Movie Review

The Incredible Hulk a.k.a. “Hulk 2,” “O Incrível Hulk,” “L’ Incredibile Hulk,” “Der Unglaubliche Hulk”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content.

Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi, Action, Sequel, Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
June 13, 2008 (wide—3,400 theaters)
Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Prequel

Hulk (2003)

Version of

  • Hulk (1966 TV series)
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977 TV movie)
  • The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV series)
  • The Incredible Hulk (1982 TV series)
  • The Incredible Hulk (1996 TV series)
  • Gamma Project (2003 short)
  • Hulk (2003)
  • Spin off: The Incredible Hulk (2008 video game)
The Bible says…

Anger in the Bible

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Fornication

Featuring: Edward Norton
The Illusionist,” “The Italian Job

Liv Tyler
Armageddon,” “The Lord of the Rings

Tim Roth
“Reservoir Dogs,” “Planet of the Apes

William Hurt, Greg Bryk, Ty Burrell, Christina Cabot, Robert Downey Jr., Lou Ferrigno, Jay Hunter, Stan Lee, Peter Mensah, Tim Blake Nelson, Chris Owens, Dylan Taylor
Director: Louis Leterrier
The Transporter,” “Unleashed,” “Transporter 2
Producer: Avi Arad, Stephen Broussard, Kevin Feige, Gale Anne Hurd, Stan Lee, David Maisel, Michael J. Malone, Jim Van Wyck
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“This summer, our only hope is something incredible.”

Five years ago, director Ang Lee brought to life yet another famous comic book character, “The Hulk,” giving it's title role a lot of angst, frustration and overblown computer-generated imagery. The result was a film that disappointed many with it's artsy approach to the story, and its usage of the split-screen effect to make it feel more or less like a comic book. Moreover, the acting lacked chemistry and the action left a lot to be desired.

Now, The Hulk comes back to the big-screen with a new director, a new story, and an entirely new cast, although with mostly the same characters. The movie starts somewhat quickly, assuming the audience is already familiar with the basics: Dr. Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) miraculously survived being zapped by gamma rays only to discover the radiation had awakened genetic mutations, the result of being experimented on as a child. Now, whenever he becomes angry, he transforms into a massive, uncontrollable green monster. Now, Banner is hunted by the government and hiding in Brazil, desperately looking for a cure for his “problem.”

Meanwhile, General Ross (William Hurt), in what has become a personal vendetta against Bruce, sends one of the army's best, Blonsky (Tim Roth), after Banner, equipping him with a dose of a new “super-soldier” elixir for good measure. Unfortunately, the elixir releases a beast within Blonsky that Ross cannot control, and Bruce Banner finds himself hunted by enemies both new and old, all in a race to find a cure before The Hulk gets him into too much trouble.

One thing that is truly incredible about “The Incredible Hulk” is the special effects. Here, the not-so-jolly green giant looks more polished, more rippled, and more realistic than ever. Indeed, a certain scene during a rainstorm will have you believe that The Hulk does exist.

Unfortunately, the realism also extends to the violence, and this film is much more violent than it's predecessor. The Hulk ends up smashing cars, tanks, helicopters, buildings, and people, dealing with explosions and shoot-outs, and the final 20 minutes of the film is an extended battle between The Hulk and Blonsky's alter-ego, The Abomination. Don't get me wrong. This final battle is one of the best super-hero showdowns I've seen yet. But it is brutal, chaotic, and bloody.

There is also some language, including profanities, and a lot of misuses of God's name. A passionate scene between Bruce and his old flame, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) leads to them in bed and starting to undress, but ends before it gets any further.

Speaking of which, the tragedy of the story of Bruce Banner comes full circle here. Banner is a man who desperately doesn't want the “sun to go own on his anger.” He wants to control it, and even turns to some eastern religious practices to try and get a hold over his emotions. He often finds he cannot succeed, and the results disrupt his life and especially what happens to his relationships.

So, in many ways, “The Incredible Hulk” suffers from the Frankenstein Syndrome: The Hulk is misunderstood, hunted, afraid, frustrated and alone, the result of someone else's experiments. He wants to love and be loved, but is unable to find this simple peace of mind. He is definitely a flawed hero, because his violent rages prevent him from fully doing good, in spite of his best intentions, although he does consistently put himself in harms way to save those he knows (as The Hulk, he has a hard time telling the difference between friend and foe) and an interesting touch during the final scenes demonstrates mercy towards an enemy.

The end result is mixed. We get a strong movie with lots of impressive action and gritty special effects, plenty of excellent actors (Norton is much more sympathetic than Eric Bana as Bruce Banner), and several good messages about the need to control our emotions, especially anger, the importance of unconditional love, seen in Betty Ross, and even the strength of simple kindness. But we also get brutal violence, nods to eastern religion and premarital sex, and a main character who is very hard to identify with.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I enjoyed the movie! The Hulk even has somewhat of a personality in this movie, unlike the previous movie released a few years back. It has a decent story and is fairly clean despite the violence of course. There is one scene where Dr Banner and his ex-girlfriend are in bed and it seemed like it was going to get nasty, but when his pulse started racing, the scene ended with Banner saying, “I can't do this.” So, nothing really negative to say. It was good!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Glen Maillet, age 38
Positive—Absolutely convincing visual effects in the rain scene. Had me fooled into believing they were using a guy in a suit. CGI this ambiguous is a rarity these days. Kudos Hulk for foolin’ ol’ Keenum. Verily, an impressive feat. Not.

Hulk does well in that it skips (by and large) the obligatory, monotonous origins story. Thank you Father… He knows we get enough comic book adaptations that start at square one. Egad. Hulk is refreshing in that it doesn't coddle the audience by running through the prologue. It just jumps straight into Bruce Banner's fugitive life. Boom! Hulk Smash.

Other than a few possible size inconsistencies, this is a very well-done superhero flick, and for that matter, flick.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jacob Keenum, age 22
Positive—I totally LOVED it!!! I was a fan of the series and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Great special affects and lots of action. I was disappointed in the 2005 Hulk movie, but this one delivered!! Go see it!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Darlene, age 47
Positive—If you're an adult who grew up loving comics, this film is made for you. The computer graphics and creativity of the story line will not disappoint. BUT-please don't consider bringing a child to see this, it is extremely violent and disturbing for a precious little mind. I know “The Hulk” is marketed for children with clothes and toys, but don't buy or rent this movie for them. It is made for adults!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Heather, age 31
Positive—I saw Ang Lee's Incredible Hulk back in 2003, and I was very disappointed by the movie. The new incredible Hulk movie however, is great! The moral of the story in this movie is about controlling one's anger, and also learn how to live with one's uniqueness. The movie tell the story of Bruce Banner and the Hulk in a very straight forward way, which is good because the story get right to the point without too much confusing twists. The CGI effect is great, I especially love the action scene in the campus, and also the final show down between the Hulk and Abomination. I really loved it when he did “HULK SMASH!” Overall, it is top quality entertainment. Highly recommended!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Daniel, age 27
Positive—Another Marvel hit for the summer. I LOVED this movie! Great casting, good story, excellent special effects and lots of action. Can't wait for the sequel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Darlene Taylor, age 47
Positive—I just saw this yesterday. In terms of movie-making quality, it was good, but not as good as other superhero movies like Spider-Man, Batman, or Iron Man. Still it was good enough for me. It was very exciting for me, especially the final confrontation between the Hulk and Blonsky, or the Abomination as he was known as.

Morally, it wasn't as shinning as Spider-Man's message of responsibility or Iron Man's comic book equivalent of redemption. Bruce Banner does make use of Eastern techniques to keep from turning into the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant, and we do see him naked in the shower, although covered up by steam. The worst part is a scene where it looks like Bruce and his girlfriend Betty Ross are going to have sex, but it stops before it gets too intimate.

Even with the above mentioned problems, The Incredible Hulk does have some good qualities. Bruce believes this monster within him is completely evil. I'd say most Christians would say the same thing about anger in general. Anger isn't a bad thing as long you're angry over the right reasons. Bruce sees the destruction brought about by Blonsky at the end and chooses to fight it. He also appears to get angry when Betty's life is threatened. He even uses his Hulk powers to save her and her father, General Ross, who hunts the Hulk tirelessly. Anger isn't an evil as long as you control it. Lust for power is shown to be an unattractive trait as Blonsky turns into, like his name in the comics, an abomination because he hungers for the power the Hulk has. Even the previously mentioned sex scene has some positive credit as Bruce stops it because he knows he could hurt Betty if he went through with it.

Bottom line, the Hulk's good, but mostly on an entertainment level.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jeff, age 21
Positive— All I can say is… GREAT MOVIE!!! I loved it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brittney, age 24 (Canada)
Positive—I'm pretty much in agreement with the reviewer about TIH. If you go see it you have been warned about objectionable content before hand. Aside from that it was a good movie, quality wise, in my opinion.

I thought the '03 Hulk was OK and didn't dislike it, as was the case with many, but TIH is much better. This time around, the look and feel of the Hulk is pretty close to reality whereas in '03 he just didn't look that real. They also got his size right and they got the villain right (I'll never get over the '03 hulk poodle…

They also injected more humour this time which was helped with well placed cameos by Stan Lee, of course, and Bill Bixby (TV Bruce Banner) and Lou Ferigno (TV Hulk). It was especially fun to hear the ripple that went through the theatre when Ferigno showed up. PS: Watch the credits closely to see who did the Hulk's voice.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—James Taylor, age 37
Positive—I just saw this movie with a friend this Sunday, and I greatly enjoyed this movie. It was far better then the previous one. I would however like to warn parents this movie I would not suggest for younger kids. The Abomination, which is the Bad Guy, is quite scary to say the least and most likely frighten young kids. There is also a scene where Banner and Betty Ross start to get Intimate but it is halted. It still might bother some parents. I would not take kids under the age 15 to this movie as some things might be very difficult to Explain to younger ones. The Movie is also quite violent.

On the Spiritual side the Hulk is a two sided Coin. The Hulk's main power comes for Pure Anger and Rage. A lot of people view this as bad. God did, However, say that “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God sees the Heart.” I think if people look at what really drives the Hulk it becomes a far better movie to enjoy. Especially for us men. What in My opinion drives the Hulk is love. He truly loves Betty Ross and even in his more primal state Banner shows this with all his actions. Every time the Hulk in this movie gets angry or “Hulks Out” it usually has something to do with the Protection of Betty. or saving her, or trying to fix what Betty's Father has done. Which deep inside all of us men, is one of our core desires. To protect the ones we love with a ferocity that we are not allowed to let loose often, Because ultimately it is what Christ did for us. He let loose the most powerful thing in his heart, his love, and he became the lamb for us all and while Christ was willing and went to cross silent, I can only imagine what was going on in his head towards Satan, and I think the Hulk says it quite well 'HULK SMASH!'
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James Simison, age 23
Positive—This was an awesome movie it was funny and had no objectionable content in it. I would recommend it for everyone 15 yrs. and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Will, age 25
Positive—“The Incredible Hulk” has lots of action and fantastic special effects. I LOVED the movie, and I can't wait for the sequel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Christina, age 35
Neutral
Neutral—This was a good movie for the Marvel Comic fan who is following the creations of the superheroes from their childhood. I watched the Hulk with Bill Bixby as a kid and enjoyed the series. This movie was a cross between the TV series and the comic books of long ago. There is one scene where Bruce Banner and Elizabeth Ross begin to passionately kiss, however due to Bruce's heart rate, they must stop before the big green guy showed up. As can be expected with the Hulk, lots of things were blown up and ripped in half. The special effects were at the top of their game! I personally enjoyed the movie and plan on viewing more movies based upon the Marvel superheroes of my childhood.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jason, age 32
Neutral—I was pleasantly surprised with the Hulk …although they abused the Lords name a couple of times, they did however make a great action hero movie …Unfortunately, there was a lot of violence, some unnecessary killings, but an overall exciting movie. There was a sexual scene that was not needed, no cloths were taken off but it was indicated that they would have sex. Also there was some father /daughter comments that were so unkind, but overall the end of the movie was left with a peace between father/daughter and a prelude to a ultimate super hero movie. I would recommend this to adults but not young children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sherrie O'brien, age 31
Negative

none

Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was pretty good, The action was great and the characters were well casted. Surely everything about this should should have been what the 2003 disaster HULK should have been. I'm glad I saw this film and think that it is appropriate for young children that now about pre-marital sex and how it is wrong. Also the climatic battle at the end could be a little disturbing for real young ones, but overall it is very good. I rank the Incredible Hulk on par with the first Spiderman movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—John Ferry, age 15
Positive—I saw the first “Hulk” in 2003, and I can definitely say I was more than disappointed. So when I heard about this one I wa a little worried, part of me was excited and part of me was worried. The Hulk was one of my favorite comic book heroes so when they butchered him in the first movie I was very upset and I didn't want them destroying one of my child hood heroes even more than what they did in the first movie but to my surprise they actually regained all excitement and feeling of interest I had in the character. The movie starts very differently than other superhero movies, it begins with just a slight overview of the Hulk's (a.k.a. bruce banner's) origin, and then moves straight to his basic small south american town by a bottle factory. Then the movie begins to pick up pace and u really see how well the cast works together. I truly believe they picked the perfect actor to play bruce banner. Edward Norton brings depth and quality to the character that Eric Bana clearly left out. my only real complaint about the movie was that the trailer and clips exposed a lot of the movie including many cameo appearances such as Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark from the recent “Iron Man” movie, which I also recommend. Overall, I find this movie a very well made comic book movie and gladly makes up for the mistakes of the 2003 Hulk. I didn't recommend this movie for some younger kids, cause of 2 reasons.

1. the first scene with Norton changing into the hulk and utterly beating sum south american locals to pulp and some american soldiers might scare young kids.

2. there is a sensual scene with Norton and leading lady Liv Tyler making out and undressing each other in what u can them about to have sex even though bruce stops himself even b4 it gets anywhere offensive to the movie. Overall, I found this to b a very enjoyable movie and a really good makeup for the disappointment of 2003.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jonathan, age 16
Positive—First off, this was way better than the first Hulk (2003). Way better. Edward Norton did extremely well playing Bruce Banner and gave his character life. Liv Tyler who played Betty Ross did a good job as well. Overall, the film is good, but there were some problems. In filmmaking quality, it leaves to many open doors. At he end of the movie, you are left wondering what happens to certain characters. Moral wise, it was pretty solid. It shows man's lust for more power once he has a fragment of it with the character Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination. The film also contains most movie's basic plots: Good vs Evil. Yes, there is violence, a lot of it, too, but it is still a fun, good movie for anyone mature.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tommie, age 15
Positive—I just got back seeing Hulk with a couple of my friends, and to be honest my friends didn't like it that much, but I did I thought that it was pretty good. then again it's one of those movies that you see for action not storyline it wasn't like one of those movies that you get sucked in for a gripping storyline, but, hey, it's a superhero movie. The action was brutal and it's even with other superhero movies on violence a bit more on blood and language but it's appropriate language not like “oh I'm going to cuss for no good reason” it was like something really bad happened and then something was said which in my book is not good but a whole lot better. lastly the shower part I think was the worst I was watching it was a friend of mine that's a girl and she was covering her eyes. But very high on energy and would recommend this to 13 year olds and mature 12 year olds.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Evan, age 14
Positive—Since I didn't see the first Hulk movie (but had heard it was a disaster), I was interested to see how it would bounce back. I went to see the movie with a couple friends who had seen the first one(and hated it) and we all left the theater very impressed. Edward Norton does a great job with Bruce Banner and I also enjoyed the back-up roles of William Hurt and Liv Tyler. The only objectionable content I can think of are a couple curse words but not many at all, and also an “almost-sex” scene which is ended pretty quickly. There is also a shower scene with Bruce where some nudity is shown but not bad at all. The graphics were amazing and I think all in all the movie was definitely worth the trip.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kurt, age 17
Positive—“The Incredible Hulk” was an obvious Hulk Smash through computer graphics and acting. They looked so real I felt like I was watching a documentary. I also liked it when I saw the original Hulk as a police man. I one part Bruce and Betty were about to physically have fun but Bruce stopped when his heart rate jumped. In my opinion they could've left that part out but they didn't but were smart enough to stop it with that heart rate of Bruce's. They also did an excellent job with the transformation of Bruce. I thought that bad dude, I forget his name, looked so creepy and yet he had some resemblances to the Hulk. I didn't get why the dude had no hair. At the end, Bruce is meditating, but when he opens his eyes and smiles, to me that was an obvious Hulk 2. Overall, it was an excellent movie, and worth seeing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Randy, age 12
Negative—I love the first “Hulk.” I absolutely loved the movie's style and the actors made their characters all the more interesting. It seems all I loved in the first one is completely absent from this new one. The comic book style that graced the first one is replaced with an “incident tracker” that appears every now and then. Along with a complete change in cast, the characters themselves changed in their demeanor. Bruce seemed less troubled and disturbed in this one than the other. Betty went from being a strong, determined woman to a weak, frail, determined woman. Captain Ross, although still “bad,” was a just, strong-willed father doing what he thought was best for humanity. In this one, he's a evil, cruel, unsympathetic man who simply wants Bruce to harness the Hulk within him. Odd, I thought he was against that in the first one. Lastly, the Hulk itself went from being an angry, confused monster that tried his best to not kill his attackers, but stop them, to an absolutely uncontrollable monster that kills A LOT.

The only plus side to this version is the main villain. The Abomination truly is a menacing demon, and serves as a good match for the Hulk. However, with a different cast and no similarities to the first Hulk, the two movies are utterly no the same and can barely be compared. Obviously, “The Hulk” is VASTLY superior to “The Incredible Hulk,” in my opinion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Samuel Chavarria, age 15
Positive—After the disappointment of its predecessor, I was hestitant about this movie. But I was relieved by its end. It had a fairly good plot, great acting, plenty of action. This movie may be more for guys, but it was a lot of fun for me. It does well as an action movie, and despite bad reviews, is one of the better ones of 2008. I recommed it for all guys, at least those old enough to take the intense action sequences, all fans of Marvel movies, and to some of those who are hesitant—like I was. Good movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ben Badger, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—To tell you the truth I was dissapointed with this movie. It has all the action and explosions but it just drags through the whole movie. Its not that I didn't like it but I didn't love it. You think it would be ike “Ironman,” “The Dark Knight,” or “X-2” but it wasn't. The effects are impressive and the acting is better than you would expect but its just hard to follow sometimes.

There weren't many things that were offensive, but the violence is heavy at times, and in one scene it looks like Bruce and his girlfriend are about to have you know what, but he ends saying, “I can't do this.” There wasn't much language; I heard the P word a few times and one use of d-mn and one sh-t, and that was it. There wasn't any nudity or drug use. But the messages are good, and that's all I really found in the spirtual content of this movie.

I wouldn't recommend it, but it's worth seeing for the special effects, but that's about it. It's not terrible; it's not great, but its OK.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Langston Cabral, age 11 (USA)