by Kris Katz
Brief spoiler-free entertainment reviews

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Let it be known that 2008 was the year that the unified Marvel Universe finally came into being. Completely throwing out Ang Lee's much maligned (though technically fascinating) Hulk film from 2003, this iteration of Bruce Banner's anger-driven alter-ego is more like an extremely hyper-kinetic episode of the classic TV show. That's not all it throws out, either; the film doesn't have a first act. It assumes you know that lowly super-scientist Bruce Banner was infected with radiation that causes his anger to manifest as a giant, green, pissed off behemoth. This works to its advantage, creating a film that's lean, mean and, of course, green. There are still significant problems, of course—Liv Tyler's character is essentially a damsel in distress, and Tim Roth's growling commando character lacks proper depth for the choices he makes. But for everything it shaves off the top, it packs in so much on-the-run action, so much fan service, and so much pure movie fun that it's hard not to come out of the theater smiling.

8 out of 10.