DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Incredible Hulk - the 'you won't like me when I'm angry' review

The Incredible Hulk (12a)

Dir. Louis Leterrier

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Ever since my Gamma radiation overdose there are aspects of my personality that I just can't control.
And when I lose control, it's very dangerous to be around me…
Fortunately I find that going to see stupid action films at the cinema helps keep my destructive impulses in check (unless they’re rubbish in which case it just makes me angry). Anyway, it just so happens that The Incredible Hulk is the very definition of ‘stupid action film’ and it’s not rubbish either.
‘Incredible’ might be pushing it a bit though as my two superhero fan sons both declared it to be: ‘good but not as good as Iron Man’ – who makes a guest appearance at the end to set up an Avengers movie sequel…

In many ways Louis ‘The Transporter’ Leterrier delivers a decent follow up to Ang Lee’s misunderstood and generally unloved ‘Hulk’ from 2003. There’s certainly more action on offer here which builds to a crunching climactic showdown so audacious that sets a new standard for sheer over the top one-on-one fights. There’s a superb cast featuring Edward Norton, Tim Roth and Liv Tyler backed up by some fun cameos like Lou ‘I was doing this Hulk stuff back in the ‘70s’ Ferrigno. The special effects have also improved considerably – it’s hard not to break into a grin when witnessing impossible feats made to look so ‘real’ - such as when Hulk effortlessly rips a police car in half in order to fashion himself a pair of metallic boxing gloves.

The main problem here is that because the action is so great when Hulk is doing his big green angry stuff, all the human interplay that makes up the rest of the plot seems a bit dull in comparison. This roller coaster of impossibly high ‘highs’ mixed with ho hum ‘lows’ leaves the film feeling uneven and the audience counting down the minutes to the next green explosion.
The plot has lots of fun with the source material, throwing in comic moments such as when Norton has to back out of a steamy clinch with Tyler because she’s raising his pulse to the point where he might ‘Hulk out’.

If you’ve ever enjoyed Hulk from comics, TV or his other film outings – The Incredible Hulk should be seen and enjoyed on the biggest screen you can find. If you’re not a fan though you’ll probably re-title this ‘The Quite Good Hulk’ – doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10 but '-' is bad whereas '+' is good):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööö (7)
Smashing action - but paint by numbers emotions

Tasty Action: öööööööö (8)
Highly satisfying when it happens

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööööö (7)
Liv Tyler is all kinds of sexy

Mind Blight / Boredom: öööööö (6)
Bit too much plodding between smackdowns

Comedic Value: ööööööö (7)
'You won't like me when I'm "hungry" line was a classic!

Arbitrary final rating: ööööööö (8)
- Strong comic book action which fans will love and others will like…

Liable to make you:
"sign up to military drug trials - just in case"

DM Poster Quote:
“No does 'smash' like Hulk..."


Anonymous said...

I did love that line "You won't like me when I'm hungry" too.

I actually thought that the bits between the action were quite well done and managed to flesh out the characters and relationships quite well, a bit better than last time my memory serves.

It'll be interesting to see the "Norton" cut on DVD, if we ever get the chance.

Anonymous said...

i like your reviews.. keep em coming :)