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The Incredible Hulk Is The Best MCU Movie

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We Defend the Indefensible

The Incredible Hulk movie 2008
Marvel Studios

The Incredible Hulk was released in 2008. It became one of the first movies that introduced us to the beautiful marvel universe. The perception of this movie is not good. We’re here to argue that not only is it good, but The Incredible Hulk is the best MCU movie.

Edward Norton played the green monster in this incarnation. He was accompanied by Liv Tyler, who undertook the role of Betty Ross, his romantic entanglement. Tim Roth was also involved, who played the role of Emil Blonsky and the Abomination.

Yet, the general perception of this movie was not good. The audience did not like the movie, and some consider this to be at the bottom of the barrel of MCU movies. But, we’re here to argue that not only is it good! But it is better than some of the modern instalments of the MCU universe, such as Infinity War and Endgame. Before you say anything, let us present our case for The Incredible Hulk as the best MCU movie.

What Was the Plot?

As The Incredible Hulk has been largely ignored since 2008. It makes sense to refresh your memory about the plot of this movie. Dr Bruce Banner, played by Norton, seeks the cure to his green-rage condition. All the while the authorities search for him after the events of the Gamma Bomb from 2003. He comes close to the cure, but the Abomination gets into his way and destroys his chances of ever getting a cure.

What Didn’t You Know About The Incredible Hulk Movie?

Liv Tyler accepted the role without even reading the script because she wanted to be a part of a superhero action movie.

The director, Louis Leterrier, wanted to cast Mark Ruffalo for the role of Hulk, but the studio went in another direction. As we know Ruffalo would later replace Norton as Hulk in Avengers Assemble and byeond.

Unlike other Hulk movies, the face of the green monster was not modelled after the lead actor. Instead, it was a homage to the Hulk artist Mike Deodato since Edward Norton was not a part of the project until after the CGI work had been completed. This demonstrates how the studio was still finding its feet.

Norton wanted to input into the project. As he had with his previous success American History X. But, the studio cut his input and only a few scenes were included in the final edit that Norton was happy with. Demonstrating some of the tension that ultimately led to recasting the role.

We’re going to assume that you have only watched this movie once or twice in your life during a Marvel marathon. If you pay close attention to the opening scenes, you will find plenty of hidden Easter Eggs there. Such as Tony Stark’s blueprints for a sonic cannon that is later used in the movie as a defence mechanism against the Hulk.

Did you know Captain America was teased in the movie too? Well, in some alternate endings, we see a block of frozen ice with Captain America taking his nap with his beloved shield. The majority of fans missed this because this scene was included in one of the many alternate endings.

Why the Incredible Hulk is an Excellent Movie?

You may believe that the Incredible Hulk from 2008 was a horrible movie that should be scraped from the MCU timeline. But, this movie may astonish you and turn out to be one of the best, if not the best, movies in the MCU universe. Here’s why.

The Hulk Wasn’t Too Talkative

If you’re familiar with the previous versions of Hulk. Specifically Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2002. You must appreciate the lack of nonsensical and oversentimental scenes from The Incredible Hulk.

While Ange Lee’s Hulk felt the need to fill out every silence with dramatic overtones and sentences, The Incredible Hulk only wanted to smash. Thus, this marvellous movie from 2008 gave as a less talkative and more raging Hulk. Isn’t that the true definition of Hulk? The green monster who likes to smash.

Mark Ruffalo’s Avengers Hulk is good. We’re not going to say that his HulkBut. But, there are times when he talks way too much and focuses on things other than smashing. We see him having fun with others, playing with Thor, and taking selfies with kids. Well, if that is the kind of Hulk you want, you should know that this is not how the creators intended it.

So, the Incredible Hulk from 2008 gave us the best Hulk so far. As a doctor, he was a genius yet a mad scientist, and as Hulk, he was all about the smashing. Remember the twee “I am always angry” from Mark Ruffalo? Well, that’s why Edward Norton’s Hulk is far superior to any other Hulk appearances and takes the lead.

The Brilliant Performances from Edward Norton and Tim Roth

This should be enough to change your mind about the movie. While you may have some doubts about the overall flow and editing. You cannot deny the incredible performances from Edward Norton as Dr Bruce Banner/Hulk and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination

Mark Ruffalo might be a more popular Hulk, but Edward Norton was an amazing Dr Bruce Banner and Hulk at the same time. Every time you see Ruffalo on screen, you don’t feel the Hulk shining through. It takes a few green screens and CGI to turn Mark Ruffalo into Hulk. However, Ed Norton played the role so well that you could see him as the calm doctor and raging monster at the same time.

Tim Roth played the sinister role of Abomination better than other villains of the Marvel Universe to date. Yes, we are comparing him to Hela, Thanos, and Loki. He was calm and determined at the same time. His only goal was to smash Hulk, and he did it several times during the movie. He not only excelled at his performance as an aggressive soldier but also gave us a knockout performance.

Therefore, the Incredible Hulk from 2008 gave us an equally amazing and capable antagonist and protagonist. Go on. Mention any other movie with the same level of both roles. If the protagonist did well in some movies, the antagonist lacked in some areas. This is why the Incredible Hulk is the best MCU movie so far for acting.

The Outstanding Grand Finale

You may love the final battle in the endgame but think about the glorious showdown between the Hulk and the Abomination. Now, think about the technology and CGI effects back then and reimagine the scene. It was way better than any other movie, and it gave us one of the first CGI battles between two angry monsters.

When you think about the modern CGI effects, we would like you to think about the grand finale of the Black Panther. The suits looked foggy, and the fight scene was average too. Moreover, the entire scene looked like it was an intro to a weird 70’s Tron-ish game. Yet, the Incredible Hulk gave us a raw and unadulterated battle between two giant creatures looking to crush eachother. That is why the Incredible Hulk is way better than the majority of modern MCU movies even with age-old CGI graphics.

The Very First Cameo

No, we are not talking about Stan Lee, who was also in this movie, but we are talking about Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark, appeared at the end of this movie and became the first Marvel character to cameo in another character’s movie. You can find him in the post-credits, where he talks about his plans about putting together a team with General Thaddeus Ross. This would later set the stage for the first Avenger movie.

Why Should You Think of The Incredible Hulk is the best MCU movie?

Every great journey begins with a single step. The Incredible Hulk was that single step that allowed movies to be more comfortable with using massive CGI shots in the final cuts. Moreover, it also set the stage for the MCU universe we see today as we found out about the Avengers in this movie.

Edward Norton gave us a brilliant performance as both Dr Bruce Banner and the Hulk. His Hulk was more about fighting than about talking and waiting for lullabies from Black Widow. The CGI fight was intense, outstanding and lasted longer than any other CGI fights back in the day.

The story was a fast-paced chase scene between the Hulk and the authorities. We did not have to sit through the characters getting all sentimental during the action scenes. We got raw Hulk action. This is why the Incredible Hulk from 2008 is the best Hulk movie of all time, and also the best MCU movie to hit the cinemas so far.


Is there anything we missed out that you think could’ve been on this list or are we way out of our depth with this argument? If so, leave us a comment below.


More from the MCU HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Incredible Hulk movie HERE.

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Jungle Cruise – Review

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Walt Disney Studios

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt swing in with force in Disney’s new Jungle Cruise. And while the movie has fun callbacks to the Disney Park ride and a clever plot, if this movie is trying to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, it falls short. Here’s our review of Jungle Cruise.

SPOILERS: Warning there are spoilers ahead.

Plot

To be honest, I was expecting a much less creative plot from this movie. Following suit with typical adventure movies, I was expecting this film to be a less-funny version of the Jumanji reboot. But the plot has an unexpected emotional centre and a clever twist. And while the film suffers from CGI villain goopiness, it gives the CGI villains actual heart and motivations.

The film centres on Lilly (Emily Blunt), a botanist in search of a healing petal. The petal is said to be able to cure any illness and resides deep in the Amazon Rainforest. She is accompanied by her little brother, McGregor (Jack Whitehall) and their hired skipper, Frank (Dwayne Johnson).

But a curse resides around the petal. Spanish conquistador Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez) and his crew went in search of the petal four hundred years ago. The petal can only be found with an arrowhead sacred to the Umbala or Headhunter tribe of the region. When Aguirre and his crew are on the brink of death, the Umbala tribe saves them. But Aguirre betrays them to get his hands on the arrowhead, and the chief of the Umbala tribe curses Aguirre and his party. They can never stray from the river, or the rainforest will take them. For four hundred years, they’ve lain dormant, having strayed too far from the banks of the river. They cannot die.

Now the arrowhead rests with a sexist scientific community. Lilly steals the arrowhead, just before it was set to be sold to Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons). Joachim works for the German government during the height of World War One. He believes that the petal will not only bring victory to Germany, but will make him a world ruler. (How he thinks it will do that is unclear).

As Lilly, McGregor, and Frank make their way down the Amazon in search of the Petal, Joachim follows and occasionally attacks them in his submarine. Deciding he needs more help, he wakes up Aguirre, now a monster of the Amazon, and his crew. Aguirre, who is now made out of snakes, and his two colleagues, one of which is made out of honey and bees and the other mud and tee frogs, are sent on Lilly’s trail.

What happens next is the usual adventure. White water rapids, a run-in with the Umbala tribe (who become allies), submarine fights, swinging on jungle vines; you name it.

But after a run-in with Aguirre, Lilly learns the truth about Frank. In a plot twist I absolutely did not see coming, it turns out that Frank is actually Francisco, Aguirre’s cartographer. We learn that Aguirre was not looking for the petal for glory or gold, but to save his deeply ill daughter. Aguirre and Francisco grew up together, and they were willing to do anything to save his daughter. But when Aguirre betrays the Umbala tribe, Francisco tries to stop Aguirre. Francisco was also cursed to be unable to leave the riverbank, but Aguirre kept returning to fight and defeat (stab) Francisco.

Tired of constantly getting stabbed, Francisco traps Aguirre in a cave. Letting the Amazon have him and turn him into the monster he is today. Francisco then built a town on the river banks, built a boat in search of the petal, gave up, and now runs river cruises.

While the plot is very complicated, it’s easy enough to follow while watching the film. I will say that the motivations of Joachim are a little hard to follow. But the plot twist with Frank was very clever. It gives a CGI-heavy Aguirre a human heart. Now all he wants to do is break the curse and be allowed to die. To do so he needs a petal. The plot in and of itself was much more clever than I expected.

Characters and performances

One character that pleasantly surprised me was McGregor. At first, I thought he was merely queer-coded. He definitely fell into some gay stereotypes, but I thought that was all it was going to be. A guy who was subtly a little queer. But, when Frank asks him why follows Lilly, even through a jungle, he gives a surprisingly candid answer. He explains to Frank that he is gay and that Lilly is the only one who supports him.

When the world turned his back on him, she stood with him, and for that, he would “follow her into a volcano.” This is the first time I can remember that a Disney character was very, clearly openly gay. Disney has had about a dozen “first gay characters,” but all of them have been off to the side. None of them has stated their sexuality or been open about it. McGregor not only states it outright but is not ashamed of it and it is not his only character trait. He becomes brave and capable and is a good friend to both Frank and Lilly. It was really surprising to see good representation from Disney in this film.

Emily Blunt also gives a wonderful performance (as she always does). She’s headstrong and stubborn, but kind. The sexism was a little on the nose, with a tired bit about how she wears pants, but she was delightful.

And Dwayne Johnson was… okay. He plays the exact same character in every movie he’s in. And while his performance was good in this movie, I can’t help but think that another actor could have done better. He and Emily Blunt have a romance in this movie, but they have absolutely no chemistry. It was hard to believe their romance. I think another actor could have added a little more to Frank’s character. Frank is an interesting character, and another actor could have done more with him. This movie might have been better without Dwayne Johnson.

This movie also might have been better without Joachim. His motivations were really hard to follow. At the end of the day, he was just another stereotype of a German general who only complicated the plot.

Summary

It feels as though Jungle Cruise might be Disney’s attempt to re-make the magic of Pirates of the Caribbean. But I can’t see this film becoming a franchise. The first Pirates movie is masterful, with amazing rewatchability. But Jungle Cruise, while fun, is forgettable. It’s not a movie I see myself rewatching anytime soon. If this is an attempt to create a new franchise for Disney; it falls short. But, the film was fun to watch and was a good movie theatre experience.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 5/10


Thank you for reading our review of Jungle Cruise. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our review of Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place Part Two HERE.

Read IMDB information about Jungle Cruise HERE.

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