Monday, June 23, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

Movie name: The Incredible Hulk
Year of release: 2008
Director: Louis Leterrier
Stars: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, Christina Cabot
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Synopsis:Marvel Studios has followed the gigantic success of "Iron Man" with another adaptation of one of their beloved characters - The Incredible Hulk. The character has a previous track concerning adaptations, with the TV show and the film of the same name that Ang Lee directed in 2003. And I shall start by addressing the previous version - Ang Lee did an interesting job with a character that is complex and quite difficult to move to the big screen. His interpretation was complex and polished, maybe a bit too much for what is expected of this character. Marvel was unpleased with the results (should be read, box office results) and decided to hire Louis Leterrier, a more action driven director (and a Luc Besson pupil, sort of speak) to create a more immediate and comic book faithful version. Leterrier had the incredible luck of attracting Edward Norton to the role, and good actors followed as William Hurt, Tim Roth and Tim Blake Nelson. The film starts by introducing the story of the Hulk within the opening credits - when the film starts, we know that Bruce Banner is in seclusion in one of Brazil's "favelas". What starts is a game of cat and mouse, with the resilient General Ross in persecution of the Hulk, creating in the process another monster in order to capture it's prey. The film definitely works on some levels, particularly the dynamics that Edward Norton brings to the role - he is perfectly well cast, however where the film particularly falters is in the energy and the direction that it has. There is no spark, no inventiveness, it's a film that breathes the industrial concept on which it was based on. Whereas "Iron Man" had a slickness to it that made it an interesting film on it's own, The Hulk tries to be about action and about the inner struggles, yet it feels strangely subdued and restrained. It deserves a director that will bring intensity to it!