Ang Lee's Hulk is a film I can appreciate for sections but overall there are just too many things wrong with it to really recommend it to any to watch. in brief the were some things about it I really liked, the scene transitions done comic style, the action when Bana hulks out (throwing tanks) but the bad far out weighs it, phantom Nolte is just unforgivable and it takes so long for anything to happen. With this in mind I was looking forward to a better hulk film and simply put that was what I got.
The plot follows as a cross between a reboot and a sequel, there is no new origin story made but it does not necessarily follow the Ang Lee film. Anyway the film follows David Bana who is hiding from the US government in Brazil while trying to find a cure for the radiation experiment gone wrong that created the Hulk. Meanwhile General Ross is desperately trying to hunt him down to study the Hulk so as to create the super soldier.
I liked Eric Bana as David Bana in the original Hulk and while Edward Norton does a good job I do not think he does a better performance as the character. He just seems a bit vacant at times and not really believable as being able to survive on the run from a major world wide man hunt. At times I thought he looked ill and could be easily broken, now that may be how the character is meant to be but was not believable for me. Norton did do a good job with what he had to work with and the science parts I could see him playing the scientist well.
William Hurt again did a good General Ross however I still think that Sam Elliot did a better job, but again this might just be that I like Sam Elliot in every role I have ever seen him in. Ross was however the strongest character in my opinion and I would rather have just watched a General Ross movie than a Hulk movie. His characters obsession with finding the Hulk and not caring about anything else was interesting and I would have like to have seen more behind his motivation.
The final character I liked was Tim Roth's Emil Blonsky again I found him and his motivation far more interesting than Bana's. He was brought in as a combat expert and as the film went on he becomes obsessed with becoming a better soldier and getting back the edge he had as a younger man.
The pace of the film moves well and when it does slow down there is an action set piece just around the corner to punch up the pace again. In all there are three main action scenes here and each one is good but for me the best was the middle one where Bana hulks out and just starts tearing Hummers and Apache Helicopters apart. The action moved well and did make the film worth seeing. There were a few bits where the ridiculous went too far but this being a comic based film you cannot blame it for being stupid at times.
I did not however like Liv Tyler here, i do not know why but in this her voice really annoyed me and I did not like her talking. I did not really see much of a connection between her and Norton and just generally when she was on screen the film ground to a halt and since towards the last third of the film she is there quite a bit she does murder the pace. There were a few scenes I could have done without to tighten up the film, a few at the beginning in Brazil between Bana and his local work colleagues and some of Bana and Betty toward the end. There were a few jokes now and again but I thought due to the lack of chemistry they fell a little flat.
Some people will want to watch this for Robert Downey Jr's cameo as Tony Stark and yes he is there but I have very little to add to that statement. He arrives mentions the avenger initiative to General Ross and then the film ends. It was an extra bit of entertainment and in this scene the jokes do work but not worth viewing just for this scene.
In conclusion it think I have discovered that the way to make a Hulk film is to concentrate on the people hunting him as they are more interesting than the Hulk character. That being said this is a very entertaining film with good action set pieces and some good performances and a few annoying ones but overall a good time.