The Incredibly Pretty Good Hulk

Topless Robot Review time, kids! Don?t worry, this is the spoiler-free version. Overall, the Incredible Hulk was pretty darned good. It?s no Iron Man, but there were three solid action scenes and I actually think the final fight in Hulk was better than the final battle in Iron Man. Definitely worth the time and money.

Still want more? Hit the jump for some spoiler-iffic thoughts.

Look, The Incredible Hulk doesn?t have enough wrong with it to warrant an Indiana Jones-sized rant. There were a few things I didn?t like?William Hurt?s General Ross seems totally incompetent, and the Hulk still has like three different scenes of being sad and quiet with Betty Ross?but nothing that broke the bank. Now for the good stuff:

? The action scenes were all solid. The Hulk doing his trademark moves like the ground stomp and sonic clap was awesome. The Hulk ripping up a car and using them as boxing gloves like the last Hulk videogame was extra awesome. The first Hulk appearance was 20 minutes in, incidentally.

? I was going to say that Ed Norton?s Banner seemed totally unlike scientist, but there?s one scene where he puts on his glasses and looks at his own blood in a microscope, and Norton does the scene so well, that it immediately looked like a man who had been doing scientific research for years; it all seemed second nature to him, like he?s made those exact moves a million times. Gotta give it up for Norton.

? Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky was great. His character update as mercenary made a lot of sense (enough for a comic book movie, that is). But Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns was even better; he was the perfect kind of scientific curiosity without heart-crazy. I?m already looking forward to Hulk 2, all because of him.

? I absolutely LOVED the scene where Banner recovers from his first Hulk-out. He?s in some forest (in another country, actually), with torn pants, no money, no memory, no anything. All his research and the meager equipment he had, lost. He literally has nothing. It really conveys the loss of turning into the Hulk, so the transformation actually has consequences. Frankly, I don?t ever recall getting that feeling in the comics. On a side note, I too have experienced the pain of waking up in a different country with no memory and torn pants, so maybe I?m just biased.

? That scene makes me also love the scene where Banner decides to fight the Abomination. He just hopes he can ?aim? the Hulk, to do the right thing. It actually makes Bruce Banner?and thus the Hulk?seem heroic. You know, in the last movie (and the first two fight scenes of this movie) the Hulk was always a reaction to people chasing him, hunting him, etc. At the end of the Incredible Hulk, Banner chose to become the Hulk on purpose to save people. I admit to not having read many of the Hulk comics, but this was the first time I really got the sense of Hulk as a hero, not just that Frankenstein/Jekyll & Hyde hybrid that?s always on the run. I thought it was hella neat.

? And yes, the final fight scene was much between than the Iron Man/Iron Monger tussle, in my opinion. Hulk and the Abomination beat the living shit out of each other, and despite being all CGI, it looks pretty great. Even better, the two fight like wild animals, constantly leaping onto each other, tossing each other off, whirling around looking for the best advantage. It was just like I would think two living ids would fight.

So yeah, overall, good shit. Go see it. And if you haven?t yet, don?t bother staying through the credits; there?s nothing waiting. Oh, and despite all the bullshit you might have heard about there being a Captain America cameo, there?s not. But more on that later.