The Incredible Hulk (2008)
October 20, 2022 11:00 AM - Subscribe

Originally planned as a sequel to the 2003 Ang Lee movie, then converted to a reboot, this nascent MCU Hulkathon has a new cast (including the second of three big-screen Hulks), a new villain, and a new director, but the same old Jade Giant: mean, green, and busting up the scene.

From Wikipedia and elsewhere:

- As already mentioned, this was planned as a sequel to Hulk, but the script was partially rewritten by new Hulk/Banner actor Edward Norton. Part of the effect of the rewrite was to bring the movie into the MCU, in part by having the origin for the Hulk (and the Abomination) be tied in to Project Rebirth, the super-soldier program that created Captain America (whose first film was still three years away). This film came out a bit over a month after Iron Man, and Robert Downey Jr. has a brief cameo as Tony Stark at the end of the film.

- In addition to Norton, the film recast General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (with William Hurt) and Betty Ross (with Liv Tyler). Hurt would reprise the character in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Black Widow. In addition, Tim Roth would reprise Emil Blonsky/the Abomination in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Glenn Talbot was not in this film, but would appear (played by Adrian Pasdar) in several seasons of Agents of SHIELD. The movie also includes versions of Dr. Leonard Samson (non-powered); Samuel Sterns (The Leader), with Tim Blake Nelson set to play the character in the next Captain America movie; and Roger Harrington, Peter Parker's teacher in the three MCU Spider-Man movies.

- Tim Ross hired his trainer from Planet of the Apes to aid in working on his movement as the Abomination.

- The late Bill Bixby, who played Dr. David Bruce Banner in the The Incredible Hulk TV show, appears (in a clip from another series of his, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, on a TV that Banner is watching.

- Either Kevin Feige (aka K.E.V.I.N) decided not to bring back Norton for the Hulk's next MCU appearance (Avengers), or Norton decided for himself; U-Decide.
posted by Halloween Jack (5 comments total)
The early Brazil scenes in this movie are great. The rest of the movie is never as fun. Also Hulk's hair in this is VERY 2000s.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:06 PM on October 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

I didn't catch up with this one until about ten years later and I hadn't missed much.
posted by octothorpe at 6:34 PM on October 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

say what you will about Ang Lee's outing, but that movie is infinitely more memorable than this one, most of which I had forgotten 24 hours after watching it in the theater.

it's notable that Avengers not only recasts Hulk but also effectively functions as yet another reboot/introduction of the character; Marvel (correctly) did not feel that anything from this movie was worth salvaging or preserving. (Hurt and Roth do get those reprisals, but both well after the stain of this movie had become a distant and un-damaging memory)

seriously I'm trying to remember specifics and everything that comes to mind is from the '03 flick.

(I just finished reading the Immortal Hulk omnibus collection, and even considering the best portrayals in the MCU at this point I still just feel like film has only ever done Hulk dirty)
posted by Kybard at 8:06 PM on October 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

As stated, the scenes in the favela are interesting--they really explored that environment. Other than that, it mostly seems to be Banner moping around his old neighborhood and girlfriend and Hulk doing some smashing. There's a very brief mention of it in Avengers when Banner says that the last time he was in NYC, he "broke Harlem." That's about it (besides Banner being in yet another impoverished area when we catch up to him).

Mostly, though, it's that, although Norton is a fine actor, his real strength isn't in convincing you that he's trying to keep a lid on his anger, it's in his acting out his anger despite looking like someone that could get blown over in a stiff breeze. Mark Ruffalo is much better at getting to that essence, of someone who is very smart and determined to do the right thing despite being constantly aware that he's got an atomic bomb in his head that could go off if someone or something pisses him off. I also did a recent Avengers rewatch, and even though he doesn't have the easy charisma of the Chrises or Downey's nimble comic timing, he's almost always the most interesting person to watch in a group scene, even when he's not doing much. (Johansson shines better in scenes with just one other person; I didn't really like Renner until his solo Disney+ series, in which he really shined.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:09 PM on October 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Now streaming on Disney+
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:04 PM on June 16, 2023

« Older The Mole: The Bird Cage...   |  Movie: The Witches of Eastwick... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments