The Incredible Hulk – Movie Review

Directed by Louis Leterrier

 Characters:

Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Edward Norton)
Betty Ross (Liv Tyler)
General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt)
Samuel Sterns/Mr Blue (Tim Blake Nelson)
Emile Blonsky/The Abomination (Tim Roth)

This movie really does have very few main characters.
With Captain America: Civil War coming up in May, I thought I’d review every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie leading into it. Chronologically, I should start with Iron Man, but I’m changing things up a little. I’m going to review the movies with sequels (yet) first, and then review the ones with sequels as a combined review. My planned order is: The Incredible Hulk; Guardians Of The Galaxy; Ant-Man; The Iron-Man Trilogy; Thor and Thor: The Dark World (combined); The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron (combined); and finally, before the third installment releases, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier (combined). 
The Incredible Hulk is not a sequel to the 2003 monstrosity, Hulk. It is a retelling. 
The movie knows that the audience already knew the origin story of The Hulk, so all of that is displayed in a montage in the opening credits. I liked that. This is what The Amazing Spider-Man should have done, but never mind. 
The movie starts out and you’re thrown into things. Bruce Banner is in hiding, in South America, and trying to find inner peace, in an attempt to restrain The Hulk inside him. Edward Norton was a good Bruce Banner. He worked specifically for this movie. The way Bruce Banner was portrayed in The Avengers though, that probably wouldn’t suit him. Mark Ruffalo perfected the role, but take nothing away from Norton. 
The United States military is tracking down Bruce Banner in an attempt to use The Hulk as some sort of weapon, and in the beginning of this movie there is a chase scene that really highlights how much Banner struggles to keep The Hulk from emerging. However, in the end, he can’t contain it, and Hulks out. While he escapes and runs thousands of miles, one of the men who attacked Banner, Emile Blonsky, becomes enraged and through this whole movie you see how much he wants revenge on The Hulk. That was good. It gave the villain some actual character. 
At the same time, you find out that someone named ‘Mr Blue’ has a sample of Banner’s blood, and is trying to find a cure for him. This encourages Banner to go back to his home country and find this man, in an attempt to kill The Hulk for good. 
When he gets back, he re-engages with his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross, who is the daughter of General Ross. The latter is on a mission to retrieve The Hulk for the military, and he is hell bent on it.
General Thunderbolt Ross will appear in Captain America: Civil War, eight years after his appearance in this movie.
As the story progresses, things happen and the villain becomes The Abomination. The final fight scene is cool. Not really going to spoil much, in case anyone wants to watch it. 
This is one of the more underrated movies of the MCU. I thought it was a good representation of The Hulk. In any case, there are some downsides. The first is that Betty Ross is wiped from existence by Marvel after this movie. But I don’t really care about that. There are times in the movie where it feels like everything screeches to a halt, and it does get boring. But the great moments do redeem that. It wasn’t exactly a great movie, but it was a good one. Perhaps it could have been called the best comic book movie of the year, had it not been released in the same year as Iron Man and The Dark Knight. That’s a lose-lose really.
On a rating scale in which M is the lowest and R is the highest rating possible, with the highlighted letter being the rating:

The Incredible Hulk: MIHIR

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