Early DVD Review: The Incredible Hulk- 3 Disc Special Edition

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This past summer was a very good one for comic book films, they were generally very high quality, exciting and entertaining. The acting in The Incredible Hulk is generally very good. Tim Roth is good, but William Hurt is the latest weak villain who stands around scowling and sneering every time he’s onscreen in Hulk. Ed Norton makes for a pretty good Bruce Banner, he’s not the nerdy scientist from the TV series, but he’s no tough guy either. Life on the run has made him hard and he’s trained himself both mentally and physically. Liv Tyler makes for a fetching love interest and their scenes together are interesting (especially her scenes with The Hulk). They have a beauty and the beast quality to them and prevent the film from being a total action blowout with no character development whatsoever. The director is Louis Lettierrer (a french Luc Besson disciple) and he has the right idea with the pacing of the film. It moves very quickly over the course of nearly two hours from chases in Brazil (right out of the Bourne films) to a massive brawl with Hulk and The Abomination near the end of the film.

Bruce Banner is on the run as The Incredible Hulk opens. Trying desperately to find a cure for his gamma exposure to “take the Hulk out of him” he’s emailing back and forth with a mysterious helper. Meanwhile, William Hurt’s psychotic General Ross is tracking Banner across the globe using a dangerous ex-soldier named Emil Blonsky (nice work by Tim Roth) as a guinea pig and injecting him with super serum to make the perfect soldiers in his never-ending war with The Hulk. Banner is still in love with Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and they go on the run together trying to escape her father and the sadistic Blonsky. The effects are above average and even though the Hulk still looks cartoony at times, they look much better than in the first feature. The full daylight fight with Hulk and the army is probably the best scene in the film and the choreography is spectacular.

The film looks and sounds terrific. The widescreen transfer is sharp and pretty clean and the audio is loud and booms during the many fight scenes. The extras are very cool as well. Lots of featurettes and a good commentary with director Louis Leterrier and Tim Roth. There are also deleted scenes and the 3rd disc is a digital copy. It’s a nice touch, but it feels like a way for the studio to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the consumer so they can get away with saying its a 3 Disc set instead of what basically is a 2 Disc set.

The Incredible Hulk suffers from a weak villain and not enough character development but its an entertaining blockbuster. Lots of great action scenes and some nice performances make for a quick and painless two hours. Some nice nods to the old show (including the opening credits and a Lou Ferrigno cameo) help smooth over the transition. The Incredible Hulk may not totally smash, but it doesn’t totally suck either.

DVD Grade: B

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