First off: big improvement on 2003 Hulk. Like, much better. Wasn't as kickass as Iron Man or the first two Spider-Man films, but it's getting there. I was talking to a fellow comic book geek in the queue and while she said that this film was meant to be a sequel to the first Hulk movie, I didn't really see it that way. It felt like a restart of the franchise completely, especially in the way that they were very quick to tie it in to the whole idea of the Avengers (Nick Fury and Stark Industries are name dropped before the opening credits even finish rolling).
Edward Norton's a far better match for Bruce Banner than Eric Bana was. He has that sort of desperation and intensity required for Banner's character. And this is me speaking as someone who didn't really care for the Hulk as far as the comics went. I liked Norton's Banner. Some of the rumours say that Norton is a pain in the arse to work with, but he really delivers and gives everything in his acting.
The only thing that lacked was a fault on the writers' part: character development. In some ways, it felt like one big chase/fight scene after another, interspersed with some minor character interaction in-between. Norton and Liv Tyler had chemistry as Bruce and Betty Ross, but it wasn't fully utilized and their scenes together felt very rushed. From what I've gathered, Norton did his own cut of the film with more character development and ended up getting into a stoush with the director over it which resulted in the director's cut being the one that was released. If that's the case, it's a shame. The chases and the fight scenes with Hulk and Abomination were great. And oddly enough, the evolution of Blonsky into Abomination really worked well too. Tim Roth made a good villain (he always does), and I'm pleased that he's apparently contracted for another film because Blonsky has a bit more potential. But yeah, character development was probably the one thing that was sorely needed here. Character development would have put this on a fairly equal par with Iron Man for me.
The one big thing I'm going to squee over: IRON MAN CAMEO OMG! Seeing Tony Stark spar with General Ross was totally worth the price of admission. "You always have nice suits." = WIN!
I'm glad Marvel did this also because it was total fanservice too (fanservice in a good way, that is). The one thing that has probably disappointed me is the lack of crossovers in the Marvelverse movies so far (Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil, etc.). It's fun reading the comics and knowing that all these heroes and villains co-exist in one big universe together and that their storylines are able to crossover all the time. I know the whole reason for the lack of crossover-ness is that rival studios own the film rights to the various franchises, but eh. This is a step in the right direction. God, what I wouldn't give to see Norton and Downey Jr in the Avengers movie together. Here's to hoping Norton decides to play the Hulk again!
So that was a pleasant distraction. On the agenda this coming week though: over to the ACU Campus at Banyo again to do more reconnoitering at the library, and drafting the introduction. Oh, and DOCTOR WHO SERIES 4 BEGINNING A WEEK FROM NOW!