Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Incredible Hulk Movie Review

Movie review of The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler

Director: Louis Letterier

UK Release Date: 13th June 2008

Running Time: 112 minutes 

Starring: Edward Norton, Live Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Ty Burrell

"The Incredible Hulk" is the second film in Phase One of Marvel's Cinematic Universe having begun with "Iron Man" (2008) a month earlier and culminating with "The Avengers" (2012).  In spite of this, "The Incredible Hulk" is the one film in the whole franchise that is yet to feature an individual sequel and also is the one film out of the franchise that does not feel the same as the others.  

Review of The Incredible Hulk directed by Louis Letterier

Having taken part in a failed experiment that exposes himself to huge amounts of gamma radiation Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) becomes The Hulk.  5 Years later he is in hiding and is hunted by the American government, headed by General Ross (William Hurt), who wants to weaponise the Hulk process.  While as the Hulk, Bruce can only be soothed by his love interest, General Ross's daughter, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), and must try and keep his pulse rate below 200bpm while he is chased by General Ross and his henchman Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth).  

In short, "The Incredible Hulk" is okay. It no way matches up to the other films in the Marvel franchise but is an improvement on "Hulk" (2003).  The movie jumps around a lot and it can be quite hard to follow the story.  The storyline is not explained in the best way and this is disappointing considering the success of the other films.  Hulk as a character could inspire better stories than the one outlined in "The Incredible Hulk".

The Incredible Hulk Movie Review, Rating, Trailer and Photos

One big failing of the film is the cast.  Norton, is good as Bruce Banner/Hulk but is not great especially compared to the perfect match Robert Downey Jr. is as Iron Man.  This is unfortunate.  Norton is a good actor but does not fit the character well for Marvel.  The films they produce are successful due to their casting and the versatility of the role the actors can offer. Norton struggles to portray different aspects of one character - being very serious for pretty much the whole of the movie.  There is no release from the film, there is no humour or comedy that can be found in other Marvel films, a balance that needs to be struck in these sorts of films. 

Unfortunately, the rest of the cast do not seem to fit their characters very well either.  It is by no means unwatchable but it could be a lot better.  Tyler is okay in the lead female role but her character is not great itself.  Likewise with the nemesis to the Hulk, Abomination (Tim Roth).  This is meant to be the main battle for the Hulk but this is not a great match.  The film does not have the usual Marvel feel to it that you recognise and associate with the other films.

Film review of The Incredible Hulk (2008)

"The Incredible Hulk" is a watchable film.  It is filled with action and adventure and is worth watching especially as it is part of the Marvel franchise.  There may be more to the decision not to cast Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in "The Avengers" but instead Mark Ruffalo was chosen and was met with better reviews.  That being said, Norton is not a bad Hulk, but unfortunately does not fit Marvel's own successful character selection.  The storyline for "The Incredible Hulk" is patchy but can still be followed and concludes in an okay way.  This film fits in above Ang Lee's "Hulk" but is far from the heights of the other films in Phase One of Marvel's Cinematic Universe.

M+F Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.


  1. Edward Norton wasn't in The Avengers because he didn't want to be associated with Hulk anymore. I believe that when The Incredible Hulk was coming to theaters, Norton didn't want to promote it or anything. From his Wiki: "Norton has a reputation of being a perfectionist. He managed to receive final cut of American History X, clashed with the director while shooting Red Dragon, and (with the director) clashed with the studio during the shooting of The Incredible Hulk (and refused to do promotion for it)."

  2. Thanks guysfilmquest for the comment! It is always great to engage with others about films. I know both Norton and Marvel had some disagreement but was never fully up to date on the reasons behind it - always hearing different stories. It is quite interesting to read that Norton refused to promote the film as he wanted to portray Hulk in his vision rather than Marvel's. After the success of The Avengers and more specifically the praise Mark Ruffalo received for the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk, I am sure Marvel are going to be the happier out of the two now. It would be interesting to see another Hulk remake with Ruffalo in to see whether he can hold the main role throughout the whole of the film, especially one of the magnitude - which is something Norton was not able to do.