The Incredible Hulk Review

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Amidst fierce competition by other superheroes on the big screen, the biggest superhero makes a grand return to the big screen. But does the world’s favorite green giant match up to the likes of Spidey, The Dark Knight and the latest success Iron Man? Read on for the complete low-down on…THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

The Good: Director Louis Letterrier starts off this movie in a way unlike any other superhero movie. Instead of wasting half the movie to explain the Hulk’s origins, he goes through the motions in the opening credits itself! With the background out of the way, the movie takes the viewer right into the busy lanes of Brazil where leading man Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) hides in the shadows away from the prying eyes of his arch-nemesis General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt). Banner, determined not to let Gen. Ross exploit his powers for the wrong purposes, desperately seeks a cure to rid the monster that resides within him albeit with little success. His only hope is to go back home where it all began and retrieve the data of the failed experiment that unleashed the monster within him. Ed Norton puts up a gritty performance of a man torn between a Super-ego that wants to put an end to its destructive Id and a monstrously powerful Id that does not wish to hand the reins back to the Super-ego once in control. The choice of the storyline (borrowed from late-70s TV series) is sure to go down well with long-standing Hulk fans. The unbridled, insane destructive action sequences are sure to get to your adrenaline pumping. The CGIs are tastefully blended with the real-life action which is commendable in a movie where the main draw is a computer generated figure. The fast pace of the movie and the solid supporting performances by Liv Tyler as Betty Ross and Tim Roth as the main villain of the movie The Abomination add to the strengths of this movie. And of course, the liberal use of inside jokes on the Hulk certainly pleased this reviewer.

The Bad: There aren’t many bad things to say about the movie. The movie maintains an even pace from start to finish but unnecessarily digresses a bit when the romantic angle between Bruce Banner and Betti Ross is focused upon. Though it successfully captures the struggle of dominance between Banner and The Hulk, the psychological turmoil isn’t exploited to its fullest. Though every actor does total justice to his/her character, there isn’t a stand-out performance in this movie. Norton comes also to achieving that and so does Tim Roth, but apart from that, the performances are at best above-average. A thumping, guitar-heavy soundtrack would have gone brilliantly with the stunning SFX but then again, that’s a luxury and not a necessity.

The Verdict: The biggest superhero in the world may have not delivered the biggest superhero flick of the year, but it’s definitely a movie worth your cash. A certain surprise twist towards the end opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the sequel. The sheer magnitude of the destruction The Hulk causes is sure to leave the viewer open mouthed. All in all this is a well rounded movie. We definitely like it when the Hulk gets angry!

Rating: 3½ out of 5.

What the Ratings Mean:

0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!

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Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

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It’s always a tricky proposition when you try to bring back a cult favourite with the lead actor on the wrong side of fifty. Case in point: Terminator 3 and Rocky Balboa. That of course was not a cause of concern for Steven Spielberg. He had bigger issues. His leading man Harrison Ford was far from fifty, he was 64! Whether or not Ford should reprise his role was a topic of many a heated discussion amongst long-standing Indiana Jones fans. But fear not, Harrison Ford does total justice to his part as the whip-cracking, mild-mannered professor who is actually a relic hunter. To be honest, he’s brilliant.

It was 1987 when we last saw him as Indiana Jones. Twenty years hence, both Indy and Ford have aged gracefully. That’s not to say that the action has been toned down. No sir! Indy still cracks his whip with the same charisma as a couple of decades ago and boasts of a physique that would put actors half his age to shame. Even at sixty-four Ford looks absolutely at ease as Indiana Jones. Young Shia LaBeouf as the Harley-riding greaser Mutt Williams provides adds the humour dimension to this movie with his youthful arrogance and his knack of landing himself in trouble. Cate Blanchett playing Irina Spalko, a top KGB agent who is touted as the apple of Lenin’s eye is a perfect blend of beauty and evil. The direction is spectacular as expected; it’s Spielberg after all. It must be said however that there is a distinct E.T. and Star Wars hangover in this movie but that’s not surprising considering it’s a Steven Spielberg – George Lucas collaboration.

The special effects are up to the mark, even in some of the over-the-top sequences. But the humour throughout the movie stands out. Also spare a thought for Karen Allen and John Hurt who have done their best within the limitations of their roles. All in all, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull meets the standards of a high-class Spielberg movie and is a worthy addition to the Indiana Jones series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What the Ratings Mean:

0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!