the special effects are a HUGE, hulk-sized step up from the previous movie, but they’ve tried to cut corners with the editing and it really grates my nerves. During all of the actions scenes there’s the bare minimum of shots featuring Hulk on screen with actual humans, like they’ve tried to save the effects budget by avoiding anything complicated. We wind up with soldiers shooting at something off-screen in one shot, then cut to Hulk in a different shot being hit by the bullets. It creates a real disconnect between the Hulk and the action, when what the audience wants to see is the jolly green giant wading into an army and sending them flying like skittles.
I want to edit out the shots of the soldiers shooting him at the college – I bet the remaining footage would just look like Hulk running around swatting flies.
The story is forgettable filler used to patch together the action. None of the plot threads about controlling the Hulk, the government involvement or he romantic sub-plot go anywhere.
SuperMarcey: Story wise I dug this one, it kept my interest and I did engage and actually care about the characters. His motivations make sense, he doesn’t want to get caught and he finds to find a cure. Sure perhaps a little more in there would have been nice, but it feels fleshed out and not really empty for what is there.
The action was definitely there and I had a really good time. It’s nicely paced and I do like the way it was shot. The earlier on chase scene I really liked, and the stuff at the college was mostly handled well, some CGI stuff failing to meet the grade however. The final battle is great, I had a good time with it, and it was good to see something quite epic.
Funk: It’s easy to see why this movie got made – it came off the back of the successful Iron Man and audiences had felt let down by the first attempt at the franchise. But they’ve dived into with a bunch of ideas that don’t completely mesh together and didn’t stop to iron out the wrinkles before rolling the cameras. It winds up feeling like an empty shell of a movie.
SuperMarcey: This was the Hulk film I had hoped for, I really enjoyed it when I first saw it and I do really still enjoy it. Sure Edward Norton was an odd choice but in this film he worked, as a stand alone. He wouldn’t have worked with The Avengers, but this was neccessary in its build up. I had a good time, and I certainly can’t complain about that.
Got a divisive movie we can argue about? Hit us up in the comments!