as the title suggests is superior to its 2004 iteration which was simply titled Hulk.
Where the first movie bogged itself down with a depressingly dull plotline most would already know the key points to for the better half of the film, this installment gets most of it out of the way in its opening credits. It's almost as if the film itself is saying "yeah yeah, we all know, get to the point".
I recently viewed Jeremy Parish's Metal Gear Solid 4 review (daffyphack surely hates this blog already) where he believed somewhere in the middle of that game a flip was switched going from %20 narrative/%80acton to %80 narrative/%20 action. While no where near as drastic a change (it's more like %60/%40) the same switch was flipped between Hulk and Incredible Hulk so that the latter delivered more CGI coolness.
That's not to say it's a totally brain dead movie.... ok, it's not remotely intellectually stimulating either but it provides pretty much the balance of braininess you'd expect from a summer action film.
Of course, what it lacks in nuerological stimulus it makes up for in emotional connections the audience feels to the main character David (not "Bruce", movies.com has an interesting note on how that name was "too gay") Banner (Ed Norton) and his lovebird (Liv Tyler) through the excellently simplistic acting provided by them.
The human counterpart of Hulk is at once sympathetic and peaceful, while being completely steadfast in his want to destroy the enraging Gamma substance. He sells this more with his eyes than his words, always seeming sincerely wanting to be rid of his sickness, let alone much of any irrational behavior. And of course Liv Tyler is beautiful as always and the two have great chemistry. As a matter of fact you genuinely feel for the guy both when you're rooting for the form he doesn't like becoming and when he can't get too excited for his girlfriend because of ... well, a giant green unspeakable's power (poor guy).
Then again, maybe it's because his enemy is such an asshole in every way. General Ross pretty much creates every problem in the film and then attempts to solve it the same ineffective way every time. Even the more detrimental tactic that actually gets close to working was thougt up by an underling and you have to wonder how high he's ranked that no one takes him aside and says "look dumbass, no anger no problem, and it seems a bit unstable to use for supersoldiers who can take orders".
The film feels a hell of a lot shorter than Ang Lee's interpretation which is a good thing cause that movie felt longer than the LotR series. That's probably because the action sequences are satisfying and peppered in enough so we don't get bored and not overbearing so we at least have a storyline to ramp up the tension.
That being said, I actually thought the ending to Ang Lee's film was more epic and satisfying than the final Incredible fight, but then again that was more or less the only thing right with that film... at least I assume so cause that'sall of that film I bothered to remember save for how dumb the poodles were and the actually-kinda-cool comic panel art-movie design.
Still, the final fight is very satisfying, certainly vastly more so than Iron Man's very similar "boss fight of an equal" concept. You really feel the clash of two titans, even when those titans are essentially playing an extending version of David and Goliath (where one is just a bit weaker and utilizes tools with viscerally awesome results).
It's a much tighter package than the previous installment, edited just right to keep the audience intrigued by violence but admittedly not as epic or intellectually stimulating as some superior Marvel movie fare. In other words, it's exactly the revamp you expected and you could have stopped reading at "%60/%40 flip switch" and gotten the gist of this review. Don't you feel cheated?
For the opposite viewpoint of the same films, see Roger Ebert's review.
The wierd thing is I'm absolutely in agreement with him on everything he sees in this film (save for the "City of God" shot which was beautiful but wasn't overly long and didn't outweigh every other shot like he says) yet completely on the opposite end with what effect I thought it had.
He mentions that this movie is less talky than Lee's and implies than makes it "dumber". Nope, just better in so many ways (maybe he meant the first attempt was more intellectual cause it caused you to have dreams during it... hmm..)
I did not stay after the credits, but it already seemed like the same plot point introduced after Iron Man's credits was done at the end of the film. If something does happen after the credits and you saw it lemme know.
For one thing, they're talking to the people who worked on the game with very open and sometimes what I think sounds like harsh criticism (maybe Garnett just sucks though idk) and feedback from the developers.
For another, it almost felt like Garnett and Shane were about to come to blows over how games in general work as a voice piece for real world issues like PMCs as adressed in MGS4. I can see both sides where Garnett thinks you should not have to need entertainment media to be informed but Shane thinks it's nice to have in games. (I;m not 100% on Shane's argument though, you'll have to hear it before I can really explain why).
Don't get me wrong, I actually hate it when entertainment media labels itself "intelligent" just for being able to read headlines (it just shows how dumb we've gotten if that's impressive and it's not like the entertainent is always taking a progressive standpoint) but the argument was interesting.
Now on to part 3... part 3 revealed that a new podcast goes out monday called 1up FM (Feature Monday). Also, Naked Raiden is a good cosplay outfit for gay pride parades.