Saturday, November 21, 2009

“The Incredible Hulk” – I’m bleeding from the ears.

Is there anything I can say about this movie that would surprise you? It has a lot of action. There is virtually no story. There is a battle royale between two monsters. Stan Lee has a cameo appearance. Liv Tyler gets naked. Okay, so I made that last one up, but you would have at least been surprised. The only thing really surprising was that this movie got made at all. I’m sure I wasn’t the only wondering why they were remaking the Hulk only five years after the last attempt. I understand the motivation in milking as much money from the comic book cow as possible, but this just seemed odd. The last film was universally hated and was a major flop at the box office. That can’t have helped this one, since nearly everyone I talked to said the same thing; “Didn’t they already make that one?” They should have waited longer to let everyone have more time to forget about the last attempt. Like I always say, Hollywood just can’t help itself.

I have to be honest here, I didn’t really want to see this film for the same reason I just talked about, plus a couple of others. The only reason I saw it was because my friend wanted to see it and we like to argue about movies. This leads to my other reasons for not wanting to see this film. He believes that “300” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” are both good films. I believe exactly the opposite. I won’t get into those movies, but there are two things they have in common. One is that they were both horribly disappointing. I know they were both adapted from graphic novels, but they had so much potential and had generated so much hype, then completely failed to deliver anything resembling good films. Add deformed, mutant characters battling and what you are left with is filth that never should have left the comic book pages. “The Incredible Hulk” did not have the same kind of pre-release hype, but it does feature two deformed mutants battling. I didn’t even need to see the movie to know this because they showed it to us in the previews.

Somehow, previews have become the worst part of movies. The producers and advertisers have decided that in order to sell a movie, they need to give away everything good about them in the trailers. Good punchlines, action sequences, plot twists, even endings aren’t safe from them. Before seeing “The Incredible Hulk,” I knew that the military was trying to capture Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Edward Norton), that Major Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) is turned into a super hulk to capture the hulk when conventional methods fail, that Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) is General Ross’ (William Hurt) daughter, and that they end up working with Banner to capture Blonsky when Blonsky starts tearing up the town as the evil hulk. I even knew that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) shows up for some kind of meeting with General Ross. All of that came from the trailers before the film was even released. (So don’t get pissed at me about any spoilers.)

I suppose I should actually give my opinion of this film. Well, it’s exactly what you would expect from this type of movie, especially considering the last attempt at a film featuring The Hulk. At what age is it okay to say that a movie is too loud? I like the visual and auditory experiences of big-screen action films, but this one was just too much. They were definitely trying to compensate for the fact that the story was barely discernable. The vast majority of the film was either someone being chased or something getting destroyed…very loudly. The only quiet parts of the film were when Liv Tyler was speaking. I read an interview of her saying that she took the part without reading the script. I wonder if she bothered to read it before they actually started filming. I don’t think she was aware that she was playing a scientist. I also don’t think anyone bothered to tell her that she doesn’t need to be breathy for every line she delivers. That is supposed to be the director’s job, but he must have been too busy covering his ears. Someone also needs to tell them that casting a bunch of star actors doesn’t help a film very much when a majority of that film is computer generated. It just costs them more money.

So, if you’re looking for mindless entertainment, with lots (and lots) of action, you won’t be disappointed in this film. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen any of the trailers, you’ve already seen this film.

Rating: Ask for all of your money back. Your ears will at least know you’re sorry.

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