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'The Incredible Hulk' Reviews Positive But Not Incredible

The first reviews from the 'The Incredible Hulk' are in, and while the movie is certainly being received better than Ang Lee's 2003 'Hulk', it's not as 'Incredible' as same hoped.

And one of the age-old complaints has reared its ugly head again: the Hulk just doesn't look real. One reviewer actually says the Hulk "looks like a dark, shiny, muscular pickle." But at this point, that's just a fact of creating a computer superhero. The Hulk is not a man in an iron suit or tights, and when it comes to portraying the character on-screen, the Hulk has and always will be at a disadvantage.

Our mini review: The movie starts out better than we expected, and with Dr. Bruce Banner on the run, the movie appears to be heading towards solid character-based storytelling -- until it gives us a rushed return to the US, and heads downhill from there.

It's a fun night at the movies, but the quick turnaround from the excellent first 20-40 minutes leaves something to be desired. Word is that Director Louis Leterrier and Edward Norton wanted the movie to have a cut that ran about two hours and 15 minutes, with much more development on the character of the Hulk, but the Studio instead chose to edit that out and go for more action and a running time under two hours. That would certainly explain a lot. We can only hope that additional footage is included on the DVD.

It opens tonight, June 13. The 2003 version, which starred Eric Bana, opened with a whopping $62.1 million weekend but that quickly dwindled in the following week thanks to bad word of mouth. This one won't open nearly as high but should end up earning more than Ang Lee's take.

Quotes from some of the other major media outlets:

If you are expecting this movie to be Iron Man, you will be disappointed, but it is 1000 times better than the abomination that Ang Lee created. - Kevin McCarthy, CBS Radio

Incredible overstates it, but The Incredible Hulk finds a viable way to retell an old Jekyll and Hyde story, dating back to the early 1960s and a Cold War that inspired its share of unruly Marvel Comics misfits. - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

It's far from the worst. The big green guy is back, and this time he looks like he means business. - Rodney Chester, Australia's Courier Mail

A classic comic-book hero quest that, while not entirely novel, hews to its own rules and conventions with dignity and artfulness. - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

The saga is uneven and there are plot holes, but as a popcorn movie steeped in action, it keeps our attention. - Claudia Puig, USA Today

The new movie about Dr. Bruce Banner is called The Incredible Hulk. But let’s not get carried away: The Adequate Hulk would have been a more suitable title. - A.O. Scott, New York Times

An Incredible Misfire - Charles Koplinski, Illinois Times

A thudding dull and dunderheaded piece of product that is generally uninteresting to look at, frequently painful to listen to and a constant insult to all the things that Ang Lee accomplished in his take on the material. - Peter Sobczynski, Independent Film Reviewer

It's high-energy, but oddly unsatisfying; the nature of Hulk's rage is left unexplored and undeveloped. - Philippa Hawker, Australia's The Age

Like its monstrous hero, The Incredible Hulk gets the job done with minimal artistry and a lot of noise. - Lou Lumenick, New York Post

June 13, 2008 |

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