Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk

Just a quick rundown of the recent movie and the even more recent revised version. I like them both pretty well, but then I've always been a fan of the green guy.

Bruce Banner - Eric Bana vs. Ed Norton - Bana's not a bad actor, but he doesn't compare to Norton, who is outstanding.

Gen. "Thunderbolt" Ross - Sam Elliot vs. William Hurt - I'm torn on this one. Elliot does an outstanding job as the noble soldier as odds with his daughter, but Hurt is a lot closer to the blustering, unreasoning military villain of the comics. I'd have to call it a toss-up.

Betty Ross - Jennifer vs. Liv Tyler - Liv is pretty, and a good actress, but it's no comparison. Connelly is an amazing actress.

Hulk design - I know that CGI is supposed to get better every year, but I did prefer the animation for the first movie.

Hulk vs. Army scenes. These are well-done in both versions, but I thought the battle with the tanks in the desert in Hulk was superior.

Cameos - Both features brief appearances by Stan Lee (who created the Hulk) and Lou Ferrigno (who played the Hulk on TV). In credible Hulk did more with these, and offered a glimpse of late, lamented Bill Bixby as well.

Villains - Nick Nolte (David Banner) vs. Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky). Both were very good, albeit totally different. I'll call this one a toss-up. However...

Climactic fight - The Hulk's fight against the empowered David Banner was hard to follow. The villain's power to absorb the powerof anything he touched (like the Absorbing Man in the comics) was a great idea. Unfortunately, it made the fight visually hard to follow. Hulk often lacked an easily identifyable antagonist. The big fight with Blinsky as the Abomination, by contrast, was exciting and a lot of fun.

Look - While I think that Ang Lee is brilliant, I didn't care for the many dark scenes in his movie, or for the 'panels' he used. I didn't think trying to make the movie look like a comic book worked. It only called attention to the fact that I was watching a movie and broke me out of the story.

Themes - I liked that Lee tried to get into the Jeckyll-Hyde inner struggle. In the end though, the movie seemed too introspective. The abusive father/angry child theme was interesting, but never really came off in an effective way IMO. I thought the newer movie had a better balance of angst and action.

My tally:

Hulk: 3
Incredible Hulk: 5


Patrick Rutigliano said...

I must confess, Ang Lee lost me at poodle.

Matthew Baugh said...

Myself, I'm waiting for the spin-off: "The Incredible Fifi"