Friday, April 27, 2012

"The Incredible Hulk" (2008)

The 2008 film, “The Incredible Hulk” was quite a bit less artistic and ambitious; and therefore it is a better film. It is not as concerned with the ideas and metaphors behind the story, but it doesn’t forget to really tell a story.

This film is a return to the basic ideas of the television series, which in many ways is more appropriate for the medium. When you do not have months and months of serialized comic books to expound upon ideas, it is best to keep things simple.

Here we get Banner in hiding: from both the government and his inner monster. However, things are set in motion when General Ross gets wind of where Banner is. Coincidentally, Banner has run out of ideas for curing himself. He needs to turn to other people. So, he goes back on the run and heads back to his girlfriend who has information scientists need to heal him.

Betty Ross does more than give him the data he needs. She provides him with stability and control that he does not have on his own. This story shows Betty in her own role as a metaphor. If the Hulk is a picture of sin nature, then she is grace. As the world is threatened from a monster even worse than the Hulk—“Abomination” represents a man relishing in is baser desires—Betty enables Banner to control his flesh and fight on the side of good.

It is a stretch. But this film is so much more fun than the deeply tragic Lee version. Instead of despairing over sin and broken humanity, “The Incredible Hulk” embraces hope that, with grace and love, we can be better.

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