I didn’t think the previous movie was a travesty, but I didn’t think it was all that great. It was just a little too cerebral for a Hulk movie. You see a movie about the Hulk, you want to see him beating the crap out of things. A lot of things.
I like that this isn’t an origin movie. We get the gist of what happened during the opening credits. In movies like Iron Man, Batman Begins or Spider-Man, an origin story is necessary for the first movie. It’s not just a transformation. Things have to be built, things like costumes, boot jets, capes, etc. For me, a lot of enjoyment from those movies was seeing bits and pieces of things become the final product, and the trial and error moments are usually rife with comedic potential. With the Hulk, Banner just turns into a giant monster. There’s nothing to build, no costumes to create, nothing. So let’s get past the origin as quickly as possible and get to the action.
I like the little things. He watches Sesame Street to learn Portuguese. He’s learning how to control his anger by learning how to control his breathing. He’s a physicist who works as a janitor in a bottling factory. "Don’t make me hungry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry." Good stuff, and not the only nod to the TV show. The first time Banner Hulks out, the shot of his face reminds us of Bill Bixby, and we even get the walking music. And let’s not forget Lou Ferigno’s cameo.
And we’re staying a bit true to the comics, too, what with the anonymous "conversations" between Misters Blue and Green. Nice touch there for the fans, especially if Mr. Blue turns out to be the same person. Oh, and the purple pants! Heh, purple pants indeed. You want another Easter egg for the comic fans? Okay, one of the college students who gets video of the Hulk fighting the military on campus is named Jim Wilson, who is one of the Hulk’s best friends in the comic.
Stan Lee’s cameo this time was very obvious and probably the longest bit he’s had in a Marvel movie. Good for him.
I think Ed Norton and Tim Roth were well cast. I like that Blonsky (Roth) was more of a super soldier before becoming the Abomination. And he was bad ass as a super solder. His arrogance as he stood up to the Hulk was just so ballsy that you almost expected him to have half a chance...that is until the Hulk kicked him into a tree.
I liked Blonsky’s transformation from a soldier to a monster, plus the introduction of Dr. Sterns and the obvious villain for the sequel...if they decide to make one, that is. And Mr. Blue didn’t end up being his comic book counterpart, but there were a few more moments that made me geek out a bit: Hulk putting the fire out with a clap of his hands, Hulk stomping the ground with a foot, thus cracking the street all the way to the Abomination, and of course, "Hulk smash!"
Although I wasn’t as against the last Hulk movie as a lot of comic book purists were, this movie was greater by leaps and bounds. I’ve heard mixed rumors regarding a possible sequel, but I think it would be a shame if Dr. Sterns’ character wasn’t followed up on. If you like action movies with monsters fighting and causing a lot of property damage, then this is the movie for you.
Listening to: Panic at the Disco - That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)