Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin
It's not on Blu-ray yet, is it?
You should. It was excellent, imo. I rarely go to a theater to see a movie (I usually just wait for the BD release) and I'm seriously considering seeing this one a second time.
As for shadowrage's mention of the first Hulk being an "Art movie with action scenes," that was precisely what was wrong with the film imo. The Incredible Hulk isn't supposed to be a cerebral art film. It's a comic book story that should be treated as such (again, imo.) The second film met (and in many cases exceeded) my expectations, while the first one let me down in pretty much every way. Imo, the acting, direction, story, action, and effects were all clearly superior in the new version. Still, I'd love to have the opportunity to see the "Norton cut" of the film, as I suspect it's even better (apparently there was a suicide subplot/running theme that was cut out of the theatrical release.)
As a Hulk fan since childhood, I found the new version to be everything that the first one wasn't. The first one felt like a film made by someone who wasn't really a fan of the material (whether or not this is the case, I don't know.) It felt like Lee was trying to put the same spin on the Hulk that he did on martial arts films with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The problem is, the Hulk doesn't work well with that type of style/sensibility imo. Also, the comic-style editing felt cluttered and distracting to me, almost as if it was thought up by someone trying to "throw a bone" to comic fans. They should have spent less time coming up with clever transitions and more time polishing the script. Personally, I didn't give a crap about Banner throughout the entire first film. He wasn't particularly likeable and came off as more of a whiny mutt than anything else. In comparison, I found Norton's Banner to be much more likeable and sympathetic.
Tim Roth and William Hurt were excellent as usual, and I thought Liv Tyler's performance was fine (better than Jennifer Connelly's in the previous film, but I think that has more to do with the director than the actor.)
Wow, this post has become a rambling mess. Sorry about that. Really, it boils down to "to each his own," but I'm willing to bet that most Hulk fans will consider the new film to be far superior to the Ang Lee version. YMMV.