The Incredible Hulk  hits DVD shelves in a super 3-disc DVD collectors edition Tuesday October 21st and I am giving a copy to one lucky BNN reader! And congrats to our past BNN DVD contest winners! You could be next! (See below)

I have to wonder if the barrage of marvel comic super hero films has anything to do with our inner longing for strength and stability. In these days it is hard to find a hero we can trust. Someone who truly has our best interest at heart and the power to back it up. A being who will not give in to the pressure of conformity or manipulation. A conqueror in every sense off the word. Or, maybe we just want to see something big and green tear stuff up and throw things around. I tend to lean either way. Last month’s Iron Man had my hopes up for more of the same witty, action packed explosion of site and sound. Would The Incredible Hulk deliver the goods? Or be left green with envy at the box office. That was the big question.
Non-comic book fans are more familiar with The Hulk than other comic characters due to the success of the late 70’s TV series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. We have all quoted the famous line, “Don’t get me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”. The story of Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) and his need to stay one step ahead of those pursuing him until he can find a way to cure the gamma contamination that causes him to literally get green with anger and destroy all that is around him is a simple one. In this movie version it is the US Army and General Ross (William Hurt) who want to get hold of Bruce. They have intentionally created their own version of the Hulk by injecting a glory hungry soldier (Tim Roth). Banner must now unleash the force he tries so hard to control in order to battle this Abomination.
I have always been a huge fan of Norton and I was a little concerned about him slumming it in this type of film. No offense but these roles seem better suited for those trying to revive their careers or break out of the television realm. The day Sean Penn plays Batman is the day I hang my review hat up for good. Norton plays Banner well and has that quiet inner brooding that is needed. Liv Tyler joins the cast as Betsy Ross, the female scientist and love interest of Banner. A good solid choice for this role. Tyler has a peace and gentleness about her that comes through in her patient caring for Banner, even when he is at his greenest.
That said I still was not as impressed with this film as I had hoped to be. The lack of humor and wit that these films need and the over abundance of army men and army this and army that made this installment far less enjoyable. It was loud and large but lacked the endearing nature of previous marvel films. The Hulk just isn’t very likable. Nor is Banner. He is a nice guy but has no charisma or personality. So there is nothing to really admire about him. In the TV series Ferrigno at least made the Hulk personable which made the success so great. Here it is just a big animated cartoon. It has no life or personality. That added to the King Kong imitation scenes between The Hulk and Betsy made for a slightly ok but forgettable film. I left Iron Man hoping for a sequel. I left The Hulk still hoping for an Iron Man sequel.
The Incredible Hulk is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content. The Hulk and The Abomination are big, loud, destructive creatures. The fight scenes are intense but still in comic book fashion. Like most of these films it is more than likely safe for your 12 and up crowd. I give it only a light 3 out of 5 stretchy pants. Plus there are 3 cameo appearances that are the only things that seemed to get any sort of response from the audience. But if the little Hulk inside you needs a release this weekend, you should find it somewhat entertaining. Even if it is not incredible, it is at least Ok.

  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 113 minutes

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    “Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts a daily online talk show along with a weekend radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website”

    Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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