I am in a very small minority of people who really liked Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’ which was released in 2003. I loved the style of the film and the tone of it which was a lot more serious than some comic book movies. Okay the leaping around parts were a bit stupid and it was too long but i still really liked it. So it was with a slight bit of trepidation that I oooked forward to ‘The Incredible Hulk’. 

  This new version (as it isn’t a sequel) is directed by French director,  Louis Leterrier, who is known for his two Transporter films so it seems that this will be a big leap up the ladder for him and he handles it pretty well. The film starts with Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) on the run in South America trying to stay below the radar and learn how to control his anger. He is also communicating with a msyterious Mr Blue who thinks he can help him.  Back in the US General Ross (William Hurt) is still trying to find Banner to use his biology to make the ultimate soldier.  When Banner has an accident at the factory and his blood ends up in a bottle of drink heading for the Us , his cover is blown. Soon Ross and his troops including Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) who after witnessing Banners alter ego in full attack mode becomes obsessed with getting his power.  After evading the army , Banner makes his way back to the States to try and get hold of his previous research and runs into his former love, Betty Ross and soon it all hits the fan with a Souped up Blonsky taking on Banner in the streets of New York as Abomination.

 So how does this bear up in the year of Superheroes? Well not bad, Ed Norton brings a real seriousness to the character, with the odd little moments of humour and is pretty believable.  Tim Roth gives the power hungry Blonsky an  air of gravitas, you can see how desperately he wants to be Banner but for the wrong reasons. The rest of the cast are pretty much background. William Hurt is as usual pretty good though I found Sam Elliot’s previous incarnation more dangerous and Liv Tyler as usual looks stunning but doesn’t really have a lot to do.  Unlike the previous film this one makes a few more nods to the TV series. At one point Bill Bixby appears on a TV show, and original Hulk Lou Ferrigno has a nice cameo as a Security guard like the last film, though this time he has more to do! There is as always a Stan Lee cameo which is good but cuts away just at the wrong moment.

Of course the whole film hangs on the CGI of the Hulk, and it’s impressive. This time his size doesn’t depend on how angry he is, he’s a set size a bit smaller than Ang lee’s one. Also there’s no super jumping this time, it’s more about his power which is shown in the three main action sequences. As always you know that it’s CG but he looks pretty real and the big fight off with Abomination is well done with lots of trashed buildings and car half boxing gloves!

  So how does this compare to the 2003 effort? Well I really enjoyed this new film, the action is better and the visuals are impressive, but it didn’t click with me as well as the other one. it could be that I have watched the Lee version quite a a lot so I shall wait till I have seen this a few more times before picking a favourite. it’s not as good as this summers other Marvel film, Iron Man, but if like me you love superhero movies then you will enjoy this. Rating 7/10

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