Alright, don’t read any of this if you don’t want Spoilers. First off, the animated Hulk was pretty impressive. Yes, there are times when Hulk looks animated but none of those times bothered me. In fact I can even recall a few times that the Hulk looked so real I was utterly shocked at how good he looked. And I will also tell you that, even with all the griping, the Abomination, changes and all, was pretty great. Everyone might remember a few things that bothered them about some of the trailers – like when Emil gets kicked by the Hulk – well, when you watch the movie it actually works. I mean, it really works to the point that everything that they do makes sense and it is a solid story that pumps you up and gets you cheering toward the end.
Betty Ross, played by Liv Tyler, has a more pivotal role in this film than the last. She even gets to shine through with a personality that makes you laugh at times. Tim Roth is perfectly cast as the over the hill army soldier begging to stay in the action – even though his body might be getting too old – and gets drunk off the power that Thunderbolt Ross keeps supplying him with. I’m telling you, every tweak, every liberty they took in changing the history of the Hulk really worked well here. Anyone who can take inspiration from the worst run in Hulk comics and turn it into a really decent movie is okay with me!
There are a bunch of familiar faces along for the ride – Stan Lee makes his usual funny cameo – Lou Ferigno appears, and even has a line or two of dialog! They also pay homage to the late, great Bill Bixby by showing a clip of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in the beginning. Good to see people who really appreciate where their material came from. Also, speaking of cameos, keep an ear out for a few familiar names in the film, like Stark (who has a well publicised cameo at the end) and Jim Wilson, Nick Fury, they hint at the Super Soldier Serum that made Captain America, Sam Stern (played with accurate detail by Tim Blake Nelson) who eventually will become the Leader and is set up in this film to do do in a sequel (I hope!). No Rick Jones – and oddly I can’t remember any time that they mentioned Betty’s “psychiatrist” boyfriend’s name identifying him as Samson – even though we know he is supposed to be.
Overall, this was a great movie with plenty of action. Thank goodness. Norton does an outstanding job of playing Banner and there is so much subtle humor thrown in that it makes you laugh at times. Like when Hulk hits his head against the rock ceiling of the cave because Betty scares him and then he turns and hold his head like a little kid pouting. I have no complaints about the movie and even think it will make every person – not just Hulk fans – really excited and begging for more! A-