The Incredible Hulk – Disneycember

Sure it’s better than Ang Lee’s film, but does that actually make it good? Doug takes a look at The Incredible Hulk.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Edward Norton is good actor but I didn’t like him as Bruce Banner/Hulk. I think that Mark Ruffalo did better job in Avengers. Then again him being less moby version did also help.

    • Yeah, I agree. The problem is that I never saw him as Bruce Banner but as Edward Norton the whole time.

      And I think Mark Ruffalo truly plays the role better. The way he avoids looking other people directly in the face, how his whole body language screams “I don’t want any confrontation!”. Norton never hit this, he was just the everyday guy walking down the street.

    • Agreed. Mark Ruffalo’s Banner-Hulk was way better in so many ways. Plus, he had the ultimate line. ‘Puny God’.

    • I think a big problem with both Hulk movies is that the film makers seem to think that the Hulk being a giant rage monster means that Bruce Banner has to be, as a counterpoint, super mild mannered and very, very dull. In the Incredible Hulk the scenes featuring pre-Abomination Blonsky are so much better than the Banner scenes because he’s an actual character who changes over the course of the film.

  2. The Scarlet Ninja

    THANK YOU for that “take notes new Spider-man reboot” text! Everyone I know agrees that’s how it should be done!

    • I couldn’t agree more. I for one am tired of seeing multiple versions of the same old origin stories. Any franchise reboot that is done before the corpse of the last film has gotten cold should dispense with the hero’s origin and get on to something different.

  3. I think Doug walked in/watched this movie for the wrong reasons, but to each his own.

    personally this is one of my favorite movies of all time, but explaining it would take way too long and I don’t feel like doing so.

    In short I like this Hulk > the Avengers Hulk

    If only we got a second one with the same actors, I really love this movie

  4. What hated the most in all the live action hulks movies (avengers included) is that they make him out to be a mindless uncontrollably monster. Yes in the comic’s he like that a lot of the times. But a lot of other times he shows clean signs of intelligents. Maybe not as smart as other characters but still have at least average human intelligents. That why I like the the 90s cartoon hulk and Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes best and would like to see that version of the hulk on the big screen.

    • You hit the nail on the head and I 100% agree, people need to realize the Hulk isn’t just a mindles rage monster, he is capable of thinking and being reasoned with, he only gets to be really uncontrollable when he’s pushed and made angrier, I always viewed the Hulk kind of like a little kid trapped in this giant super strong body, for the most part he’s alright not super smart, but he just wants to do what he wants and people to live him alone, but like with a small child he can’t control his emotions and the madder he gets the more unresonable he becomes, that’s why I like the Ruffalo Hulk in the Avengers movies he’s not unreasonable he actually takes an order from Captain America, he understood when Loki was insulting him and he even came up with a comeback, and he had a tiny bro moment with Thor and punched him on the shoulder, and in Ultron after his mind clears of the mind control you can see how devistated and hurt he is about what he did

    • I absolutely disagree. Making the Hulk intelligent is the fastest way to make him boring to me. The Hulk is interesting because of Banner and vice versa, you can’t separate them any more than you could Jekyll and Hyde. Banner is an interesting character BECAUSE he has all this anger inside him that just wants to smash the world to pieces, yet he makes the CHOICE to avoid fighting and keep his rage in check. For that same reason, the Hulk is an interesting Superhero because he is an unstoppable force of nature that could win every single fight, but he is born of rage and can very easily hurt others, even when he doesn’t want to, and that weakness makes him a clever subversion of the typical power-fantasy. Too many versions make the mistake of separating Banner from the Hulk by making the latter intelligent, which misses the entire point of the character. The Hulk IS Banner, but he is the parts that Banner doesn’t like about himself, which doesn’t include intelligence, yet he directs them into something positive.


    Why does everyone keep saying this Hulk movie is a sequel to the Ang Lee one?, it’s not. It’s not technically a reboot it is an actual reboot. The opening credits has him in that chair with the gamma radiation scanning him or something just like in the Lou Feriggno Tv series, where as the other movie he was standing up. There are many other explanations like Glenn Talbot being killed but he’s alive and well on Agents of Shield. I don’t wanna go into a lot more things right now but if you don’t believe me then go on wikipedia or something and find out.

  6. Spider-Man. He’s not Bill Spiderman from down the street. He’s Spider *-* Man. There’s a hyphen.

  7. Will you be reviewing any of the Marvel TV shows? Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones?

  8. There was a point, around 1996-2002, where Norton could have been a pretty good choice for Bruce Banner. Unfortunately, he’d lost all of that necessary suppressed rage by the 2003-now era. Now, as far as this movie? Yeah, this is the worst of the MCU movies to date. Yeah, I know people rag on Iron Man 2 (and it is the worst SCRIPTED of the MCU movies), but at least in that one the actors are well cast, bringing it, and trying to elevate their soggy, by the standards of this mega-franchise, script. Why they’re specifically bringing William Hurt back for Civil War (he’s a good actor, but I understand why someone played by Sam Elliott gets the nickname Thunderbolt in a way I just don’t understand how someone played by Hurt does) I may never know. Also: Speaking of the Civil War trailer (and this is something that’s nagged at me even from the first watch), but doesn’t the implication that there’s no lawyer in the room (Black Widow, Falcon, Cap and General Ross as far as we’re shown) for the Sokovia Accords scene strike anyone as VERY off? I mean, (since no one knew what the reaction to Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock would be when they were planning this and the film and TV branches don’t really get along) isn’t this EXACTLY the moment where you’d expect them to introduce Jen Walters? Even if she never goes green in the movie, that’s a natural, fun for the fans moment, and doesn’t make pro-reg come off as the kind of sketch-bags that would expect non-lawyers to start to read a dense legal document, get cross-eyed and sign off on what’s in there without actually understanding what’s in it.

    • Most likely because he is a convenient character to use. We already know that his morals are questionable, so there is no need to establish that in a new character, which leaves more time for everyone else.

      And I am not sure if the Movie and TV branches really don’t get along. Feige and Perlmutter don’t and he is the guy with the purse. But the one who, I guess, is the Kevin Feige of the TV shows is actually Loeb. And there were never rumours that he and Feige don’t get along. Plus, Feige hinted recently that there will be some sort of crossover from TV shows to movies at some point.

      • I’m less talking, “why bring back General Thunderbolt Ross”, (I kind of get that part for the reason you mentioned), I mean “why bring back THIS ACTOR as General Thunderbolt Ross.” It’s been eight years and he wasn’t a great fit to begin with, so why not re-cast?

      • Also, even if the “not getting along” thing isn’t true, the movie side wasn’t going to plan any sort of crossover with any of the TV shows to the films before they knew what people thought about the shows and the characters within. (Civil War started filming just over two weeks after Daredevil premiered, so preparations were starting well before they could even gauge reaction to Charlie Cox.) And including that scene concept makes the complete lack of a lawyer role strange. Even if they never go THERE, I’m kind of disappointed they didn’t think of including Jen Walters in some capacity.

  9. Three Degrees of Bacon

    Oh come on! You didn’t even mention how awesome the Hulk’s police car brass knuckles were!

  10. My personal theory is that the first two-thirds of the film are great but the third act is underwhelming. It’s not hard to see why.

    First act: Bruce looks for answers while trying and failing to stay out of trouble, interacting with a pretty girl (the Spanish factory worker who helps him escape the bad guys), and finally turning into the Hulk.

    Second act: Bruce looks for more answers while trying and failing to stay out of trouble, aided by his pretty ex-girlfriend who helps him escape the bad guys, and finally turning into the Hulk.

    Third act: Bruce finds some of his answers while trying and failing to stay out of BIG trouble, aided by his sort of ex girlfriend who helps him as he defeats the bad Hulk. Oh, and he turns into the Hulk.

    When they repeat the same formula three times in the same film it’s no wonder that the end is underwhelming. This film definitely should have been changed up the last act. That being said, it’s my favorite Marvel film, well loved despite its many flaws. Those first two-thirds have always been very personal for me and I’m glad this movie exists.

  11. Frankly I still prefer Ang Lee’s take on it.

    Also, too bad the trailers spoiled that whole after-credits sequence. Kinda took away from the impact for me.

  12. I honestly had a lot of fun watching this in the theater. The film not only exceeded my expectations on how entertaining and better written it was than the original, but during the many of the action sequences, particularly when we see our first good look at the Hulk when he jumps out of the glass window bridge, the audience went enormously wild with cheers and applause. So that already was far better in contrast to the overall experience of seeing the original in theaters. In a way, the film is essentially a spiritual sequel to the original since the ending of the original shows Bruce Banner in South America as part of a refugee, and the first act of this film taking place in Brazil.

    Really the only thing that disappointed me was the opening backstory. Now I didn’t necessarily hated what they did for opening up the movie with. The backstory itself was well executed, short, and told exactly what the audience needed to know to catch everyone up to speed on how the characters ended up where they were in the story. It was a nicely handled character introduction during the film’s opening credits.

    The issue I had with it was the fact that this is the exact same origin story, both visually and narratively, that was originally invented for The 1978 Incredble Hulk TV series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno right down to the mechanical chair he sits in. Admittedly, that show was indeed very well made for its time, and is considered one of the greatest comic book superhero TV shows ever created. But the reason the show specifically made up that origin story was because it was a TV show from the late seventies, and they didn’t have the budget to make an elaborate nuclear weapons testing facility in the desert that the comic book’s origin story took place in.

    So when it came time to reboot the film franchise, this would have been the perfect opportunity to portray the original comic book origin in a big budget film. Because it’s an awesomely epic story involving Bruce Banner perform a selfless act of heroism; in which right as the countdown for the test of an atomic weapon is about to go off, an innocent teenage bystander named Rick Jones mistakenly enters the area and right when Bruce Banner pushes Rick inside a bunker to save him, the bomb goes off, and Banner is immediately exposed to the gamma radiation that transforms him.

  13. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I don’t get why people are getting so relied up over them portraying the incredible hulk(but then again I understand and at least in age of ultron they portrayed that he had some feelings so I guess that’s good). Next up is iron man 2 which I’m very interested to hear your opinion about so that will be cool.

  14. I don’t think that I’ve ever liked a Hulk movie. Also, I didn’t know that this movie came after Iron Man. O.O

  15. Yeah, there needs to not be another Hulk Movie for close to two decades, just to let the bad taste from these two to settle down and let people wash out the bad taste, same thing with Thor. They go a good line up with the cast but the problem is you CAN’T make a good Hulk Movie without it getting tiresome, repetitive, and boring, man turns into hulk, hulk smashes things, hulk turns back into the man who regrets what he did as the Hulk, no repeat that 2 or 3 more times. Probably the ONLY one I’ve seen that isn’t like that was Planet Hulk and even then THAT is boring because all you see is hulk smash, and smash, and smash some more until he has literally smashed his way through everything in the movie and it just feels like padding. Keep in Mind, Disney didn’t buy all of the Marvel franchises, Fox and Sony bought up a few as well like Spiderman and X-Men, and while Sony/Fox has had a few bombs and misses (Spiderman 3, Daredevil, Amazing Spiderman, Amazing Spiderman 2, X-men 3, X-men Origings Wolverine, X-Men The Wolverine, ALL THREE FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIES!) they have also had their fair share of jewels and Gems (Spiderman, Spiderman 2, X-men, X-2, X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past) making their ratio of good to bad nearly 1:2.
    Disney Marvel on the other hand, Lets count the movies that were actually good (Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger) versus the ones that were ok (Avengers, Iron Man 2, Guardians of the galaxy) for one watch and one watch only and the ones that are bad and repetitive full of things we’ve seen thousands of times before to the point we could literally be blindfolded and know what is going on or just had poor story telling. (The Incredible Hulk, Avengers 2, Thor, Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America 2), that’s a 1:1.5 ratio of good to ok, a 1:3 ratio of good to bad, and a 1:5 ratio of good to everything else. I haven’t seen Ant-Man yet so I have no opinion, but honestly I have given up on Marvel producing a decent movie any more, especially since after the Avengers made such a big splash(Like a gigantic under prepared half digested fermented turd hitting the toilet water after it ejected from the Anus hard and fast enough to cause bleeding) they realized they didn’t have to put any effort into making the movies to rake in large profits because while some people will praise the first Avengers, I guarantee none of them have watched it more than three times because honestly after the second time you pretty much stop caring about it at all and allot of problems shine through to the audience showing that it was rushed that many things were left out, lots of stupid decisions were made, and honestly it’s a very sloppy film, Disney knew it was sloppy and had little effort put into it but rushed to put it out anyways to make the fans happy and when it began breaking records in ticket sales they couldn’t help but stop and say “Well, we put hardly any effort into that and we got lots of money, same thing with Thor, so why are we wasting time and money on effort when we can literally put anything out and make huge profit from it”
    Sorry for the rant, but finding good Marvel movies is like trying to find whole corn Kernals in a fresh pile of dung.

  16. I don’t know if anyone’s said it yet, but the “other Hulk” is called Abomination.

  17. I actually enjoyed this movie when I saw it back to back with Ironman in the theater. What I will say about the villain and the serums is that you really get more of an understanding of it in Captain America. The serum would not only enhance your physical capabilities but it would bring out more of your true self. So, when his character ended up getting the serums it did make him crazy in that he wanted to beat the Hulk, he wanted that kind of power for himself.

    With regards to the Blake Nelson’s character, I believe he would have become “Leader” but because they never really made a Hulk sequel we never got to see him. I suppose that option is still on the table. Though if Marvel already has all their films planned out up until the Infinity Wars then we may not see anything of him until after that.


    • Aw you beat me to it (The Leader part)

      In other media, they come to the conclusion that Gamma radiation mutates male’s outsides to resemble their mental state and females to resemble their internal ideal self (probably just an easy out for artists that want to draw a pretty girl)

  18. I agree with you on some major points- the action is competently shot, but nothing special. The effects (at the time) were good, but not amazing. The plot was standard, but not boring. Tim Blake Nelson owns this movie.

    But I disagree- that Norton was good here; he’s awkward as Banner, never fully becoming the character, that this is better than Ang Lee’s “Hulk” (that film is misunderstood and amazing), and this was actually released only a slightly over one month after “Iron Man”, which meant that stinger with Downey was before “Iron Man” rightfully catapulted him back to the top.

    Finally, I am amazed you did not mention the one thing that makes this movie the worst MCU movie to date (“Iron Man 2” is flawed, but good, and is third worst; second is “Thor: The Dark World”)- casting. Every other MCU movie has had excellent casting, in terms of the actors’ chemistry and rapport, so even when the script lags a bit, there is still an element that buoys it up to better than expected. However, a miscast Liv Tyler and Edward Norton share anti-chemistry. Their scenes together distinctly lack passion (something Lee’s version had a ton of), and they seem immensely bored by each other’s company. Since the entire plot is kickstarted by Norton’s Banner’s burning love for and intense need to see Tyler’s Betty Ross again, this destroys any dramatic arc and investment the audience has in the stakes. This makes the movie become a series of not bad CGI fighting ohter not terrible CGI creations. Fun sure, but great? Hell no. Not even really good. Merely passable.

  19. My perfect Hulk film would be the Ang Lee version with Mark Ruffalo playing Banner, and with better special effects. Lee’s Hulk was basically what the latest Fantastic Four tried to be but the former succeeded and the latter one was the true mistake.

  20. The other monster was named Abomination… and he was Yellow.

  21. There’s this little moment during his fight with Abomination, they’ve been exchanging blows for a while, got buried under some debris, and Hulk pulls himself out from under it. Then he sees the debris behind him stirring and, he sighs. You know, that rolling your eyes, slumping your shoulders, “ugh, I thought I was done but I still got shit to do” sigh. I never thought I’d see that moment where The Incredible Hulk gets TIRED OF FIGHTING for even a moment, but damn it was such a spectacle. It was actually quite humanizing, the very moment where Hulk stops being a rage monster that smashes everything and becomes a big green person.

  22. Mark Ruffalo is good and all but I maintain for him to truly prove he’s a good Bruce Banner/Hulk he has to do a solo movie. It’s all well and good being good when you’re in an ensemble cast. It’s different when you’re the sole main character

  23. you know there’s a bit of a paradox. I like werewolves but I hate werewolf movies.

    I think it’s because most werewolf movies concentrate too much on their human side and dealing psychologically with being a murdrer againsst your will, and not enough on “GRRRRR”. That’s fine for vampires, vampires actually use psyhology and mind controll and everything is either an alagory for sex or literally is sex. But werewolves? No, no, werewolves are just pure violence.

    • The human to wolf transformation is kind of an essential part of what a werewolf is. If all you want is a beast tearing things up you could just as easily replace it with some other monster.

  24. I actually quite like that movie.

  25. The most interesting point about the HULK story is missing in both films, and if they want to make another standalone HULK movie with Ruffalo (if they get the distribution rights back from Universal I think) they have to address it. The most interesting thing about this hero is, that not only is Bruce Banner afraid of the HULK but the green ragemonster is afraid of Banner. A good standalone HULK movie would need to capture that to be amazing. And yes, Banner is an interesting point to focus on, but to be honest, there was very little HULK in the HULK movies. With my point in mind, you can give the green dude a little more screen time without just having him smash things.

  26. Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I remember the final fight between Hulk and Abomination to be really well done.

  27. That scientist that mutates at the end of the movie is called Samuel Sterns, in the comics he is a villain called the Leader.

    He was probably meant to appear again in a sequel, but the sequel never came, he appears in a tie-in comic to the movies showing what happens next, but he is just arrested by Black Widow and is currently in custody.

  28. Sure this movie has problems, but better then Ang Lee’s Hulk is the only argument it needs.

  29. The one thing I liked was that the scene of Bruce in the chair is almost shot for shot like the TV version from the late 70s, where David Banner experiments on himself and bam, Hulk. But if memory serves, the Ang Lee version was completely different.

    In that one, Bruce was in a test chamber with a device made to cut off nano machines, when he got zapped by a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Note the difference right there, the Ang Lee version was a bit more dead on, where both Bruces from the comic were turned into the hulk by a nuclear accident, while in the Incredible Hulk reboot here, he has himself radiated deliberately, just like the TV version.

    But then it broke from that and went straight to Hulk Smash, and it’s almost like it was saying the Ang Lee version never happened, and no Hulks came between now, and 1978.

  30. I guess you’re not reviewing the 2003 Ang Lee film. I just watched “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” a few days ago. Great movie! I personally liked this and the 2003 film. They’re probably the weakest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. Still, they’re nowhere near terrible.

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