So sad to hear that the legendary Stan Lee has passed away. The creator of many of our favourite super heroes, including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, he was the pioneer of many a kid’s childhood fantasies and well, we wouldn’t have the Marvel Cinematic Universe without his boundless imagination. He will be sadly missed.
As a comic book admirer and a fan of the superhero adaptations we have seen hit the big screen lately, I must admit to approaching this one with a luke warm temperament. You see, I was never a huge fan of the big green monster, and remember thinking the TV show was a little too scary for my (at the time) young mind. So I of course needed something to pull me into this one, and it wasn’t going to happen if Eric Banner was reprising his role from the last Hulk outing, of which I just didn’t see it either. No, this has a much more interesting actor namely Edward Norton, an actor who seems to have built a career on split-personality performances, so naturally this role seems like a perfect fit, right?
Well I hazard a guess that this does follow on from the first film, and we have the familiar sight of Bruce Banner (Norton) hiding out in Brazil, ducking and diving and generally trying to lead the most inconspicuous life possible. Of course as he has a tendency to turn into a big scary green giant and to smash things to smithereens, the military (headed by a scenery chewing William Hurt) are always hot on his trail, and its not long before Banner is running for his life (in an opening on foot chase to rival Casino Royale). Step forward shady marine Tim Roth who after learning about Banner’s affliction, volunteers to become a genetically enhanced ‘super soldier’ so to fight Banner when he gets all angry.
It has to be said this is all done with no small amount of panache, is vibrant, stylish and well shot … Norton is a likable hero battling with the monster inside, and you feel for his plight. Add love interest Liv Tyler (always more than just the token babe) and the cast is impressive to say the least. Now it would have been nice for Tim Roth’s villain to have a back story or some reason behind his thirst for super human abilities, as really Roth brings little to the role any bit part actor couldn’t do in his sleep. Hurt on the other hand is a credible macho scumbag throughout.
With some incredible special effects (I think they have finally nailed the Hulk look) and plenty of action, this zips along and has enough personality and entertainment to make you glad you watched it, Hulk fan or not.
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