Movie Review

Maniac Grade: B

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July 04, 2008

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After a major disappointment, the producers of 'The Hulk' have revamped their project, from acting to shooting style.  Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly, while their acting was spot on in the first, weren't able to save the day.  In fact, not a single main character remains here.  Instead, Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt take over in this adventure which is both a sequel and a reimaging.  There was also yet ANOTHER cameo by the original green guy, Lou.

After an experiment gone wrong and injuring Betty, Dr. Banner fleas America to remain hidden from Betty's father, who is hell bent on capturing the secrets of this giant green monster.  Banner is unable to contact Betty, but has someone he's talking to about a cure for his disease.  Bruce Banner has been travels the globe in search of the antidote that will allow him to break free from his primal alter ego, but In order to get it he'll have to return to America and risk being captured by General Ross, who has pursued him at every step.  Bruce Banner also learns to control his emotional state using some unusual techniques.

General Ross' decision is to try and match the strength of the green monster, and he eventually transforms KGB agent Emil Blonsky(Played by Tim Roth) into a super soldier, capable of rapidly regenerating from complete mutilation of the body, running at high speeds, and superior physical ability.  Blonsky's thirst for power leads him to expose himself to higher dosages that transform him into "The Abomination".  Only Blonsky isn't only interested in stopping the Hulk.  He's interested in total destruction and chaos.  The only difference between Bruce Banner and Emil Blonsky is Betty.  She is the thing that sticks in Banner's mind and reminds him of his morals.  But is that enough to save the day?

More importantly, is that enough to save the film franchise?  There are many different ways to look at this.  This movie is definitely action-packed and the acting is every bit as good as the first.  But the question was, does action truly speak louder than words.  Well, my answer is YES.

Whil I didn't have a problem with the first movie like most others did, a sequel should naturally move beyond its predecessor.  This movie DID.  It was a complete revamp on the way the movie was made.  Edward Norton's ability to take on just about any role with that funny lisp and "average guy" look and attitude is almost not fair to Eric Bana, who really poured a lot into the first film and all his other films.  Liv Tyler is no Jennifer Connelly, and she looked pretty strange to me in this film.  Like a 50's house wife living in the new Millenium, but that didn't stop her.  And then, of course, William Hurt.  He really looks like his "Thunderbolt" days have seen too much Lightning.  Infact, he looks like he's been struck by Lightning more than once.  He's strung out, but way too determined to capture Bruce Banner.  He makes bad decisions, especially on the part of Blonsky.  Tim Roth's caharacter is probably the best addition to this franchise outside of the main cast.  He's ruthless, straight-forward, and witty, as he challenges Ross' decisions at every turn, and risks it all to captured Bruce Banner and the "Hulk"

The action of the film speaks for itself.  While it is rediculous(DUH), it's well crafted and very smart.  While the enthusiasm to watch this next part is dwindled by the gutsy, but slow moving first attempt, Director Louis Leterrier takes all the good things from the first movie and transforms and molds this episode into the project it was meant to be.  Bruce Banner's hunt for a cure is something I believe will continue in the years to come as the answer to Hulk fan's dreams is finally seen on the big screen.

Click here to read the staff review by Mania.


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