The film does an excellent job of both ignoring the first failure of a film while at the same time picking up where it left off. Assuming that the audience knows enough about the character that they don’t need to re-tread much beyond some flashback snippets during the opening credit roll; Hulk starts of with the clear intent of being a much more interesting film than the first.
The action scenes are much more action-y this time around which was nice to see, and unexpected. I don’t know too much about the Hulk really, but I don’t find the King-Kong rampage fighting to be all that impressive anymore. Seeing Hulk fight more than just smash was a breath of fresh air. (Though at one point he claps his hands to put out a fire and the whole audience groaned.) There where some serious pacing issues between the action and the downtime that where noticeable after a while too.
Despite being a visually intense movie when it wants to be, there’s something not right about seeing the Hulk 100% CG, and the fact that it bares no resemblance to Edward Norton once he goes green is a definite miss on the design team’s end. When he’s actually on the screen however, Norton does a pretty decent job at playing the troubled Dr. Bruce Banner, but nothing particularly stellar when compared to the Christian Bail’s and Downey Jr.’s we will see this summer. If we are handing out awards for cheesy acting though then good old Lou Ferrigno wins for his cameo. Man that guy loves ‘roids.Unfortunately, as with Iron-Man the buildup and character establishment was slightly marred by the fact that the final clash was a tad lackluster and pretty much boiled down to a good version of something fighting a bad version. The additional scenes that follow do allow for some interesting growth for future Marvel movies though, and are going to win lots of fanboy points. All in all it was a solid and entertaining film despite its pacing issues and the fact that it is largely a retread of sorts, albeit a much better attempt than the last.