My new guilty pleasure is ‘Incredible.’

So The Incredible Hulk has become my new favorite movie. It’s a guilty pleasure, but not in the sense that the film is so bad it’s good (like how I feel about the first Alien vs. Predator). While the film will never be mistaken for Best Movie Ever, it wasn’t boring like the 2003 original and walked away with pretty good reviews overall (RottenTomatoes.com has its freshness at 67%–not bad for a remake/sequel that no one was clamoring for). Still, everybody (including me) knows that The Dark Knight and Iron Man are better films. But Incredible Hulk has become my new favorite, even though there are candidates with better qualifications who deserve the coveted spot. I feel guilty in the sense that I’ve let something not completely deserving of my cinematic affection get the best of me.

I’m not even a Hulk fan. I can count on two fingers the Hulk comics I read as a kid. I never watched the 70’s TV show. I always thought he was kind of a boring character. So why has The Incredible Hulk won me over?

I think I like Incredible Hulk for a variety of reasons.

It has great pacing. How Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) becomes the Hulk is explained in the opening credits. This isn’t an origin story where we have to wait until halfway through the movie to get to the good stuff. The good stuff is already here. (I’m not saying that Iron Man and Batman Begins aren’t entertaining because they take their time building up to when the main character becomes the hero. I’m simply saying that the IH filmmakers keep things moving from the get go.)

It’s filled with ridiculous science jibba-jabba. Biological experiments! Gamma radiation! Crazy dialysis! I find all the science-y stuff in this film highly amusing. It’s not grounded in reality by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems like so much fun. Any world where LIv Tyler is a biology professor is fine by me.

Edward Norton is great as Bruce Banner. He’s such a tiny little dude, skinny and kinda’ frail, that the dichotomy of him turning into a big green monster (albeit a CG one) works for me. I’ve never been a big Ed Norton fan, but in this film I find him just as believable as Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne or Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark. (Sorry Brandon Routh. Your Clark Kent was pretty weak.) Banner’s yearning to be with his girl is the real dramatic pull in this film, and even when they finally reunite, a happy ending is nowhere in sight.

At the end of the day, I love watching things destroy stuff. This year I’ve seen my fair share of quiet, heartfelt films with dramatic heft (Bella, Under the Same Moon, Sweetland), and I’ve liked them all. But I love, love, love watching stuff get blown up, torn apart and smashed into bits. Needless to say, Incredible Hulk delivers.

It’s pure escapism. Watching Incredible Hulk means giving myself permission to not have to think about all the things going on in my life. I’ve got a full plate (hence the more sporadic postings than in previous months), and at times I feel a little overwhelmed with my responsibilities. I’m glad I can spend two hours without worrying about deadlines and homework.

The film has plot holes and at times feels like important things were cut out to keep the film at a decent running time. But I don’t care. Dark Knight may be the best movie I’ve seen this year, but Incredible Hulk is the most fun I’ve had at the movies of late. (Yes, I know in my review of Incredible Hulk I said that Iron Man had the edge in terms of fun-ness. I have since changed my mind.)

I’ve shared my guilty pleasure; what’s yours?

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One Response to “My new guilty pleasure is ‘Incredible.’”

  1. Brett Says:

    I guess I could say that the Resident Evil movies are guilty pleasures of mine … but I have no way to back it up like you just did with IH.

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