Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another "Hulk" of a movie for Marvel

Another ‘Hulk’ of a movie for Marvel
Michael Bernard
For The Corner News
published June 17, 2008

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With our ears and eyes just barely recovered from the excitement of “Iron Man,” Marvel Studios kicks off the summer tradition of highly-bloated, mega-mortgaged, super-million dollar budget blockbusters with “The Incredible Hulk,” not to be mistaken for the ill-received 2003 “The Hulk,” which was a failure none of us can be blamed for forgetting entirely.

This time around Edward Norton takes on the role as Bruce Banner, tortured scientist in pursuit of the cure for the radiation that has caused him to become an overly aggressive beast when properly motivated. The comic book movies are here to stay, with a long slate of forthcoming projects from Marvel Studios (not to mention DC Comic’s own Batman returning yet again in July), and it is easy to see why our long fascination with The Hulk continues.

After the ultimately disappointing results for the 2003 film, Marvel rebooted the franchise, and despite months of speculation that “The Incredible Hulk” would disappoint, the CGI-Fest is on with The Hulk battling a new nemesis, the Abomination, with pre-requisite explosions and a muddled love story in tow.

This time Liv Tyler, the daughter of General Ross (William Hurt), plays the object of The Hulk’s affections, and by the end of the movie I was left wondering if I was watching the video game being played by someone else as The Hulk and the Abomination culminate in their predictable final fight.

Sadly for me I have never been a big fan of video games, comic books, or superhero movies, but even so the movie does delight more than expected with the formulaic mix of laughs, thrills and intrigue.

If you enjoyed “Iron Man,” “Spider Man,” “X-Men,” “The Fantastic Four,” or any of “The Punisher” movies, then you will no doubt either be perfectly pleased with this movie or have the usual comic book fanboy laundry list of complaints about how the movie doesn’t word-for-word follow the comic books.