The Incredible Hulk Review


Thanks for checking out our review of The Incredible Hulk! ***SPOILER CITY AHEAD!!!! DON’ T READ IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!***

The General Idea

Plot outline from IMDB: Depicting the events after the Gamma Bomb. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ tells the story of Dr Bruce Banner, who seeks a cure to his unique condition, which causes him to turn into a giant green monster under emotional stress. Whilst on the run from military which seeks his capture, Banner comes close to a cure. But all is lost when a new creature emerges; The Abomination.

The Good

Ed Norton was great as Bruce Banner. He was always muted, calm and in control. He was Vulcan in his discipline and really sold the idea of how much work it would take to be in control of your emotions 24/7. His portrayal of Banner wrestling with himself added struggle and depth to the character and a surprising amount of tension to the film.

This film has 3 main battle sequences and I liked them all for different reasons. My favorite was probably the courtyard battle, because we can clearly se what is going on and the use of sonic cannons was outstanding. The first battle in a bottling plant had the best “throwing shit” segment of the film and the third act allowed us to see the Hulk duke it out against a worthy adversary. The Hulk pounded the ground, threw tons of stuff and often used massive foreign objects as makeshift blunt weapons. I was pleased with the choreography of the violence and the myriad of ways in which they delivered it.

For much of the story we are following Banner as he runs from authorities. For much of the show the film had the feel of a chase movie, and that suited me just fine. It was cool to see Banner in different situations using ingenuity to not only outsmart those chasing him, but the beast within.

The Bad

I really didn’ t care for much of the camera work in this film. I will be honest, some scenes it just down right bothered me. Breakneck editing and shaky cam made for some very indiscernible moments. I like to see the environment and soak in the images, that is the point with cinema after all isn’t it? I understand that quick editing will give a sense of action and mayhem, but I think a long shot where you see a car fly across the screen into someone’s face speaks for itself.

There was a sub plot in the film where Bruce solicits help for a cure, and I found it to be incredibly lame. I can understand that he may be looking for a cure himself, but I never bought that he would get assistance from anyone else (let alone send blood in the mail). When Bruce meets with the scientist that has been helping him over the internet (Mr. Blue), they try to administer a cure which may or may not work….. and 5 minutes later in the film – they hope it doesn’t work. I was left wondering – what’s the point? If this entire sub plot had been stricken from the story, it would have been much better for it.

This film would have gotten at least a 7 from me if it didn’t let me down so much at the films climax. Although it wasn’t my favorite fight scene of the film – the last battle with Abomination was building to an amazing crescendo and had everyone in the theatre abuzz with excitement. At the moment where Hulk is about to unleash true justice upon Abomination – Betty says “don’t” and he doesn’t. The whole fucking scene went down like the Hindenburg and was totally spoiled. For the last action scene in The Incredible Hulk – that is flat out unacceptable. Hulk is violence, and you need to give us the best.


Criticisms aside, I enjoyed the Hulk and recommend that you see it. The pieces were there to make this film great, but a more liberal use of the editing knife and a superior climax would have made this a much better film. I thought the film was good, not great, and out of 10 give it a 6.5 (but I want to give it a 6.8).

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43 thoughts on “The Incredible Hulk Review

  1. Just a warning, I have next to no self control so don’t read if you haven’t seen the film yet.
    Ang Lee’s HULK was not a good Hulk movie. It went in the wrong direction. That is the simple truth. It went in the wrong direction for a Hulk movie. This movie, on the other hand, went in the complete right direction. Granted, the cast was better in Ang Lee’s, but everything else about this movie was better. A few artistic scenes are not unwelcome, but I would rather see HULK SMASH! Yes, the subplot with Samuel Sterns aka Mr. Blue aka The Leader is required because:
    1. It (if not pointlessly) builds suspense in the helicopter drop.
    2. It establishes a villain in the sequel
    3. It puts abomination on the map as the Hulk’s equal foe.

    The only part in which I was disappointed was the fact that the Hulk was not portrayed with near limitless strength. We didn’t get to see him do something like toppling a building down on Abomination. And I did not hate the whole “No killing” thing. Hulk doesn’t kill. But, she just said “Don’t do it!”. They could’ve at least done something more interesting like her jumping in front of him, or trying to speak to Bruce. Other than that, I think this movie is the paragon of a first Hulk. The acting was spot-on, the representation was perfect, and the movie really put me in the experience of Banner’s life. I am hungry for more smash, and I eagerly await the sequel.
    And here’s a spoiler warning for everyone who eagerly awaits the rest of Ed Norton’s script.
    According to what I’ve heard, there is a sequence where Bruce travels to Alaska to kill himself, and then discover how to control Hulk, leading upto the famous “glowing eyes.” Hulk gets a 7/10.

  2. The last fight left an un-answered question for me, “you’ve left abomination alive, what do you think it’s gunna do? perhaps go quietly into the night and get a new paper round?”. Of course not! it was happy to go trashing the city trying to pick a fight with the big green guy and twatting anybody in its way. Way more dengerous than the Hulk.
    Or perhaps not killing it was a means of leaving things unfinished ready for the next film.
    All that said: it was about 10 billion times better than the last hulk film which sucked donkeys.

  3. Ive been reading about how the subplot shouldnt have existed. Well heres the reason why it HAS to exist. The scientist AKA Mr. Blue is supposed to become “The Leader” For the sequel. Thats why at the end of the scene when The Abomination goes ape Sh** you see the banners blood drop into his head and you see hi head bubble up

  4. To those defending Jennifer Connelly’s performance in the 2003 Hulk: I would like you to review that film one more time. It was the worst of her career (be sure to watch her expressions during the stupid hulk-dog scene–haven’t seen acting that plastic since Lars and the Real Girl).
    Connelly is a much better actress than Liv Tyler overall, but in this case I gotta give more credit to the Aerosmith offspring.

  5. Gr8 movie, wat else can I say that hasn’t already been said!!! The Hulk was meaner, darker, & grimier.. He looked like he was on steroids & his skin wasn’t all smooth like the 1st.. He just looked too clean in the 1st. But this hulk was nicely put together, veins poppin out & all.. I really didn’t care for Bettys “stop” request.. Abomination should’ve nudged her ass off the roof lol. The only other thing I wished the hulk did was run up to 300+ mph like the comics.. I’m glad they didn’t have him jumping all over the damn place like the 1st.. All & all very Beastie!!!

  6. It did kinda dragged, and Liv Tyler was a bit annoying in the beginning of the film, but aside from that, the film is a great popcorn flick. I give it a 7.5/10.

  7. The Incredible Hulk is bigger, meaner and a better shade of green. Edward Norton is one of the last actors I would have expected to play Hulk, but He did a good job. There are only a few movies I liked Liv Tyler in, and She was surprisingly great in this. It was great to see cameo appearances by Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno and Robert Downey JR(as Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man). The action was top notch and the CGI was incredible. Hulk actually looked menacing in this film. The Abomination was really cool and Tim Roth was an excellent choice. There were a few really funny parts in the movie, especially when Bruce Banner a.k.a Hulk and Betty Ross were trying to “Get down to business” and He said He couldn’t get excited or else His heart rate will go up. That was the funniest part. When I heard Edward Norton would be penning the script, I was really happy, and He did a great job with that. In the 2003 Hulk, they made the Hulk jump like a trillion feet through the air which I thought was SO far- fetched and retarted. So I was really hoping that they wouldn’t make Him do that in this one, and they didn’t. So I was thankful for that. I actually would have liked to have seen more, maybe a bit longer. Although this one was an hour and fifty six minutes. This one was better than the last one and I hope there will be another one. B

  8. I was pleasantly surprised after Ang Lee’s cluster F^&*. I went in with low expectations and actually sat through a Comic Book movie, and left with a happy feeling. The fact that I heard Lou’s voice booming “HULK SMASH” made all the difference in the world.

  9. I can appreciate why you may like the camera work; for myself, it takes away from the experience.

    Also solid points on the Hulk/Abomination core difference. I can appreciate why Hulk didn’t kill him – I just felt the way they set up that climax demanded it. Perhaps they meant to give that strong jilt in order to make us consider the difference you mention…..

    I concede that Hulk may not kill once Banner was at that level of understanding, but do you still think Betty saying “STOP” was lame?

  10. I respectfully disagree with you. First off, in my opinion the cinema is not there to soak up images and such- it is there as a vehicle to tell a story. so with that said, it is what you make of it, no less and no more.

    Personally i enjoy the camera work.

    also, the part where hulk holds back at the end was used to display that Banner is still inside there, and that Hulk is not – and never will be – Abomination.

  11. In my opinion Norton has the slight edge over Bana, who I also think did a great job, but Norton was better for this “man on the run” storyline.

    Sam Elliott and William Hurt are a wash in my book, but Ill give you Jennifer Connely over Liv Tyler.

    Overall, I thought Ang Lees HULK was okay, and I give them credit for what they tried to do, it just didnt work for me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Incredible Hulk and thought it was everything a Hulk movie should be. They just nailed it IMO.

  12. “Good review, Doug. I agree with your rating. I think I still prefer the Ang Lee version”

    “Wow, you should be taken outside and shot to death with nerf balls.”

    You can keep your brain-dead Summer fare. I’d rather watching something that’s more thought-provoking.

    Say what you will about Hulk dogs and the climax (which I didn’t like for what it’s worth), but Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, and Sam Elliott were better suited for their roles than Edward Nortion, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt.

    Granted, however, Tim Roth was better than Josh Lucas.

  13. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as this being an improvement over the artsy melo-drama from Ang Lee (which I liked in parts). Here we have what was overlooked the last time – a formidable foe, great action, simple story which eventually will bridge to the Avengers.

    The climatic battle provided some nice payoff – letting HULK do what he does best – damage and destruction. 7/10.

  14. Samuel Stern even says ater the fact, “I dont know if we cured you or just this specific outbreak, its probably the latter” or something to that effect, and we are made to think that when Bruce jumps from the chopper and doesnt “hulk out” that he was cured, but obviously after he transforms again we know it was just that last occurrace that was treated

    BTW I LOVE the last shot when he opens his eyes, thy’re green and he just smiles, as if to say “ha, I got this now”.

  15. I have nothing negative to say about this movie… a million times better than Ang Lee’s, true to the comics, and very well put together…
    oh, and @TVO: lmfao hahaha I’d love to actually watch someone get shot to death with nerf balls especially after that comment that guy made! I agree with you 100%

  16. “Good review, Doug. I agree with your rating. I think I still prefer the Ang Lee version”

    Wow, you should be taken outside and shot to death with nerf balls.

  17. Wow, you people have becoming thin lipped, tight assed, high brow art critics. This is what the interwebs has created. This movie was great! Dare I say a better action movie than Iron Man. The audience applauded multiple times during the movie.
    The Hulp Clap was awesome! Great Comic Book movie, why don’t all you critics wait for Watchmen, so you can marvel at its great dialogue and lack of action or Batman for its dark “realistic” drama and shaky camera edits.
    WAR Hulk!

  18. I would say that, even though the cure didn’t seem to work, maybe it is what allows Banner to control it… As seen at the end when he meditates and purposely turns into the Hulk.

  19. I must admit that when I go back and look at the cgi in HULK 2003, it still looks better. To steal Johns line, that being said, I didnt think the cgi was bad it just didnt raise the bar at all like ILM seems to do every time out.

  20. @ Norberto:

    Did you read this part:

    “Thanks for checking out our review of The Incredible Hulk! ***SPOILER CITY AHEAD!!!! DON’ T READ IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!***”

  21. I felt the film was amazing. The camera work worked perfect for me. It was very submersive for getting into the feeling of being in the film. Felt “Cloverfield(y)” at times. Which I thought was excellent. I loved the sub-plot… and innevitable unveiling of “The Leader” as the next films big baddy! …and the Climax was perfect. The Abomination always hands hulk his ass, then the Hulk comes back for a nearly barely win but never finishes him off. That is exactly as it should be and how the comics handle it. The army cart Blonsky off and then he lives to fight another day… (with THE LEADER as his “leader”). The movie was spot on perfect. “Hulk is violence?” wrong. Hulk is emotion… Punisher is Violence.

  22. Holy shit Doug!!! When people read the reviews is to know if a movie is good and if it’s worth the ticket or not, not to be spoiled!!! There are many other reviews in this blog that tell you how good a movie can be without spoiling anything!!! At least throw a spoiler warning in there!!!

  23. The fact that the hulk stopped hurting abomination when betty says stop just shows that he learned to control it. i thought that added nicely to the ending

  24. I like the movie the way it is. Don’t change a thing. Except maybe add a few more seconds to that awesome awesome sound wave cannons scene.

  25. I’m getting kind of board at how many films that make the bad guy a modification/deviation from the main character? Where is the creativity in that? 2 already this summer. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Anyone else notice this?

  26. I wish I could like it, but I just didn’t. I think that I don’t really like Hulk as a character. That might be why I was so bored during the movie. I just can’t get pumped for it at all, and it’s not like I went in wanting the thing to suck. I had my reservations, but I was hoping to enjoy the thing. I just couldn’t get involved and, like Doug, I found that the final fight was completely fucked in the ass by Betty intervening at the last moment.

  27. I loved the movie!!! i didn’t mind the fist hulk but like many people that saw it i thought waiting 42 mins for him to turn into the big green machine was a little….no…..way to long! plus the dads plot and hulk being to bright green, changing to 3 different sizes wasn’t quite the hulk movie i was expecting. NOW THIS ONE like i said in the bigging “i loved it” there were time in the movie where i almost shed tears of joy example hearing the hulk say “leave me alone” in the factory!!! my only complaint about this hulk is that he just wasn’t beefy enough!!! i don’t know maybe i’m just used to the comic hulk……though lou ferrigno in his hay day was one big mutha f*%$@#!!!

  28. Just focusing on the fight scenes for a moment, was I the only one who nearly lost it when the “HULK! SMASH!” part happened? I hope not, because it was simply wonderful.

  29. While I didn’t mind the Mr.Blue subplot (which is a nod to a recent Hulk storyline, unless I miss my guess) does set up the Leader (and I hope it’s more of the more alien looking Leader, and not the John Leguizamo-looking Frankenstien monster “classic”look) and is needed for the final transformation of Blonsky…

    You know what? John’s convinced me. It isn’t needed. (in fact, when the correspondence was happening, for awhile I thought “Mr. Blue” was going to be revealed to be Doc Sampson, or even Betty herself, but wasn’t) Which reminds me. Wanna hear a joke? We know who Mr. Blue is. We know who Mr. Green is. Who’s Mr. Orange?
    (I know—lame as hell, although Mr. Orange had a drawing of Silver Surfer in his room and described a mobster like The Thing …I know…lame as hell…)

  30. I have to mention the awesome homage to Captain America… and what looks to be an awesome movie if done the way Blonsky was portrayed during the courtyard fight. Looked like a super soldier without all the floaty wire kung fu effects

  31. I love the film just for the sonic cannons; thats something i remember so vividly from the cartoon series in 1982 and to see it in live action was beyond awesome.

    I also felt, after all the boasts about 20 minute length, the final battle was the perfect length for two characters with limited powers beating each other up. You don’t want to create the biggest fight of all time in what you hope is the first in a series of films. Maybe in a sequel, you have a 20 minute gigantic battle across the whole city but this will do for now.

    If i look at it without the sonic cannons for a second though, i found the film as it was, entertaining but hollow. They were clearly trying very hard to tell the tragedy of Bruce Banner but didn’t quite make me feel it.

  32. I agree with much of your review. unfortunately, just not the part about the end of teh fight. it was very true to the comics and the characters. The depictions were right on. I understand that they don’t want the Hulk the be a murderer. His is a character that is always scared, alone and angry. Until recently in the comics that is. Since this is more of an origin story again, I can understand that they want to build up to certain points slowly and not just an all out in one movie.

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