Incredible Hulk is a lazy afternoon or put something on in the background while doing work kind of movie. The other Marvel Studios film that came out in 2008. It is decent enough. Very different in tone from what becomes a “Marvel Movie.” Where Iron Man became the model, Incredible Hulk kind of becomes the “what not to do.” It isn’t bad. It just doesn’t entertain in the same way Iron Man does. At least not popularly.

I think when they were making Incredible Hulk they were trying to work out what they can make Incredible Hulk into. Can we make Hulk into an fugitive movie or a horror movie or a superhero movie? It kind of ends up being a bunch of those at different moments.

The opening credits are great. A recap of the explosion that makes Bruce Banner into the Hulk. It mirrors the opening of the TV show, which is the source material I would follow. Then we’re in Brazil where we find Bruce is working in a soda factory, a day worker and and on the fly electrical engineer. Again. A setup that feels like it comes from television.

When the Ross finds him and sends in Blonsky (who gets a “jumping off the helicopter while he stares off into the horizon because he is a badass solider” introduction that would expect to get from a Michael Bay film), the movies twists into a Jason Bourne-like chase scene. They leap across the the rooftops, jump through crowds, twist through a cafe, and frighten at least only lady taking a shower in her apartment. It is the kind of hide and seek you would expect to find in Jason Bourne or James Bond doing.

Jump forward to the university scene, almost an hour into it, which is a straight up superhero brawl between The Hulk and Blonsky who is hopped up on super soldier serum. This is a great moment in the film. We finally see the Hulk out in the light. He rips into jeeps and a helicopter. Blonsky hops around and flips and blasts his hand gun at Hulk’s face. It is pretty awesome.

After Hulk and Betty get away, they’re alone together in a cave, and now film makers want to make this into King Kong. Betty tames the monster. Humanizes him. Endears him to us. The thing is we just want to see the Hulk smash into bad guys.

Once we’re in Mr. Blue’s lab and we’re trying out his Hulk Cure, we’re pushed into a mad scientist scene that seems like it comes out of Frankenstein.

And finally, we conclude back inside the third act CGI spectacle that would find inside a superhero movie, which is a little Cloverfield-like.

Incredible Hulk isn’t a bad movie. Is is actually a pretty good one. It has great actors. It is a little all over the place in tone. It maybe should focus on blending superhero with just one other genre, but it is fine doing what it does. Just fine.

Watching Notes:

  • “You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry.” Always makes me chuckle.
  • Did Stan Lee’s character turn into a Hulk when he drank the gamma radiated soda?
  • If they weren’t in Jason Bourne mode, they probably would have called the strike team “Hulkbusters.”
  • I never noticed the use of the TV theme song until this watch through.
  • Did Norton Anti-virus pay for product placement?
  • Samson gets tossed away almost immediately.
  • There is no chemisty between Bruce and Better.
  • Also what happens to Betty? Where is she now, in the MCU.
  • Jack McGee is a great cameo, I might have set him as the main character who was piecing together the Hulk Conspiracy. Trying to figure out what the military was hiding.
  • The Hulk leaps through the city like Tarzan.
  • It is too bad Fox owned the X-Men at the time of this film. How great would the post credits scene have been if Bruce was hiding the Canadian wilds and a single figure was seen walking up to to the cabin, his clenched fist falls into the camera frame, and metal claws leap out.