INCREDIBLE HULK, THE: DVD
Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is desperately hunting for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells, unleashing the force of rage within him: The Hulk. Banner has been living in the shadows, cut off from the woman he loves, Dr. Elizabeth "Betty" Ross (Liv Tyler), living as a fugitive to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt). But he knows that a military machine seeking to capture him and brutally exploit his power is always only a few steps behind. As all three grapple with the secrets that led to The Hulk's creation, they are confronted with a vicious new adversary, The Abomination (Tim Roth), a monstrosity whose destructive strength exceeds even The Hulk's own.
Review by Louise Keller:
While Ang Lee's Hulk created a soulful tragic character trapped in a monster's body, Louis Leterrier's sequel finds it hard to marry the human story with the barrage of special effects. The result is a mish-mash of comic-book drama coupled with video-game graphics. I don't mean to take away from the strong casting of Edward Norton as the tortured Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as his love interest and William Hurt as her bombastic General of a father, but Norton must take some of the responsibility for the script he and Zak Penn have penned, being devoid of involvement. Additionally, the visual effects of Banner in his guise as the hulk (which is strangely less green) totally distanced me from the character and were a huge disappointment.
The story starts well enough with Norton's Banner a recluse in Portugal, working on a production line and trying to find a remedy in his spare time. After a thrilling chase across the rooftops, everything is on track until Bruce gets angry. The transition to Hulk immediately takes us out of the story and continues to do so with the added element of Tim Roth's monstrous creature that looks like a cross between a prehistoric creature and freak-hunchback. In what should be the climactic scenes, their battles are little more than video-game fodder.
Storytelling effectively goes out the window as tanks are upturned, helicopters explode and surreal images of digital figures battling it out, aided by a jittery camera. The Incredible Hulk gets about in leaps and bounds - a bit like Spiderman, but less elegantly, and all we are left with is a promise of something better next time, as the enigmatic (uncredited) Robert Downey Jnr makes a welcome cameo appearance.
DVD special features includes commentary with director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth, deleted scenes, alternate opening, making of featurette with interviews, Edward Norton's approach and visual effects. There are also behind the scenes showing Tim Roth transform into the Abomination.
Published October 23, 2008
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INCREDIBLE HULK, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Ty Burrell, Tim Blake Nelson
PRODUCER: Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd, Kevin Fiege
DIRECTOR: Louise Leterrier
SCRIPT: Zak Penn (characters by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzies jr
EDITOR: John Wright, Rick Shaine, Vincent Tabaillon
MUSIC: Craig Armstrong
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kirk M. Petrucelli
OTHER: Kurt Williams - Visual Effects supervisor
RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 12, 2008
SPECIAL FEATURES: Feature Commentary with Director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Opening; The Making of The Incredible Hulk: An in-depth look at the making of the film featuring interviews with Edward Norton, director Louis Leterrier, and producers Avi Arad, Kevin Feige and Gale Anne Hurd; Becoming The Hulk; Becoming The Abomination
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
DVD RELEASE: October 23, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.