Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Incredible Waste of my Time

What this world needs is more Incredible Hulk movies. Please Hollywood. Please give me another Incredible Hulk movie every two years or I will throw myself off a cliff. I left the movie theater angry...and you would not like me when I'm angry.

I love Edward Norton just as much as the next 18-35 year old. The list looks something like this:

1) American History X
2) Rounders
3) Primal Fear
4) Fight Club
5) 25th Hour

These are all film achievements and blockbusters at the box office. He is very likable in the press. You never hear about him getting DUI's or calls from the IRS. This is the Hollywood poster boy. I guess the opportunity to play a dorky doctor/green monster was too much to pass up for a man who is used to playing somewhat normal white guys.

Bruce Banner finds himself on the run from U.S. Army, making his stay in the slums of Brazil. Just months earlier, he was testing gamma rays on himself which conversely turns him into The Hulk. During his escape from the lab, he puts his lover in the hospital for a few months and makes an enemy in her father who happens to be General Ross, the brains behind finding and capturing Banner. We get all of this information from the opening credits of the movie told in a flashback format which helped the storytelling process. The foundation was built, but then starts to crack.

Norton does all that he can do with this role. His presence on-screen is always captivating but he interjects no levity to his situation. Even Toby Maguire makes you smile here and there, but the way Hulk was written left no room for any laughs. Norton's leading lady Liv Tyler, the damsel in disgust, is awful. I understand that she is not exactly playing Susan B. Anthony here, but her acting is paper thin. I was not buying what she was selling.

The film follows Banner's quest to rid himself of the beast that lives inside of him culminating in a face-off between the Hulk and an Army produced replication in Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth- Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) in the streets of Harlem, New York. The action sequences display the pinnacle of what can be done on computers nowadays but cannot make up for the boring Bruce Banner and company. Be on the look out for a Robert Downey Jr. as well as Lou Ferrigno (the original Incredible Hulk and still jacked out of his mind) cameo performances.

If you do not mind being dazzled by CGI, then this could be you're movie. If you are tired of save the girl while saving the city while saving their own reputation as a superhero story, then save your money. This has been done before and if history serves us correctly, I'm sure Hollywood will take another crack at making the perfect Incredible Hulk movie. Who knows? Maybe Barry Bonds will be the next big green machine. I give this flick 1.5 out of 5 shines.

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