Big, green beasts have made for good box office in recent years and Marvel's latest big screen incarnation in the form of 'The Incredible Hulk' is unlikely to be any different. But is it any use? Well, yes. Parts of this movie work really well and, luckily, those are the important parts. The pieces that fall down won't spoil your enjoyment of this too much.
Bruce Banner (Norton) seems like a normal guy. He's hard-working and keeps his head down to stay out of trouble in the bottling plant where he works in Brazil. He leads a lonely existence, seemingly by choice. But there's more to Banner than meets the eye and his green blood would go a long way towards explaining that.
So far his anger management has been keeping his green streak at bay since he fled his home to try to live a normal life. But security forces are about to close in on him, forcing Banner to go on the run again and causing his heart-rate to soar, unleashing his alter-ego. Heading up the charge to hunt down Banner are General Ross (Hurt) and his right-hand-man Blonsky (Roth), whose desire to overcome the Hulk becomes a dangerous obsession, resulting in the birth of the Abomination. Conspiring to help the green one is Betty Ross (Tyler), his one-time love, who has never forgotten him, despite their time apart. Also in the green corner is Samuel Sterns (Nelson), who thinks he may have found the cure for the gamma radiation that has poisoned Banner's bloodcells.
Romance, action and a promise of the unexpected move this film along at a relatively quick speed. Norton, although seeming an unlikely protagonist, is believable and also manages to pull in sympathy. Tyler, however, isn't inspiring as his sweetheart – whiney girlfriend, with a father who doesn't approve and a boyfriend who is in danger... hmmm we've never seen her playing that character before. Hurt holds his own as her cold-hearted father with an evil streak but Roth falls short as the Hulk's nemesis.
The action sequences are well-developed and entertaining, with the might of the Hulk really brought to life convincingly, and the transformation from man to beast executed well. And, while character development and subplots could have been further delved into, the movie remains watchable throughout. Unfortunately, the mood rarely shifts for the duration, with random chaos and violence emerging as what it's all about, much as you'd expect. The complexity of human emotions that the Hulk endures are never really explored at any length, which could have given the movie more depth. But most likely you're not looking for a deep connection with a movie like this. You're looking for action, mayhem and explosions and those you'll get.