One of the best things about great movies is their rewatchability. Being able to experience the same entertainment and emotions you felt (excitement, amusement, intrigue, etc.) when you watched that movie the first time is a treat. That familiarity can provide a sense of comfort, something we all need “in these Uncertain Times.” But, movies can also be a time-sink, and even in quarantine you might wonder whether a movie is WORTH the time invested. My goal with this series of posts is to cover movies I’ve recently watched, make note of the best things about them, and let you know whether it’s worth your time.
The Movie: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Succinct Synopsis: The military tracks down Bruce Banner three times in an attempt to weaponize his blood to make super soldiers. All three times Banner becomes the Hulk and wins the confrontation. The only difference with the final act is Banner chooses to “Hulk out,” because he has to in order to defeat a larger, meaner Hulk.
Cast & Characters: Edward Norton is a great actor, but I’m not sure he played up the demeanor of Bruce Banner to make him likable the way Mark Ruffalo’s Banner does in future MCU films. This change in casting was ultimately a good move for the franchise, but it makes this film less enjoyable. Other than Banner, the General (William Hurt), Banner’s love interest [who “just so happens” to be the General’s daughter] (Live Tyler), and power-hungry soldier/villain (Tim Roth) are all hollow characters that are hard to care about. The script greatly restricts each of their performances.
Humor: A couple one-liners here and there about anger-management and not being able to have sex because your heart rate will get too high, but the tone of this film does not embrace humor like the rest of the MCU (not that there were many written setups for jokes given the plot structure anyway.)
Was it Worth it: NO, it definitely wasn’t worth watching, particularly because there’s a lack of continuity between the actors portraying Bruce Banner and the CGI renditions of Hulk. But even if this movie DID star Mark Ruffalo, the cyclical plot still drags this movie into the ravine of Marvel’s past failures.
The Incredible Hulk is streaming now on Disney+