Marvel's 'Incredible Hulk' Beefy But Doesn't Satisfy Critic Kenneth Turan says Marvel Entertainment's resurrection of The Incredible Hulk is solid and efficient, if not particularly adventurous. And it has a problem ending.
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Marvel's 'Incredible Hulk' Beefy But Doesn't Satisfy

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Marvel's 'Incredible Hulk' Beefy But Doesn't Satisfy

Review

Movies

Marvel's 'Incredible Hulk' Beefy But Doesn't Satisfy

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now, from tiny bacteria discovered 20 years ago to a giant green superhero arriving on movie screens today. Here's MORNING EDITION and Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan with a review of "The Incredible Hulk."

KENNETH TURAN: If you've ever gotten angry, I mean really angry, you feel a kinship with the Incredible Hulk. First he gets mad, then he turns green, and then he gets even, flattening everything in sight.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Incredible Hulk")

TURAN: The people at Marvel Entertainment have brought the monster from the id back to the big screen in a film that's solid and efficient, if not particularly adventurous. Ed Norton plays scientist and Hulk alter ego Bruce Banner. When the film opens, he's hiding out in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, avoiding the prying eyes of the obsessed U.S. Army general who wants to take him prisoner.

Also on the Hulk's trail is a British commando played by Tim Roth. Once this guy gets a glimpse of the Hulk's power, he decides to do whatever it takes so he can transform into a monster as well. That leads to an inevitable confrontation between the Hulk and a beast they call the Abomination.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Incredible Hulk")

Mr. TIM ROTH (Actor): (as the Abomination) Is that all you've got?

TURAN: Norton is good at playing Banner's ambivalence, but when computer imagery turns Banner into the Hulk, the actor's not involved. That transformation is initially entertaining, but seeing someone who has muscles where other people can't even imagine muscles is not endlessly fascinating.

The movie also has a problem ending. Rather than go to the trouble of crafting a dramatically satisfying conclusion, "The Incredible Hulk" blows the audience off by ending with what is essentially a shameless trailer for the next Marvel movie. You can almost hear the producers snickering, see you next time, suckers.

Not if we can help it.

INSKEEP: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

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