All-action Marvel Comics blockbuster in which scientist Dr.Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) searches for the cure to his life-transforming alter-ego. Scouring the globe, searching for the antidote that will prevent him from changing into The Hulk, Banner (Norton) is forced to keep a low profile, lest the military authorities that seek to exploit his powers finally catch up with him. In an ironic twist, he longs to be with the only woman he has ever loved, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), who just happens to be the daughter of his chief military adversary, General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross (William Hurt). Having finally decided to return to civilisation, Banner discovers that there's an even bigger and more dangerous enemy on the block - The Abomination (Tim Roth). A primal beast even more powerful than The Hulk, this new foe, the result of a foreign agent being exposed to an even larger dose of the radiation that created The Hulk, is unable to revert back to human form. Now the stage is set for the titanic battle of the two heavyweights, with New York the setting for the ultimate showdown.
A more accessible and less heavy-handed movie than Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk, Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk is a purely popcorn love affair with Marvel's raging, green superhero, as well as the old television series starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the beast within him. Edward Norton takes up where Eric Bana left off in Lee's version, playing Bruce (that's the character's original name) Banner, a haunted scientist always on the move. Trying to eliminate the effects of a military experiment that turns him into the Hulk whenever his emotions get the better of him, Banner is hiding out in Brazil at the film's beginning. Working in a bottling plant and communicating via email with an unidentified professor who thinks he can help, Banner goes postal when General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and a small army turn up to grab him. Intent on developing whatever causes Banner's metamorphoses into a weapon, Ross brings along a quietly deranged soldier named Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who wants Ross to turn him into a supersoldier who can take on the Hulk. The adventure spreads to the U.S., where Banner hooks up with his old lover (and Ross' daughter), Betty (Liv Tyler), and where the Hulk takes on several armed assaults, including one in a pretty unusual location: a college campus. The film's action is impressive, though the computer-generated creature is disappointingly cartoonish, and a second monster turning up late in the movie looks even cheesier. Norton is largely wasted in the film--he's essentially a bridge between sequences where he disappears and the Hulk rampages around. As good an actor as he is, Norton doesn't have the charisma here to carry those scenes in which one waits impatiently for the real show to begin. --Tom Keogh
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