In this Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures Co-Production, they were able to reboot the franchise that didn’t work out as well in 2003 with the “Hulk” film Universal released. Using the opening credits to tell the origin story of Bruce Banner worked well in their favor. Edward Norton does a solid job as Bruce Banner to show the characters conflict of trying to cure himself and get back to a normal life. The relationship between Betty and Bruce is palpable on screen. Liv Tyler is well cast as his love interest.
Over the course of the film Bruce does grow as a character and accepts his condition as something that he has to embrace — rather than run away from or cure. The CGI on the Hulk isn’t as good as it is in the Avengers films. It doesn’t feel like it’s Edward Norton transformed. Of course that was a problem of the time not the studios fault for not having technology that wasn’t perfected. The directing of the action is pretty strong as well as the writing for how the story is told. There was definitely enough actions set pieces to balance out all three acts of the film.
The world building and global elements to the film felt organic and earned. The journey was at a smooth pace from place to place. Starting off in South America slowly into America, Virginia to New York and then finally Canada. It wasn’t over used either to where I wasn’t lost at where the characters were in relation to the story. I wish that with all the globe hopping that there were more clues to the Marvel universe. Though this film and “Iron Man” were the beginning, I wish they had included more easter eggs.
One of the positives about the villain in the film is that he isn’t thrown away and killed off like many other films villains. There is chance for his character to return and face off against Bruce. He felt as powerful as the Hulk and even though they are similar to facing off as a mirror reflection — he feels more brutal and more rage induced than a conflicted character. I hope The Leader and Betty Ross come back to the MCU in the future.