17 July 2008

Thoughts On: The Incredible Hulk

The power went out in the theatre just as the third act of The Incredible Hulk was getting underway, so my thoughts on this are incomplete.

To this day I still have no idea whether Dr. Bruce Banner escaped his curse (I’ll wager he didn’t), whether he was able to best the Abomination (I’ll wager he did), or whether Robert Downey Jr.’s cameo as Tony Stark, complete with obscure remarks about “putting a team together” would’ve given me gooseflesh like a teenage girl at a Coldplay concert (yeah, they probably would have).

At best all I can do is go back another day and simply “get it done.” At this point that’ll be like having to sit through the same pleasant date--same small talk, same chicken meal, same check--all over again, just to get to the uncomfortable sex. 

I really dug what we saw, as far as it went. 

I can tell I'm gonna be at odds with the general consensus on this one.

The film chugs right along. I don’t know what kind of “hissy” Ed Norton threw when Marvel Studios cut down a lot of the character material he added to the screenplay, but I hope it didn’t sever ties completely. He was very good and likable as Banner.

And the film didn’t stumble into a single “cringe” moment, at least up until the point I saw. No doubt the WWE nature of the final climax will make sure it occasionally ventures into the ridiculous. But it would take a real catastrophe to sink the film, which is taut, lean, and smart. In fact, I would wager it's probably the most flawless super hero movie made to date.  It doesn't have high ambitions, but that's not a minus for me.

It's not the most entertaining comic book movie, and certainly not the most inspired or interesting, but it does its modest job with the greatest effectiveness and least amount of silliness. What’s coming through with this new line of Marvel movies is the humanity of the central characters. Strong performances, worthwhile heroes. First with Iron Man, now with  The Incredible Hulk.

I'll buy it on DVD when it comes out.

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