Good, But Not Incredible

17 06 2008

“The Incredible Hulk” 2008

Starring: Edward Norton, William Hurt, Liv Tyler

I won’t lie. I usually go into superhero flicks expecting the worst. I always prefer drama to action and I’m interested in a subtler type of character development-one that doesn’t include metamorphosis into a super-human beast.

When I entered the theater to see “The Incredible Hulk,” I did not enter with the highest of hopes.

With “Hulk,” I was pleasantly surprised. I think that Edward Norton has proven himself a fantastic actor across film genres, and his interpretation of Bruce Banner as the sympathetic (sort of) superhero was no letdown. I wouldn’t categorize this as his finest demonstration of talent, but he did a good enough job to keep my eyes anxiously glued to the screen for two hours.

I’ll admit a little confusion when I first started seeing previews for “The Incredible Hulk.” Hadn’t I seen trailers for the same film just a couple of year ago? This “Hulk” didn’t appear to be a sequel. So why two adaptations in one decade? I soon discovered that the comic book monster had indeed been the star of a very recent film (2003), by a director I knew well, Ang Lee. Apparently (I’m going on the reviews, not an actual screening of the film) Lee’s version was more subtle, thought-provoking, interested in the emotional complexities of its characters rather than simply their transformative capabilities. More talk-y, less action-y, so to speak.

So I have to say, the Ang Lee version sounds like it would be my ideal if given a choice between the two. I’m adverse to most action scenes. I can’t stomach graphic violence and I honestly do not think it is possible for me to cultivate a sense of connection with a mythical action figure. In the end, I don’t care whether or not the big green angry guy or the big orange scary guy wins.

In the case of “The Incredible Hulk,” I did feel compassion for Bruce Banner, and because his “Hulk” was uncontrollable and not really his fault, I was able to sympathize with the beast he turned into as well.

In “Hulk,” the two bad guys are pure evil (despite a reluctant stab at redemption by one) and the good guys, including the title superhero and his brilliant alter-ego, are a bit trickier to designate. The Hulk does have an explosive temper, but he’s doing his best to protect himself against the legions of military special forces who pursuit him in a conspiratorial attempt to channel his immense power into a devastating weapon. How can we blame him for expressing his irritation with violence? He has the means to strike back, and good reason.

♦♦½

Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

18 06 2008
Susan Hated Literature » Blog Archive » links for 2008-06-18

[…] “The Incredible Hulk” Review « The Paper Bag Princess (tags: The.Incredible.Hulk filmreview) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: