The producers of this film dubbed it a “requel” because they felt it was a reboot and sequel to Ang Lee’s cerebral Hulk from 2003. This time around director Louis Leterrier brings in a new cast and a new origin story for Bruce Banner played by Edward Norton who brings the same vibe that Bill Bixby did the original show in the 70s.
This is the official second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the debut of Iron Man. This time around they retcon the original Hulk film from 2003 with a different take on the origin going down the same path as the original TV show from 1978. Bruce is on the run in Rio De Janiero working at the local drinks plant. General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hunt) hear of radiation poisoning from a drink that plant is made and locates Bruce. On the run, he meets up with his ex-girlfriend and daughter of General Ross – Betty (Liv Tyler). Together they try to figure out what went wrong in the experiment that gave Bruce is the uncontrollable rage. At the same time, General Ross brings in special forces agent Emile Blonsky who injects himself with a type of super serum and tries to take on the Hulk one on one.
Louis Leterrier has managed to create a wholesome story of which is self-contained and has compelling ideologies for the main characters. From a script from Zak Penn (who also wrote the incredible X-Men 2), together they create a great story for Banner who tries to control the rage in time to save his loved ones. Changing up Eric Bana for Edward Norton was an interesting decision, but looking back at the original TV show the choice was justified. They both bring a sense of wonder to the character. With Eric Bana looking to find out who he really was, Norton’s take on Banner is more an explanation of becoming the Hulk and finding the cure to save himself. William Hunt portrays General Ross as the conniving man who is trying to weaponize the Hulk for military purposes, and his intentions are clear from the beginning. Hunt portrays him as a man you wouldn’t want to cross. Also, we have Tim Roth who plays Emile Blonsky, the Russian-born UK trained SAS soldier sent to help Ross take down the Hulk. It’s interesting, as Roth is a smaller man compared to the Abomination he becomes – polar opposites.
The Incredible Hulk is a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Louis Leterrier has created a fantastic world which spans 3 continents for Bruce Banner to find himself. With some fantastic locations, special effects and some great acting from Edward Norton, Tim Roth and William Hunt (who reprises his role in Captain America: Civil War). Overall its more fun then is predecessor and brings the Avengers closer for Bruce Banner.
Should you watch it: YES