June 20, 2003. That was the release date of Ang Lee's The Hulk. Now, I didn't google release dates to find this out. I know this because at the time I was BEYOND excited. I counted down months, weeks, days until June 20, 2003. See, I'm a little biased. I'm a DIE HARD Hulk fan. I know every character, I have just about every issue and I could give you back stories on just about everything Hulk related. So back in June of '03...I was pretty stoked! Good cast, FANTASTIC director...but...wow. What a stinker. It seems I wasn't the only one that felt that way. Why else would Marvel say...MULLIGAN! DO OVER! RE-DO!...just 5 years later. The good thing is, now they know what NOT to do. The Incredible Hulk has an exciting new director in Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2) and a brand, spanking new cast! Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, William Hurt as Gen. Thunderbolt Ross, Lou Ferrigno as the voice of the Hulk and Tim Roth as Emil Blonski who becomes "Abomination" (Who's that? Well, Batman has Joker, and Hulk has Abomination. Get it? Good!). We also get a glimpse of the future with small parts for Doc Samson and The Leader (2 very important characters to the Hulk mythos). Ok, now that's outta the way, on to The Breakdown!
Here's the story in its most basic form:
Now along the way, this is what we get:
You'll probably hear a lot of people saying this. In fact, you might even be saying this yourself. But this was the Hulk movie they should have made in 2003. Imagine, if this was the movie they made back then, I wouldn't be writing this review. I'd probably be writing the review for Incredible Hulk 3. I'll admit...word that Edward Norton wasn't going to promote this movie because he didn't like the shorter versions made me cringe a bit before seeing it. However, this one is well paced; it moves from the action to the drama smoothly and throws in some funny lines here and there. Hulk looks AWESOME! He's not too big and he doesn't look like Shrek in any way shape or form. The first Hulk flick tried to focus on the emotion of the character, but the funny thing is, this Hulk was portrayed more human-like. Like a mis-understood child inside a hulking monster instead of a mindless smashing machine...and that gave the Hulk so much more of an emotional connection. It felt like the REAL thing to a Hulk fanboy like me. When it was all said and done...I felt like a kid again watching it. I know I'm biased, after all that picture is how I dressed for the Hot 103 premier last Monday, but PLEASE GO SEE THIS ONE ON THE BIG SCREEN!
4.5 out of 5 stars. Go see it, don't make me angry, you wouldn't like it if I'm angry. (mostly because I'm a pouter)