People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Friday, June 13, 2008
  The Hulk Can't Win
I haven't seen The Incredible Hulk yet, but my interest in seeing it spiked when I read somewhere a few months ago that the climactic fight between ol' Jade Jaws (comic-geek lingo, sorry) and the Abomination lasts for something like 20+ minutes. The idea with this movie was clearly to reboot the franchise after what many people considered the disappointing 2003 Ang Lee movie (which I love, by the way; it's easily the most underappreciated comicbook movie of the post-X-Men comicbook movie boom) with more emphasis on action. Which was the problem most people had with Lee's Hulk, it was "boring." I always thought that was sort of a stupid complaint about the movie. All Lee was doing was trying to make a real movie that just happened to be about a dude who turns into a 10-foot monster when he gets angry, and everyone said it was boring. I dunno, what do you think is going to happen when you hire a real filmmaker like Ang Lee to make a superhero movie? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon isn't a great movie because of all the fighting, it's a great movie because it has emotional depth, something Lee tried to lend Hulk, and people really did not like that (though I can't argue that the climax, where he fights his father/a cloud of gas is pretty underwhelming).

So I've been reading reviews for The Incredible Hulk, and they all seem to make basically the same point, regardless of their overall opinion of the film: it's okay, but sort of dumb and totally action-based at the expense of character. Um....isn't that what people apparently wanted? Wasn't the problem people seemed to have with Hulk? Too much talking and not enough smashing? Marvel turns around and makes a WHOLE NEW MOVIE just to give you (I say "you" in the general sense of "the public"; not you dear reader, oh no) what you apparently want, and now Incredible Hulk is getting flak for having "too much brawn, not enough brains," as one headline I saw put it?

I wasn't expecting The Incredible Hulk to come close to Iron Man in terms of quality; as fun as The Transporter was, director Louis Leterrier is no Jon Favreau. Favreau, who directed Made (one of my favourite movies) and Elf (one of my favourite Christmas movies) before Iron Man, has an understanding of character and story and what makes a great movie. Leterrier made a movie about Jet Li being led around on a dog collar. But Leterrier can construct some really impressive action sequences, and between that fact and a weirdly great cast, all I want out of The Incredible Hulk is the titular character wrecking shit. I'll let you know how good a job I think Marvel and co. did next week.

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A blog about movies, by a guy who probably watches too many.

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