Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

The only thing incredible about 'The Incredible Hulk' is how unincredible it actually is. You would think that after countless graphic novels, a television series, several tv movies and a big budget feature, that someone would have learnt to tell the story of a guy who turns into a jolly green giant (minus the jolly) whenever he gets angry. But with 'The Incredible Hulk' they fail once more.
There are many villains in this piece to point the finger at. Norton in the main role is badly miscast; just because Bruce Banner is Jeckyll to Hulk's Hyde doesn't mean he has to be nondescript. Bana was bland enough in the first film, but Norton takes all the anger management stuff a little too seriously and stifles any emotion. If we are to care about his predicament we have to care about him, and we don't. Liv Tyler, on the other hand, gives the furniture a run for its money. To be fair to both though neither is served well by bland dialogue and a messy storyline. The real 'Abomination' is the unadventurous script.
There is some confusion as to whether this is a true sequel to the last movie or a standalone attempt at re-igniting the franchise. Granted the film starts in Brazil where the last film ended, but the credits sequence contradicts any connection and details, such as the use of Culver University instead of the earlier Californian institute, imply an alternative backstory. I can't see the reason for this; as Hitchcock said if the audience are confused, they're not emoting. i wasn't emoting.
And then there's Hulk.
Ang Lee's 'Hulk', for all its faults, looked beautiful, making almost a surreal virtue of the obviously animated CGI monster at its core. The new movie can't even claim that. Its attempts at more 'realism' are fatally sabotaged by the Green One himself who is even more artificial here than in the original. It almost had me wishing for Lou Ferrigno (who refreshingly does pop up in a cameo, but sans green makeup).
There is some humour and an unexpected cameo from another movie superhero, added no doubt to pave the way for hopefully better things in future installments. 'The Incredible Hulk' though is unlikely to win many more fans to the franchise, so it's questionable how many more installments there will actually be. By my reckoning it's time to call it a day; let Bruce salley forth along the highways and byways, rained upon and alone, but with at least a shred of dignity. But since when has Hollywood had any dignity?

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At 8:02 pm, Anonymous patrick said...

this new Incredible Hulk is a lot more fun than the first one with Eric Bana; Ed Norton does his usual specialty -- the "split personality" role...

At 1:04 pm, Blogger Niall said...

How on Earth can Norton do his specialty - the 'split personality' role (something I never realised he had a specialty in) - when one side is a CGI cartoon? Maybe you should say Norton's specialty of the 'one-side-of-a-split-personality' role, which, and correct me if I'm wrong, is the same as any other character. As to more fun, it depends on your definition of fun and I readily admit my tastes don't always accord with the majority. Having said that a couple of encounters with the military and a faceoff between cartoon monsters sounds more like Scooby Doo meets GI Joe and hardly has me cheering. Still each to his own.


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