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Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - The Incredible Hulk

Hmm, Incredible Hulk. Kay, rough plot synopsis, Ed Norton as Banner/Hulk is living in Rio de Janeiro (correct me if my spelling is wrong) in hiding from the army, whilst attempting to cure his "infection" which causes him to become the Hulk. He makes a mistake which gives the army, led by General Ross played by William Hurt and assisted by Emil Blonsky played by Tim Roth, a lead to his whereabouts. Put it this way, Hulk get angry, Hulk smash, on the run, which leads him to seek out his former love and daughter of General Ross played by Liv Tyler, bladdy bladdy blah. The Hulk is an interesting film in the fact that the last one, Hulk, bombed and now they're trying to re-vamp the franchise by making it a pure action film. Now, my first problem with the Hulk is how it throws right into the thick of things, there is not much of a build-up, it's just this is how it is, and remains very fast-paced in this way for the rest of the movie with no space to breath. It feels as though right from the offset we have been thrown into the second act in a film, the act in which things supposed to being built up. The problem with doing this is that, despite the opening credit sequence showing what preceded and keeping viewers up to date, is that we are almost seemingly expected to know these characters and empathise with them. It feels as we are being directed in terms of how we should feel regarding the central characters in a way that suggests, you know, "he good he bad," almost forcing the viewer to listen to their decision. Problem two for me is the score of the film. Like I said earlier, the film is consistent in its fast pace leaving little space for relief or reflection, and the score accentuates this all the more, for the action scenes soundtrack generally consists of Hulk grunting, and smashing and explosions and the like, and then in the scenes with dialogue there is the score there which is generally fast strings, keeping the film's pace. The problem with this is that it makes you feel under constant bombardment, what with the action scenes being consistently loud as they are, then the score is distracting and disconnects the audience from the dialogue, making the fast-paced score seem as though this is a temporary substitute until we get to more scenes with Hulk smash. Also, the score is the type of score that seems to suggest to the audience how we should be feeling at specific points in the film. For me, scores should not have to suggest emotion, but instead complement the story and characters, in a sense accentuating the emotions that the audience are feeling. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the "he good he bad" thing comes along, and the film in this sense gave me the impression that it was trying to tell me how I should be feeling. My problem with this is that it is pretty hard to feel harrowing emotion Banner/Hulk's predicament whenever he has just spent the last twenty minutes wrestling with another giant twenty-five foot giant reptilian dinosaur creature thingy. Add this to the whole "this is how you should feel now" thing and ultimately it can become very annoying. Don't stop here though and assume this is going to continue to be a full-blown Kermodian rant because despite this film's flaws, Incredible Hulk certainly has some praiseworthy qualities. For starters, there is very good acting from Norton, suiting playing the anguishing Bruce Banner desperate for a cure and William Hurt creating a worthy villain in General Ross. Despite Tim Roth and Liv Tyler playing what are essentially the stock characters of evil villain and love interest respectively, they make the best out of what is given to them, particular Tyler considering hers is by far the least three-dimensional character of the four leads. That seems to be a trend in these big-budget blockbusters, in which the female characters in the film are little developed. Take, for example Mikaela in Transformers. That is your typical sexy, street-wise love interest to complement Shia LaBeouf's geek, not to discredit Megan Fox's performance, for she certainly does play the role well. Also, I do believe that the director Louis Leterrier has proved with this and the Transporter movies that he can direct action well, and I believe that he will have a good directing career in action cinema ahead of him. Also, the film is well-edited and put together, in particular the opening credits, which are put together well. And no, I am not contradicting what I said earlier, I am arguing for two reasons. Finally, I believe that the cinematography in the film was superb, giving the film a good visual look to it, complementing the CGI in the film. My overall opinion on the film, an average film with praise-worthy performances and a director who certainly knows how to lend his film a good visual quality, but with a poor score and extended bombardment of smashing, grunting and explosions which ultimately disconnect viewers from empathising with the characters and central storyline, The Incredible Hulk fails to develop an emotional connection with its audience.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 6/10

On The Topic Of The Incredible Hulk

How many times does Liv Tyler say "Bruce" in the course of the film?

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