June 11th, 2012

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Edward Norton: The Incredible Hulk

Hearing about Edward Norton being cast as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk left me with equal parts excitement and confusion. And some skepticism as well, but that's usually a given with any superhero movie since they can hit just about anywhere on the spectrum. But I was excited to see my favorite actor venture into this world, especially because I had high hopes for him cleaning up a misfired franchise. But I was also confused because I never woulda pegged him for the type.

The consensus at the time was that it was a vast improvement over Eric Bana's venture helmed by Ang Lee, but something was still a bit off. Mark Ruffalo and Joss Whedon's Avengers taught us how to do the big guy right. Watching this now, I still cant put my finger on why this wasn't as successful. I just remember having a general "meh" feeling on the subject.

I guess there is a bit too much desperation in Bruce. You dont see much to his character other than panicky reaction. Some more depth would have been nice. I also never bought his chemistry with Liv Tyler's Betty Ross, but then again, I've noticed on this project that he seems to have trouble in that area. Norton apparently did a lot of uncredited rewrite work on the script. His final cut wasn't entirely kept, but much of the details were. I'd be curious to see how it'd have turned out if it were fully his.

Mmm yeah now I see some of the problem. Hulk still looks too plastic. Not quite the Macys Day Parade balloon that he was back in 2003, and at least he's a slightly more manageable size, but CGI still hadn't quite caught up yet. The realistic detail is there, but the texture is off. He could be a bit smaller too. The whole conservation of mass thing bugs my inner nerd. Oh who am I kidding. My nerd is by no means inner.