A review of the 2008 movie “The Incredible Hulk”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was kicked off with “Ironman” in the summer of 2008 and the latest addition to the immensely-successful franchise is “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness” in the summer of 2022. In the intervening 14 years, there have been no less than 28 MCU movies and I’ve seen everyone at the time of release – except one.

I missed “The Incredible Hulk” – the second MCU outing – in that summer of 2008. I hadn’t enjoyed the earlier representation of this character, Eric Bana in “Hulk” (2003), and the reviews of this version were poor, so I allowed a hole to appear in my MCU experience, but finally in summer 2022 I caught the work on television.

“The Incredible Hulk” shows the creation story is a series of quick scenes flashed during the opening credits and then we’re off to Dr Bruce Banner, played by Edward Norton, being chased by the military (roles filled by William Hurt as ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross and – improbably – diminutive English actor Tim Roth as the Hulk’s intended nemesis) with some intervention by scientist Betty Ross (Liv Tyler in an underwritten role).

The whole thing looks most unlike a superhero film and more like a monster movie and I thought that the realisations of the Hulk and his opponent were very poorly executed. But now I’ve seen it and filled a long-running gap in my cinematic experience. 

Note 1: Bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the original 1970s television series, has a very brief cameo in this movie.

Note 2: In all subsequent appearances in the MCU, the Hulk is played by Mark Ruffalo.


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