MCU Rewatchathon April 10th: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Day Two: 2/19 down!
The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk was the second official film taking place within the MCU, released in the same year as Iron Man, it marked the beginning of Marvel's plan to do multiple yearly releases.
It is forgotten by many Marvel fans, this is largely due to the recasting of Bruce Banner in the Marvel's The Avengers (2012). So Javier and I sat down with some friends to re-watch it and see if it holds up or if it deserved to be forgotten.
Here were our thoughts.
Antonio: I can boil it down to one shot, That shot of Emil Blonsky facing down the Hulk, the sheer intensity of that moment is great, and Hulk just kicking him point blank is fantastic.
Javier: Hulk's fight with Abomination. I feel the first hour of the film could honestly be cut but that fight is really brutal and fun.
Antonio: Emil Blonsky, as Abomination, to Bruce Banner, as Hulk
Abomination: "Any last words?" Hulk: "Hulk Smash!"
Javier: Spoken by Samuel Sterns (Portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson) "I don't know what you've got inside of you already. The mix could be an Abomination"
The Incredible Hulk started the trend of having multiple villains in one film, so we are giving this film a score based on the average between all four of our scores.
General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross
Javier: Ross is a dick but that's about it, William Hurt plays it well though.
Antonio: Yeah I don't think he really got to move past the like...basic premise of his character.
Emil Blonsky AKA The Abomination
Javier: For Abomination, I like his transformation from normal soldier to just power hungry to match up against a super powered human.
Antonio: I think Blonsky is one of my favorite MCU baddies. Tim Roth's fight scene outside the school is still fantastic and I dig Abominations body-horror redesign.
Final Ranking: 6.5/10
I don't have many notes for this section today as I watched the film with Javier and a couple of other friends this time. A running joke among my friend group, specifically Javier, is that Gorilla Grodd, the Flash Villain is a constant factor in all forms of fiction. So, naturally, the group decided to spend the entirety of the film pointing out how every scene could be the possible origin for the DC Super villain.
They settled on the old man who owned the pizzeria.
There are actually a lot of cool little easter eggs and teases for future developments in the MCU in this film.
The most notable of these is the obvious reference to the Super Soldier program started in WWII. Ross references the project by name and even confirms that in the MCU, the Hulk was created as a bi-product of attempting to recreate the Super Soldier Serum.
The sonic canons used by the Hulkbuster unit employed by Ross I believe makes a reappearance later in the MCU, but I may be mistaken.
General Ross of course reappears later on in Captain America: Civil War, I feel this film does a great job establishing 1. His importance in the US military and 2. His aversion to super-powered individuals and his desire to see them controlled by the government.
Bruce's final moment on-screen is a great tease of him learning to properly control/channel the Hulk, something further explored in Avengers four years later.
The most infamous Easter egg in this film, and unfortunately the biggest dropped ball in the MCU is Samuel Sterns. This film does an awesome job at setting him up to become The Leader like he does in the comics. his fascination with using Gamma radiation to improve humanity, and the shot where he is smacked by The Abomination. A vial of Banner's blood oozes into the open wound on his scalp and we watch his cranium mutate as he gives the screen a sickening smile. It's an awesome build up that has absolutely no payoff.
Javier: The movie is over-all kinda forgettable but there are still some enjoyable moments. The Incredible Hulk isn't anything special but it still is a fun watch but it also has a huge let down of setting up one of Hulk's main antagonist and here we are 10 years later with no sign of the Leader or Abomination
Antonio: There are no bad MCU Movies, I stand by that. I do think The Incredible Hulk is on the weaker side of their slate. There are some hidden gems in this film, like the university fight scene and the opening-credits that show us Hulk's origin in under 60 seconds. Overall, it's got more good than bad.
Final Score: 6/10
After the Credits:
Okay so this film kind of cheats, there is technically no ACS, but its widely accepted that the final tag is spiritually this films ACS so we are counting it.
Javier: It's just a reminder that avengers is coming but it doesn't have the same impact that Iron Man had.
Antonio: I think it was novel at the time, it was our first official "crossover", plus it does establish Tony's involvement with the Hulkbuster program which is neat.
Final Score: 5.5/10
Alright guys, that does it for today, tonight we are watching Iron Man 2 (2010). As always, feel free to watch along and leave comments with your thoughts on any of the films!
See you all tomorrow!
In Grodd we trust.