The Incredible Hulk

Rated 4.0

It’s the Hulk. It’s pretty simple. His alter-ego, scientist Bruce Banner (played here by Edward Norton) gets mad (or more accurately, his heart rate accelerates to 200 bps) then the gamma radiation in his body makes him get huge and green. Thankfully, this live-action version is kept really simple, too. Screenwriter Zak Penn (the last two X-Men, Fantastic Four) and first-time director Louis Leterrier have created three extended action sequences and strung them together with a Fugitive-like one-step-ahead-of-his-pursuers cat-and-mouse game. That’s it. The joy here is in how thoroughly those three action scenes deliver. The opener, and probably the best of the three big scenes, moves through the maze of a hillside Brazilian favela (shantytown) to the quickening pace of the beeping heart monitor on Banner’s wrist, while the military that is bent on reclaiming its human weapon gives chase. The colors are all rust and sweat, and the tension of the chase mounts until, well, smashy, smashy. Judged against other comic-book films, The Incredible Hulk earns a slam-dunk 5-out-of-5—against all films of the action genre, it’s a solid 4. It all depends on your expectations.