Incredible Hulk, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, William Hurt and Special Effects. Action/thriller. Written by Zak Penn and Edward Harrison. Directed by Louis Leterrier.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately hunts for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him. Living in the shadowscut off from a life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross (the elfin-like Liv Tyler)Banner struggles to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), and the military machinery that seeks to capture him and brutally exploit his power.

As all three grapple with the secrets that led to the Hulk's creation, they are confronted with a monstrous new adversary known as the Abomination, whose destructive strength exceeds even the Hulk's own.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The first installment of The Fantastic Four had some humor, but the special effects were so-so and the dialogue disappointing. Surly, narcissistic and charmless, the Foursome was dreary. All that changed with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The effects were as good as I've seen. And the pacing, the humor, the action, and even the dialogue were superior not just to the first installment, but to many action/adventure wannabes. The Hulk, which came out in 2003, was also a dud, with its brooding lead character nearly as grumpy as Reverend Wright.

The Incredible Hulk also fails as it doesn't focus on the Hulk as a crime fighter, but as a tragic figure running from the law. He's The Fugitive on steroids, a moping brute from Marvel Mountain, unhappy about his destiny. (Funny, I seem to be the only superhero happy about having super powers.) He's not fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. He's just fighting to keep adolescents from thinking about the plot. The Incredible Hulk is loud, dark, violent and completely unsuitable for little kids.

The computer-generated special effects are effective, and the targeted audience will get a kick out of the sight of the not so jolly green giant smashing through walls and throwing tanks around as if they were Tonka toys, but the film only sputters to life for moments when the green guy gets down and dirty. The rest of the time, everyone looks bored.

DVD Alternatives: King Kong (the 1933 version). Its moody and absorbing. The sequence as our fearless band of explorers comes across the uncharted island where the giant ape lives is outstanding. And remember, as Robert Armstrong said to a policeman after the planes shoot down the monster ape from the Empire State Building, "It was beauty killed the beast".

Or:

The Incredibles. This hilarious, action-packed, animated adventure has a put-upon superhero family now denying their superpowers and living under a government protection plan. Taking on grown-up themes such as the suspicion of infidelity and a barrage of violent do-or-die histrionics, Pixar Animation Studios and filmmaker Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) incorporate cartoonish slapstick with thoughtful PG-rated wit.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Universal

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Several minor expletives, and two or three obscenities.
Profanity: I caught one use of Gods name followed by a curse, and the expression Ph my God crops up several times.
Violence: There are two unstoppable forces going toe to toe, smashing anything and everyone who gets in their way; lots of running, car chases, explosions and gunfire, not to mention endless combats between Hulk and the Abomination. Blood: Yes, but its green.
Sexual Intercourse: One sex scene, but stopped midway as Bruce tells Betty he cant get too excited (or hell turn into Greeny)
Nudity: A nude shower scene with private parts hidden
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: The military is portrayed in a bad light, nefarious and ineffective
Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: People who like to see cars get thrown

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