Ink Blotting - The Incredible Hulk

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Incredible Hulk

One of the great things about The Incredible Hulk (that you don't get with Iron Man or Hell Boy) is that you have so many reference points for it. There is the Ang Lee movie of 2003, the tv series from the 1980s, the comic book from the 1960s, as well as the video games. With all of these different adaptations on what is essentially a re-making of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde there isn't a single point of relation. Ang Lee's version or Leterrier's version are no more accurate renditions than the tv series or any one series of the comic books by a particular editor/writer team. What we're happily left with then is the tale of a quiet and unassuming man whose inner turmoil and rage finds release in his transformation into a hulking green monster. How the tale is told is what is important.

A lot of reviewers out there prefer The Incredible Hulk to The Hulk. They cite better computer graphics, a stronger performance in Edward Norton than Eric Bana and better pacing. But moreover they write endlessly about how this latest iteration is more accurate, and pulls more strongly from the comic and the television series than The Hulk did – which is just sheer balderdash. A movie needs to stand on its own legs, not rely on previous iterations as a benchmark to whether it succeeds or fails. The first three examples of why reviewers highly rate the latest Hulk example are good and proper, but don't let anyone tell you that one particular version of Bruce Banner/The Hulk is more accurate than another.

This '08 summer has a lot of superheroes in it once again. Two of which I mentioned already. Both of those movies will have a great deal in common with The Incredible Hulk. There have already been many reviews that compare, favorably or otherwise Iron Man to The Incredible Hulk. The reason is that the two movies came out within just over a month of each other, from the same production company and are superhero movies that "originate" in comic books. Most reviewers prefer Iron Man to The Incredible Hulk. Iron Man has a more favorable star ranking than The Incredible Hulk. What no one has stated in any of the reviews I've read, though, is the real reason why. Many reviewers have commented on the cavalier attitude Robert Downey, Jr brought to the role of Tony Stark that led to such a great summer flick. But that's only partly right. The interesting part to Iron Man isn't the incredible things the suit can do, or how fast it can go. It's the man inside the suit, and the choices he makes. Tony Stark is the interesting character for he is what drives Iron Man. It's the opposite for the Hulk. The Hulk lurks behind the eyes of Bruce Banner, longing for a moment's slip in Bruce's emotions to incredibly emerge and emote in ways that the reserved and repressed Bruce cannot. And to prove the point more accurately, the final battle in Iron Man is the most poorly reviewed part of the movie, whereas the final battle in The Incredible Hulk is much more positively received.

My wife preferred The Incredible Hulk to Iron Man. I found them both to be exceptionally well-made and well-conceived movies. Edward Norton was perfect as Bruce Banner, I couldn't ask for a better realization of the traits of the character. The pacing never slowed down, the seeds of a Letterier sequel were put in place, the cg and the locations were worth the price of admission alone. If there was one criticism I could muster against the film it would be that I would have liked to have seen more of the Hulk fighting the thunderstorm and less fully-automatic fire from the military in a crowded city like New York.

5 stretchy purple shorts out of 5

Kyle Gould is a University of Calgary Graduate in English devoutly trying to make the 25,000 dollar piece of parchment not just a glorified ink blot. Currently it would serve better as a Rorschach test. Feel free to throw some ink his way at


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to