But I think they did a good job of mixing various Hulk eras and the classic (and great) 70s TV show starring Bill Bixby & Lou Ferrigno. I enjoyed the opening credits with the "new" origin montage, which was extremely close to the 70s show - down to the machinery Banner is in, to his wardrobe. Also, they used the kickass Hulk TV show music a few times, as well as some classic Bixby-Banner lines ("Don't make me angry..."). There's lots of little things like that throughout the movie that's not only fun, but appreciated as a fan.
Edward Norton does a nice job as Bruce Banner, but Bixby simply set the standard too high. The weakest link is of course LIV TYLER, who yawns her way through uncomfortable dialogue with her token whispy voice and doe-eyed stare. Her scenes with Norton... I haven't seen a couple void of any kind of connection or spark since Anakin & Padme. Pretty much any scene with Liv - especially dialogue scenes or scenes with "jokes" - the movie starts to blow.
Outside of the boring, uncomfortable Liv Tyler scenes, the movie has a couple slow moments and a handful of forced, silly plot twists that could only exist within the pages of a comic book. But, they are usually quick and do move the story forward - before you're done sighing, there's a big green monster smashing something-up-good to distract you.
In the end, this new Hulk movie was successful in washing away that horrible taste in my mouth after Ang Lee's turd sandwich. So mission accomplished on that level. I also applaud connecting this movie to other Marvel characters; Iron Man, Captain America, SHIELD, etc. Just like the comics (well, up until 2000), the characters all dwell in the Marvel UNIVERSE.
And yeah, the Hulk scenes are pretty fun, especially the attack on the lawn. Overall, he looks pretty cool, despite appearing CG most of the time. But gone is the neon-green Shrek Hulk of Ang Lee's film. Yay! But in general, he looked good with the right proportions (more-or-less) and nice coloring. Personally, I prefer a less "pretty boy" version of Hulk. But basically this is me saying, "I don't love the way this guy draws the Hulk." Also, did anyone else feel like there was 2 different 3D Hulk models... sometimes he looked tall and lean, other times he looked more stocky (like he should!)?*2008 Hulk, Ang Lee's and 2 versions I dig*
The movie is a nice blend of several HULK incarnations and makes for a fun ride. While there are some "negative" aspects to the film, the "positives" greatly outway them. In closing... during our screening, after a smashing fight scene between Hulk and The Abomination occured, a 6yr old boy in the audience exclaimed "THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!". Ha! Sweet. The torch has been passed.
Of course, what would JIMSMASH be without Jim smashing? So be warned, some possible SPOILERS from this point on........
JIM'S 6 MAIN GRIPES:
1) Ok, at the core of the Hulk is basically the theme of unchecked ANGER. The Hulk is our deepest, darkest side unleashed in a raging fury of anger and tantrum. But in this movie, they focus more on Banner's HEART-RATE - running causes him to start changing, and even to the point where he can't have sex because his heart-rate will make him Hulk Out. Really, guys? I'm surprised Marvel misses the mark so hard with this one.
2) By going with the 70s TV show origin, we get another Hulk movie sans the gamma bomb. I've always felt the gamma bomb explosion is essential to the Hulk's origin - even if the explosion is a result of say genetic testing gone wrong. The giant [green] mushroom cloud is such wonderful symbolism for what the Hulk is. When the Hulk is released, his power and anger is like an atomic bomb unleashed upon the world in humanoid form. The Hulk is more than a big, muscular green guy running around hitting things - he's a Force who's mere presence is felt... and feared. Again, I think that gamma bomb explosion is as essential to the Hulk's origin as say Thomas & Martha Wayne being murdered before a young Bruce's eyes.
Whoa... BRUCE Banner... BRUCE Wayne.... anyway...
3) When the Hulk is on screen, I don't get enough sense of him as a character on his own, instead of a "mutated Bruce". The Hulk is a separate character and I wanted to see that. Although I did get a sense of that during the cave scene in the rain.
4) There's 3 main fight scenes. And in each one, the Hulk uses props/tools to get the job done. On their own, they are cool - especially the 2-halves of the car being smashed into Abomination's face. But using props in every fight? The Hulk is a weapon of his own - that's the point! His fists are all he needs to smash something.
5) Another staple of the Hulk is that "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger he gets." (again relating back to the whole "Anger" theme). I would have preferred this concept to be implemented in instead of the Hulk using thick chains to get the job done. His growing, unleashed anger should have won the day, but at the same time shown everyone how dangerous he can be.
6) Sometimes the film is pushed forward through lame plot twists that feel forced and out of place. The sudden "origin" of the Abomination being the main one.
..... ok, there's more than 6, but that's all I'm gonna post.