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Film review : The Incredible Hulk.

... Review by: Mick LaSalle Stars: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt. Directed by: Louis LeterrierSequels are so 20th century. So are remakes. What weCOre getting now are do-overs; but at least they got this do-over right. The Incredible Hulk, the second adaptation this decade of the Marvel comic-book story, is a big improvement over 2003COs Hulk, which was directed by Ang Lee. He tried to make a thinking personCOs action movie, but ended up with a film suffering from multiple-personality syndrome, part dull and earnest, part mindless and violent. The Incredible Hulk, by contrast, embraces its identity as a sci-fi-summer-action-blockbuster extravaganza. Along the way, it actually comes close to finding the balance that Lee was looking for.As a concession to the existence of the previous Hulk movie, we find Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) as a man already coping with his hulkness. Like Dr Jekyll or someone in a 12-step recovery, Bruce is just trying to get by, one day at a time, working in a Brazilian bottling plant by day and taking private classes in anger management and self-discipline. He knows that if he gets angry, if his heart rate gets up to 200, he will turn into a tremendous green muscle man and start taking apart everything and everybody. But Bruce is a man on the run. He may want to slip beneath the radar and live with his condition until he can be cured, but the US governmentCoin the person of General Ross (William Hurt)Cohas other ideas. The Army wants to study Bruce and figure out the science behind whatCOs happening to him, so as to create other Hulks. They want to weaponize the Hulk technology.The Incredible Hulk is a chase movie, in a sense, but itCOs not all about running. There are quiet interludes and genuinely poignant moments that donCOt feel forced or phony but organic to the study. The movie benefits from an unguarded purity of essence that Liv Tyler brings to the role of Betty, BruceCOs ex-girlfriend and true love; and Norton grounds the whole movie in his matter-of-fact understanding of BruceCOs predicament. He plays him as stoic, realistic and full of regrets that he has learned to ignore just to get through the day. Credit must go to Norton (who also co-wrote the screenplay) but also to director Louis Leterrier, for his intelligent sense of proportion. Here thereCOs no disconnect between the Hulk and Bruce. They are still the same man, and Leterrier keeps reminding us gently of BruceCOs physical vulnerability, through shots such as the one of NortonCOs white, thin back, as he lay exhausted. His strain is almost unbearable. LeterrierCOs intelligence and balance extends to the casting. Of course, he gets the big roles right: Hurt as the ruthless general, Tim Roth as the head of his assault team but he also does well with the smaller ones: Lou Ferrigno (TVCOs Hulk) as a security guard, Paul Soles as a wise old restaurateur, and Ty Burrell as BettyCOs psychiatrist boyfriend. Best of all thereCOs Tim Blake Nelson, who brings a blast of energy to his role as a scientist so intellectually engaged, so carried away with his ideas, that heCOs borderline crazyConot a mad scientist, but one step before that. A*Film review : The Incredible Hulk

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Jul 10, 2008
Words:568
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