Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Blot Reviews The Incredible Hulk

To be blunt, The Incredible Hulk was good, but unfortunately it just wasn’t that great. I had high expectations for the film, especially after 2003’s dreadful The Hulk, but the movie just came across as a high level B movie with big name actors. While the movie definitely delivered in many of the areas that Ang Lee’s version sorrowfully lacked, it didn’t reach the high level of greatness of so many other recent super hero movies like X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman Begins and Iron Man.

The Incredible Hulk Movie Banner
I think part of the problem is that these other super hero movies have continued to raise the bar higher and higher. While this is great for moviegoers, it also means that audiences’ expectations are so high that it’s impossible for average movies to compare. If this movie had come out when the original Hulk film did back in 2003 then people’s expectations would have been much lower and the film would have probably been seen in a more favorable light. I now have to take back what I said about the Punisher being the hardest super hero to translate to the big screen, because that title now falls squarely on the shoulders of the Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk
What’s even more surprising is that while everyone, critics and fans alike, have said that The Incredible Hulk is by far a much better movie than its predecessor, after 10 days in theaters it has actually done worse at the box office. The Incredible Hulk’s 10 day box office gross now stands at $96.5 million, while the critically panned The Hulk had “earned $100.6 million in the same time frame.” (link) Although the two figures are not that far apart, it is a perfect example of the damage a bad movie can do to a character’s legacy in the eyes of the American public.

The Incredible Hulk - Edward Norton as Bruce Banner
I guess the odds of us ever seeing Tim Blake Nelson’s Dr. Samuel Stern transform fully into the villain The Leader on the big screen are now greatly diminished. Here’s hoping the Hulk gets one more movie to prove the character’s A-list comic book status is deserved. I guess either way we’ll be seeing more of the greened skinned giant (and maybe/maybe not Edward Norton) in 2011’s The Avengers.
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