(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing trailer clips and screenshots from "The Incredible Hulk" (2008))
Doug (vo): Let's continue looking at the Marvel Cinematic Universe with "The Incredible Hulk". Now, it's impossible to talk about this movie without talking about the film version that came before the Hulk.
(Screenshots from "Hulk" (2003) are shown)
Doug (vo): Many people regard it not as one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but one of the biggest comic book mistakes ever made. The movie was directed by (picture of) Ang Lee, who just got done doing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is a very good, talented director, but he was obviously the wrong one for this. The movie was too abstract, too dramatic, too slow-paced, and somehow made the story of a giant green man who smashes things boring.
(Back to "The Incredible Hulk")
Doug (vo): So, it was pretty tough to do a reboot several years later with that bad taste still in our mouths. Is it much better than the last one? Well, yeah, but...it's still not that...uh... Okay, let's look at the story.
Doug (vo): The film brilliantly starts off with an opening credits sequence that actually kind of shows what happened in the previous film. Bruce Banner is a scientist who discovers this formula that makes him a green monster, endangers his girlfriend who's the daughter of a general, gets chased by the military and disappears into the Amazon. That is the exact plot of the (poster of) previous film, and yet, it's not exactly a sequel. If you came into this film not seeing the first one, you could just see it as, "Oh, this is the backstory of this character." But there's just enough little changes that you could see it as a reboot. It's very, very clever that way. (A caption is shown, saying "Take notes, New Spiderman Reboot") In my opinion, it's probably the smartest thing in the movie. Bruce Banner this time is played by Edward Norton, which seems like a good choice. He spends his time now in the jungle, trying to find a cure for his condition. But the Army, as well as his girlfriend, played this time by Liv Tyler, are still on the lookout for him. One man volunteers as guinea pig, played by Tim Roth, who also chases Banner while starting to get injections, turning himself into a giant green monster. Thus, the movie ends with Hulk vs. Hulk, with one giant green monster pounding another giant green monster in a city.
Doug (vo): On paper, it sounds like this would be done a lot better, and even in the film, it kind of is. Edward Norton is a very good replacement and he does a great job in the role. I'm always impressed how a guy with such a baby face and a high-pitched voice can come off as such an intelligent badass. Everything he says just sounds legitimate. You know he's not bullshitting around ever.
(Tim Blake Nelson's character, as well as the main villain, played by Tim Roth, are shown)
Doug (vo): Tim Blake Nelson plays a good scientist who may or may not be evil, and Tim Roth once again is a very enjoyable villain.
(Various clips and images resume showing, mostly focusing on the Hulk)
Doug (vo): The surprising downside of this movie is that, once again, the "wow" factor is very minimal. At first, the build-up is great. You see the Hulk in the shadows, it's kind of hard to make him out, he makes this appearance in a factory behind this smoke, and it's really good. But then, the more you see of him, the less impressive he seems to be. I mean, yeah, he growls and snorts and jumps around and throws things, but when you think of a Hulk movie, you want to see the Hulk do really cool stuff. (A still of the Ang Lee film is shown) Even the first film at least had some scenes where he's throwing a tank and jumping on planes. (Back to The Incredible Hulk) Here, he's just kind of running around. And I know the argument. Shouldn't the focus be on Bruce Banner and his emotional struggle and all that stuff? Sure. But it's still called "The Incredible Hulk", and we want to see the Hulk do something incredible, and you just don't see much of that in this film.
(More images and footage of the villain are shown)
Doug (vo): Even the complicated plan from the villain kind of seems out of nowhere. And I know you can make the argument, "Yeah, the serums and everything, they're making him crazy", but haven't we seen that a lot of times before? Hasn't it been done a lot better when you see their descent? With this guy, it just seems like, "Oh, I wanna stop him because it's my mission, and now I'm just kind of nuts." I don't know. Javert he ain't. Hell, even (picture of Russell Crowe as) Javert isn't Javert, but that's another story. It also feels like they're setting up some things that, now in hindsight, don't really go anywhere. Like there's a scene where Tim Blake Nelson gets knocked out and you see him almost kind of go through a weird transformation and you think, "Oh, what's this gonna be? Is this gonna be a new villain? Is this gonna be a new bad guy?" But, no. He never appears in any of the other movies, at least not that I know of.
Doug (vo): On the whole, I guess I wasn't really upset that I saw it or anything. I didn't feel like any time was wasted. It just didn't feel like it was anything that spectacular, or even really that interesting. It was the perfect definition of "OK". You wanna see Edward Norton be OK, you wanna see Tim Roth be OK, you wanna see the effects be OK? That's what you're gonna get, an OK movie. But again, it's The Incredible Hulk. Why are we only getting OK with The Incredible Hulk? I don't know. I know this movie kind of got panned when it came out and I don't think it's quite that bad. Like I said, I don't even really think it's really terrible by any means. It's just kind of underwhelming.
(Stills of this movie's post-credits scene are shown)
Doug (vo): Once again, though, I have to talk about the after-credits sequence. In this one, you think the movie's over and they're just gonna have a little throwaway joke at the end, but out of nowhere, suddenly, there's Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. This is very common nowadays for Marvel movies, but back then, you never saw this. You never saw an A-list actor from a Marvel movie suddenly come in saying, "Hey, remember that thing we teased at the end of our other film? We're really fucking doing it." And this is when Robert Downey Jr. suddenly exploded as this big celebrity. So to suddenly see him pop in at the end, not just for a little laugh, but actually saying, "Yeah, we're holding true to our promises", it was actually kind of chilling. People suddenly started to say, "Holy smokes. Are they really doing this? Are Iron Man and the Hulk gonna be in a movie? And if so, does that mean we're gonna get Thor, Captain America and God knows how many other Avengers are out there?" The idea was suddenly seeming possible.
(Stills and footage of The Incredible Hulk are shown once more)
Doug (vo): So, I guess in a very strange way, the most incredible part of The Incredible Hulk was...the credits. And I guess you could take that as an insult, but they were done really well. The rest I say about the rest of the movie, like I said, it's passable. Not good, not bad, just passable. If you're in the mood to see a Hulk film that's better than the first one but still doesn't quite reach that level of incredibleness, give it a rent. It's worth a few hours of your time.
(A scene showing the Hulk jumping to the ground and roaring at the camera is shown)