The Road To Infinity War Part 2- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
It’s week 2 and the Road to Infinity War continues with The Incredible Hulk! Released shortly after Iron Man, this iteration of the green goliath stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, Tim Blake Nelson as Professor Sterns, and William Hurt as General Ross.
As I stated last week, these aren’t reviews of the films but general overviews. I will say that I firmly believe that The Incredible Hulk is massively underrated. It has an interesting narrative and it doesn’t waste time with a blown out origin story. When we join Banner, he’s been the Hulk for awhile now and actively trying to cure himself while on the run. Relentlessly pursued by General Ross, Banner is forced to return home when hope of a cure is found.
Ross brings on board a special ops team in hopes of capturing Banner and among them is Emil Blonsky, an aging soldier who still prefers to fight rather than sit at a desk. Tim Roth brings such determination in the role and throughout the movie his obsession for matching the strength of the Hulk outpaces even Ross. The Super Soldier program is uncovered here and at first, Blonsky exhibits similar abilities to that of Steve Rogers. With continued exposure and a dose of the blood from Banner, he mutates into the creature known as The Abomination.
The climax battle between the two titans is terrific, both trading blows equally. Eventually the Hulk is able to prevail and once again goes into hiding, regretfully leaving behind Betty. Admittedly this is a basic outline of the film, but their are a lot of fun moments in this movie for fans. Aside from the Captain America reference, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries also play a part. The action scenes are fantastic as well, pretty much anything featuring the Hulk really ramp up the action.
Who can really say why The Incredible Hulk didn’t set the box office on fire. It could be that the specter of Ang Lee’s disappointing Hulk film still loomed fresh in peoples minds. No matter what it really was, the Hulk continues to be a great supporting asset to the greater MCU. While certain plot threads still exist unresolved from the film, their are signs that the events from the movie still reverberate today. The Marvel Netflix shows have referenced the Hulk battle in Harlem, Ross himself has resurfaced in Captain America Civil War, and if the rumors are true, yet another character may be showing up in Infinity War or Avengers 4.
Their are fans that say you can disregard The Incredible Hulk from your general viewing and I disagree. It’s a fun, engaging movie with lots of Marvel goodies. I would love to see The Abomination again, who knows what the future holds so I remain hopeful.
HOW IT CONNECTS TO AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: As with Iron Man, not too much of a connection. We of course have the ending teaser featuring General Ross and Tony Stark with the latter alluding to putting together a team. This scene was later expanded upon (or retconned depending how you look at it) in the Marvel One Shot feature “The Consultant.” In the feature, the World Security Council wanted The Abomination to join the Avengers Initiative. Nick Fury, not wanting Blonsky released, sent Stark to more or less annoy Ross.