Dr. Bruce Banner is on the run, a fugitive from the government. In a freak science experiment our hero has been transformed into a monster, as a result killing several scientists and military personnel but more tragically, hurting the one he loves.
Now hiding out in Brazil, Banner works below the radar with a mysterious Mr Blue in search for a cure against the beast within. After one stupid mistake and killing Stan Lee, the military is again on Banner's head. Losing control and releasing the Hulk, Banner escapes back into America desperately in search for his cure.
Meanwhile Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) , an incredible but older soldier, obsesses over the green giant. When given the opportunity to test a new serum that will enable him to battle Banner, he gropes for the opportunity. Unsure of the effects, he is only given a very small dose. When feeling the power and tasting the rage he demands more. Against all warnings he slowly becomes the Abomination that only the Hulk can defeat.
After seeing the trailer there were only two strands of hope that this would be a good movie. One is that Edward Norton was involved in the screenplay. The second was that Tim Roth was excited about the project. As both of my hopes became realities I was left satisfied and pleased.
Edward Norton was perfect as Bruce Banner. I loved the depth added to his story. A skinny surviving little man, entirely alone, trying to find the cure to his disease. Controlling his rage and testing his endurance, he works everyday for the cure of his inner demon.
Tim Roth was equally solid. Russian born, lived in England... the mercenary like soldier bonds with General Ross (William Hurt) to bring down the giant creature. I loved the gradual decline of his character. Unlike Ironman where Jeff Bridges was always bad and is suddenly in his giant suit, Roth slowly becomes the Abomination. At each battle scene he gains more strength, more agility, and more addiction to the rage.
I only have two complaints about the movie. I was unconvinced by some of Liv Tyler's acting. There were some awkward moments but I can't really specifically remember what they were. Maybe it was the "items from her purse" scene, or the "squirming in bed, I miss you scene". In contrast she cancels out the awkward when in the cave and in Mr. Blue's laboratory (not to be confused with lavatory). I loved her in both of these scenes.
I was anticipating bad CG but to be honest there were never really any moments of disbelief. I love through the first half of the movie that they keep Hulk in the shadows and quickly passing through the frame. It's not until halfway through the movie that you see the monster in the broad daylight. I think if they would have cut their trailers a little better the reveal of the Hulk would have been all that more powerful. I felt they revealed too many of their cards in the advertisements.
Speaking of reveals, that was one of my favorite things about the movie... THE REVEALS. The opening of the movie, the reveal of Bruce as the Hulk, the reveal of Tim Roth, the reveal of Liv finally seeing Bruce for the first time, the reveal of Roth as the Abomination, and last but not least... the reveal of Robert Downey Jr ;) Director Lois Leterrier sets up his scenes perfectly. This is probably my favorite aspect of the movie. Very well crafted scenes. OH! And there are some pretty sick chase scenes as well... another favorite aspect of the movie.
Obviously this movie's success is going to be compared to Ironman and obviously I'm going to have something to say about it too...So... I feel that Ironman has a completely different feel and soul than Hulk. Hulk takes itself very serious and tries to deliver more of the raw goods than say Jr.'s smart remarks and funny suit tests. While both movies are milestones in the superhero genre I enjoyed Hulk more than Ironman. I enjoy the serious side of cinema more so the than laughing one. The best Ironman scenes left me with a grin and the best Hulk scenes left me with a dropped jaw.
I very much enjoyed the movie. I'm not saying the movie is without flaw. It's so close but too far away from a perfect score. Fortunately Norton and Leterrier deliver the movie with style and thought that gives us more than anyone (except Paul) bargained for. I am still amazed by some of the scenes.