It’s not easy being green

Okay, so I’m on the fence about “The Incredible Hulk.” Yes, I love super hero movies (correction: I love the idea of super hero movies–Elektra, anyone?), and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Marvel Studios’ first summer entry, Iron Man, but I’m not sure if I’m up for another Hulk movie.

Ang Lee directed the first Hulk movie, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Lee’s film was dark, brooding, choking on its own angst. Oh yeah, and it was BORING. It opened fairly strong (about $60 million) but then plummeted at the box office once the negative word of mouth got out.

Which makes me wonder why Marvel went ahead with another Hulk film. Apparently after the first movie bombed Marvel got the rights back to the character (it had sold rights to its most popular characters to various studios: Spider-Man and Ghost Rider to Sony, X-Men and Fantastic Four to Fox. Which means we’ll probably never see a Spider-Man/X-Men team-up movie. Fight back the tears). After a string of unbelievably crappy movies (Daredevil, Spider-Man 3, X-Men 3, Blade 3, Fantastic Four 2, the aforementioned Elektra), Marvel wanted more control over the properties it completely owns.

Which worked really well for Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr was perfectly cast, the direction by Jon Favreau was slick and tight, and the film itself was highly entertaining. (If you haven’t seen Iron Man yet, I highly recommend it!) But will lightning strike twice?

If scientific hearsay has taught me anything, it’s that lightning doesn’t strike twice. But I could be wrong.

Here’s what the new Incredible Hulk movie has going for it and, for that matter, against it.

They completely recast for the second film. Gone are Eric Bana and Jennifer Connely (who, in their defense, were adequate in the first film, but aren’t really name actors). In are Edward Norton and Liv Tyler, which kind of seems like sixes to me. Sure, Downey never starred in a summer blockbuster but pulled it off in Iron Man, so it could work for Norton. But I’m betting on scientific hearsay.

The film is directed by the guy who made the Transporter films. The film is guaranteed to be less boring the first, but it is the guy who directed the Transporter video ga–I mean, films.

I’m also a little confused as to whether this film is a sequel or if they’re starting from scratch. And I think the trailer tells way too much. And it could turn out to be like Indiana Jones and the Disappointed Audience, where you think, if this is what they put in the trailer, just imagine what they left out!

Apparently Marvel is laying the groundwork for an Avengers movie in 2011. (The Avengers are Marvel’s equivalent to DC’s Justice League.) Rumor has it that Downey has a cameo in the new Hulk movie, and that there may be further cross-pollination of characters between upcoming films (Iron Man 2 and Thor in 2010, Captain America in 2011). Meh. If future movies suck, it won’t matter.


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