Apparently this is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Okay!
You can tell this was made before the idea of a cinematic universe was fully together. It feels more like a Bourne film than a Marvel film, as it takes itself quite seriously for the most part. Though, there is still the inevitable Stan Lee cameo. I mean, the only other laugh seems to be when Betty Ross gets really angry at the cabbie in New York and Bruce offers some good anger management techniques.
Though, that opening was pretty good. I enjoyed the chase through the city and the massive gun fight in the soda factory.
However, there are some lame bits. Like, needing a big enough villain – so taking the soldier and making him a bit stronger. Then hitting the soldier with something else to make him more stronger. Meh. It isn’t as cleverly done as the rest of the Marvel films, even with their inevitable uninteresting baddies.
But there’s also an annoying inconsistency with Mr Blue, who first says that he wants to use Bruce’s blood to help cure people, but then goes and injects someone who is clearly gone a bit crazy with Bruce’s blood. He’s not a very consistent character, is all I’m saying. He’s used clumsily to remove Bruce’s powers for the climax of the film and to create the ultimate villain for the end. It’s too convenient.
Then the rest of it is pretty pedestrian. Occasional appearances of the Hulk and then running away from the authorities. Some moon-eyes between Bruce and Betty when there’s a bit of quiet time (ah, yes, the other joke in the film ‘not even a little excited?’). Time to kill before the set-piece fight sequences.
The inevitable fisticuffs at the end it kind of silly as well. First Abomination seems to be able to make EVERYTHING explode for no reason. Also, why does he get to be more coherent that Bruce? Feels like another inconsistency in the mechanics of the universe. Also, why doesn’t he have trousers but the Hulk does? Does becoming Abomination mean that his junk disappears?
Anyway, it is all a bit dark and dour. There’s lots of Hulk yelling. But it’s all a bit…meh. Makes you think of how well the later movies manage the films being action packed but also fun. You could imagine if they kept going down this road you’d get very Justice League-like with super dark narrative and everyone being super emo all the time.
I think it feels a bit…cheap? The last set scenes felt small and contrived. It felt like a set, not like a believable place.
Fine, but ultimately not as good as some of the other Marvel output.