Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 25
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I LOSE MY TEMPER!: Normally Bruce Banner (Ed Norton) is a mild mannered scientist trying desperately to find a way to prevent himself from becoming a fierce, fearsome monster whenever he becomes angry.

The Incredible Hulk: Ed Norton Is Incredible as The Hulk

Kam Williams

Five years ago, The Hulk was brought to the big screen by Ang Lee. However, despite critical acclaim, the Academy Award winning director’s interpretation of the comic book character flopped at the box office. Now, Universal Pictures has decided to go back and reintroduce the Marvel Comics superhero, and to ignore the earlier adaptation of the picture.

The new picture is directed by Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) who has chosen to overhaul the entire cast. Gone are Eric Bana as the title character, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, and Josh Lucas. This version stars Ed Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner, a scientist who was conducting research with gamma rays when something went horribly wrong in the lab.

Via flashbacks we learn that, after he seemingly recovered from the accident, Bruce has a short fuse on his temper and that he is transformed into an invincible green behemoth whenever he fails to control his anger. We also learn that Bruce’s girlfriend Betty (Liv Tyler) was knocked unconscious in the same accident and that, as a result, her father — Army General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) — blames Bruce for his daughter’s injuries.

As the story unfolds, we find that Bruce has run from the authorities in the U.S. and is now working on an assembly line in a Brazilian bottling factory which produces soft drinks. He’s been quietly trying to find a cure for his condition while keeping a low profile.

However, a cut on his finger leads to a bit of his radioactive blood dropping into a container of soda about to be shipped to America. Before you can say “Ay Caramba!” the source of the contaminated crate of soda is traced back to the factory in Brazil and a crack team of Army commandos soon descends on the facility. The mild mannered Banner, who had been incommunicado for almost six months, loses his temper and turns into The Hulk and manages to escape.

He returns to the States and enlists the assistance of Betty, who by now has completely recovered from the accident. However, her dad’s right-hand man, Blonsky (Tim Roth), finds out about their liaison and is on their tail. Worse, Blonsky morphs into a superhuman adversary, called The Abomination, after voluntarily being injected with an experimental radioactive serum.

This development leads to a spectacular showdown in Harlem. At this point, computer generated imagery dominates the screen, with the protagonist and his new opponent knocking each other up and down 125th Street in a special effects driven battle which looks like a cartoon.

With its uncomplicated plot and high impact action sequences, this child-friendly adventure is a perfect summer blockbuster. Look for the closing credits cameo by fellow Marvel superhero Iron Man which suggests that a sequel, which would include him, might be in the works. Also look for a brief tribute appearance by Lou Ferrigno who originated the role of the Hulk on TV, and by the character’s comic book creator, the legendary Stan Lee.

Excellent (4 stars). Rated PG-13 for violence, frightening science-fiction images, and suggestive content. In English and Portuguese with subtitles. Running time: 114 minutes. Studio: Universal Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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