Deep Dive - MCU: The Incredible Hulk
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
We polled our entire team and ranked every MCU film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Action - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: The Incredible Hulk
Release Date: June 13, 2008
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 67%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 70%
Opening Weekend: $55,414,050
Gross US: $134,518,390
Gross Worldwide: $263,427,551
Synopsis: Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he turns into, whenever he loses his temper.
Analysis: The opening credits gloss over the why and how of Bruce becoming The Hulk, so the movie ends up being all about Bruce trying to find a cure while constantly checking his heart rate monitor. Hulk clearly hits the gym a lot, so it makes sense that he wears a Fitbit.
Analysis: By the end, Bruce becomes a master of yoga and anger management and learns to embrace the monster within. The character even has a completely different look the next time we see him in The Avengers...
Name: General 'Thunderbolt' Ross
Bio: Military leader who has been charged with presiding over a project to recreate the Super Soldier Serum. Father of Betty Ross. Has a killer mustache.
Evil Plan: Determined to hunt down Bruce Banner following the accident that turns him into The Hulk. After several failed attempts to bring him in, Ross resorts to giving top operative Emil Blonsky a dose of Super Soldier Serum in hopes that he will have a fighting chance to neutralize the big green rage monster.
Name: Emil Blonsky
Bio: A British Royal Marine recruited to Ross' elite team to help bring in Bruce Banner. Getting up there in age for a soldier, but Blonsky didn't want to give it up because he loved fighting too much.
Evil Plan: After being crushed by The Hulk, just Super Soldier Serum won't cut it for Blonsky. He becomes obsessed with obtaining more and more power and becoming like the monster that Banner turns into. Doesn't even care that the Serum combined with Banner's blood will create...an abomination.
Analysis: The moral of the story is never mix steroids with more steroids. Just steroids are all you need. Overall, these villains aren't much to write home about. They did ultimately create a character that could match the Hulk's tremendous power, but the ended battle was rather forgettable.
Betty 'Thunderbolt' Ross
Analysis: General Ross is the only side character we hear from after this, and that's just fine by us. At the end of the movie we were teased about Sterns' transformation into The Leader, but the day we see that is the day Thunderbolt Ross shaves his mustache.
Analysis: The best action sequence of the film probably comes during the first act while Banner is on the run in Brazil. The chase scene paired with the slow reveal of the Hulk works on a certain level. Outside of that, the film is lacking in memorable action set pieces. You would think they could have a more epic showdown between such physical specimens. I do find Hulk kicking Blonsky into a tree oddly satisfying.
Analysis: The Incredible Hulk will always be known as the red-headed stepchild of the MCU. It was nice when they brought Thunderbolt Ross back into the fold for Captain America: Civil War to let us know that this movie is at least still part of the canon.
Martin Starr - Is this a sneak peak of a young Mr. Harrington from Spider-man: Homecoming?
Analysis: Not an awful movie, plus this is before Marvel perfected their formula to be able to pump out hit after hit, but the writing and characters are really subpar for what we expect from the MCU. It's too bad Edward Norton didn't continue in the role and we still have no additional Hulk solo movies on the horizon, but we should be thankful that Mark Ruffalo came in and has done such a great job with the character.