Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hulk Smash!

I’ve mentioned here before how I am, without question, the world’s biggest Incredible Hulk fan.

When I say “biggest”, I don’t mean “fattest”, either. I mean I am a super fan. The Hulk has always been my favorite superhero. I remember my dad giving me a dollar a week’s allowance as a kid, and I would run to the local 7-11 and pick up 4 comic books back when they were 25 cents. I would always make sure that the Hulk was one of them.

Anyway, I’m not a kid anymore, but I still make it a point to collect the Hulk. It took an incredible amount of hunting (since it was pre-internet), but by going to literally hundreds of comic book stores, flea markets, and garage sales, I’ve managed over the years to get a complete collection of The Incredible Hulk, dating back from 1968 to today.
Listen, I’m a fan, ok?

Anyway, It was with mixed emotions that I dragged myself Sunday morning for my own Father’s Day present, and took myself to see the new Hulk movie. I say it was with mixed emotions, because a few years ago, I took myself with “High” emotions to see the FIRST Hulk movie, and after sitting through THAT steaming pile of poo for 2 hours, I didn’t expect to see another Hulk movie in my lifetime.

But another Hulk movie DID get made, after all.

And you know what? It’s good!

Don’t get me wrong, The Incredible Hulk isn’t going to win any academy awards, but, much in the same vein as the recent Iron Man, I thought, especially for a comic book geek like myself, this movie kicked a fair amount of ass.

The entire cast of the first movie has been replaced, and mostly for the better. Out goes the statue-like Eric Bana as Bruce Banner from the first movie, replaced with one of my man-crushes, Ed Norton. He did a great job playing the tortured scientist-turned-monster.

I would have rather they retained Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross from the first movie, over Liv Tyler, but for what it’s worth, Liv did just fine. I also thought William Hurt, as the new General Ross, was an improvement over Sam Elliot from the first film.

And I just LOVE how they tied the movie in closely with some other marvel projects. In the comics, these characters are so tightly interwoven, that one character is always showing up in another one’s book. In the movies thus far, however, these characters have always had the world unto themselves.

But starting with last month’s Iron Man, which made preludes to Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., so too does Hulk make a tie in to Iron Man and the upcoming Avengers movie, with Robert Downey himself showing up towards the end of the film.

Add to that some cameos by future Hulk villain The Leader, Doc Sampson, and Jim Wilson, and they made it pretty clear that there are most definitely plans for a HULK 3.

And that suits this fanboy just fine.

My one gripe is that I would have liked to see a smidgeon more action, but it’s really a minor complaint. If you liked Iron Man (and shame on you if you didn’t), then you need to run out and see The Incredible Hulk as well.

But you still can’t borrow my old comics…..

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