The Incredible Hulk, 79%, C+, 3.5 Stars.
While it doesn’t suffer from the problems a shared universe movie can have and remains focused on Banner’s story, the second foray into the MCU is more average fare than Iron Man, but is not awful.
-Pacing 7/10: The movie moves along. It’s not too long, but it does take about half the movie to see the Hulk in his full glory. To the credit of the writing team, the origin story is told in the opening credits with no dialogue and all the visual cues we need.
-Coherence 7/10: The plot makes sense, but there are some holes like “wouldn’t the flash drive get digested by the time Bruce barfed it out?” It’s not bad, but it does feel very generic.
-Relatability 8/10: Bruce’s struggle with anger is something I think would be very relatable because nobody’s perfect with their tempers. The only difference is that he’ll turn into the Hulk if he surpasses 200 BPM. As for his wanting it out, I’m sure there’s someone out there who will relate to that.
-Development 8/10: Edward Norton does not have RDJ’s charm or anything else really to add beyond “I’m the Hulk.” He’s developed well as a guy on the run, but I think this movie makes it clear why Norton was recast for Avengers: he’s just too wooden in the role.
As for Abomination, the villain, he’s just kind of there, making him on the bad side of MCU bad guys. The best ones are those with a personal connection to the main hero, and the worst ones are those with only superficial connections, if they even go that far.
-Visual Believability 6/10: The CGI on this film aged worse than the first Iron Man’s CGI. The Hulk itself looks believable, but looking at the version from Avengers and Ragnarok, it just doesn’t age well. The climactic final battle also looks cartoonish, but that’s about the worst of it.
-Purposeful Content 9/10: Everything advances the story. The origin wasn’t critical to show, but they stylized it well.
-Emotional Resonance 7/10: The soundtrack just felt kind of there, nothing really extraordinary to it.
-Appropriate Use 7/10: See above section.
-Appropriate Humor 10/10: There weren’t over-the-top distracting jokes, but not so devoid of humor that it just becomes boring. I liked the nod to the comic book pants, and all the humor came naturally.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10: The naughtiest of content was when Bruce and Betty started making love, but Bruce had to stop to avoid turning into the Hulk. That scene showed how his condition affected his ability to function, and was edgy in the way Disney probably won’t allow in an Incredible Hulk 2.
The Incredible Hulk is the not-so-incredible second entry in the MCU. It’s not bad, but it’s just not up to the highest MCU standards, and that bar was set pretty high by the first Iron Man. Unless you’re a canon nerd like I am, I’d recommend not losing sleep over not seeing it, but if you need to kill time, it’s out there.
-1 = That Bad
- Really Bad
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars