Brief Notes on Incredible Hulk (2008)

Last week, I posted some commentary I’d made a few years ago about the Fantastic Four movies of 2005 & 2007. As a loyal Marvel fan since way back (though, no longer a “zombie”), I was just as much a Hulk fan as I was a Fantastic Four fan. Still am. Gotta love ol’ Jade Jaws! So, of course, I am also anxious to see him (and his supporting cast) portrayed faithfully on the big screen.

It was great to seem him in all his rampaging, CGI glory in the 2003 Hulk film, but it was disappointing in many ways, especially the ending battle. (I haven’t seen it in years and didn’t take notes then, else I’d post them here, too.) The best part was the near-perfectly-cast Sam Elliott as General “Thunderbolt” Ross. (I say “near-perfect” because he didn’t bluster as much as the comic version.) Anyway, I was really hoping that the re-cast 2008 sequel would be better. And it was! But, me being me, it wasn’t quite good enough. So,… for what they’re worth, here are a few notes on that one:

Very enjoyable!

Incredible Hulk movie poster1) Hulk and Abomination both looked great. The Abomination’s look is closer to the recently further-mutated version, which was fine, though I prefer the original.

2) Great FX, though you could still tell at times that it was CGI, of course.

3) Gen. Ross was OK, but he should have been more “gruff” looking & sounding. He actually looked like Sam Elliott in a couple shots.

4) Nitpicks:

a) Physics sometimes didn’t operate as it should have. Specifically, when Hulk & Abom. leaped onto the helicopter pontoon, it barely lurched. That’s 1-2 tons of dead-weight yanking on one side, and nothing bent or broke?!! Second, when Hulk (1000+ lbs) was leaping away from building to building, each footfall on the top of a building should have resulted in a large hole, if not collapsing.

b) Why didn’t Hulk have leaping ability he has in comics (and even in 2003 Hulk film)?

c) Ending fight was much better than that in 2003 Hulk. But, he should have killed Abomination. Of course, the bleeding-heart lefties in Hollywood wouldn’t tolerate that. At the very least, he should have made sure Abom. was unconscious, so the army guys had time to tranq him before he recovered.

5) Remember how Dr. Stern’s head started to throb when some of Banner’s blood dripped onto his open wound?  That’s the set up for the sequel. One of the producers has already said that, assuming they do a sequel, the villain will probably be The Leader (i.e., guy with really big brain). Thing is, the comic version has Stern as a janitor of average-or-below IQ who is gamma-mutated into the big-brainy guy. They could have done that in this movie, too.

6) I’m not impressed with the guy who played Leonard, the “head shrink” dating Betty. I am assuming that he is supposed to be Leonard Samson (from the comics). If they have him gamma-irradiated in a sequel, they will have to CGI his body, too. (Roughly 6’7″, built like a wrestler, long green hair.)

Not sure why I thought they would have to use CGI for Samson, when there are actors of Samson’s height and build (or close to it). Not great ones, mind you. The actor would have to be believable as both brainy and brawny, so I suppose they might opt to do CGI & motion capture for Samson, too. To find out who I would cast for Samson, you’ll have to wait until I get around to a full fan-casting post-series for the “Hulk family”….

Meanwhile, I hear rumors about yet another Hulk solo film (using the Mark Ruffalo version from The Avengers) and/or a new TV series. Here’s hopin’ that, whatever they do, they make us loyal-thru-the-years fans happy!



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