The Incredible Hulk

Hulk 2.0 may please comic enthusiasts with its blunt, dumbed-down approach, but that doesn’t make it a better movie than Ang Lee’s unloved Hulk from five summers ago. Faster-paced and more action-oriented than the 2003 version, this new Hulk takes its primary stylistic cues from the campy, craptastic ’70s TV show instead of Greek tragedy. Since both films share the same basic plot and characters, the differences between the two are telling. If Lee (possibly) erred on the side of too much exposition while telling the “origin” story of Bruce Banner’s transformation into a kick-ass green superhero, director Louis Leterrier’s more streamlined treatment doesn’t provide nearly enough backstory. The result is that we have absolutely no emotional investment in Banner (Edward Norton), or his emerald-hued alter ego. For Leterrier, the Hulk himself (itself?) is used mostly as a prop for a frenetic series of headache-inducing, continuity-impaired action set pieces that skimp on both spatial and even storytelling logic. For a movie that’s all about ’roid rage, this reductivist Hulk is the cinematic equivalent of a 90-pound weakling getting sand kicked in his face at the beach. **
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