Monday, June 23, 2008

Iron Man vs. The Incredible Hulk

If you frequent on my blog then you know that I've just recently seen The Incredible Hulk. I've also watched the amazing Iron Man a month or so ago. Both were the only two Marvel superheroes films this summer and I decided to do a comparative review. I've never done a review before so give me a break here and there. Actually, I'm not even sure how I will start this off ... *runs off to another site for inspiration* .... Aha! ... Okay, so Iron Man is pretty new to the film medium. In fact, unlike most of Marvel's other films this is an entirely new franchise for the studio to exploit is this ever popular form of motion picture: superhero movies. You've had X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Blade, Hulk and all the rest. Oh, Hulk! That brings me to the next bit of introductions. As most are aware, Marvel tried their hand out in the first Hulk movie but ultimately failed their intentions. It did well its first weekend but I think it did something like a 60% drop the following weekend. In any case it just didn't sell to well (but the merchandise did pretty good, remember those Hulk gloves?). I've tried watching the first Hulk multiple times but I just could never get into it at all. The first time I saw it was when I was flipping through channels on cable (when I had cable) and I came across the seen when Hulk was battling the three dogs, which was pretty cool but I just couldn't stick with the storyline that happen after wards and cut it off. A week ago I knew I'd be watching the The Incredible Hulk so I tried to watch Hulk one more time from start to finish. I watched for about an hour, I think, and again, I just turned it off. I was dozing off way too often. What I did like about it was the style with the "comic book" panels and all that jazz but the story just was not doing it for me. The whole father-son conflict just ... it didn't work. But anyway, this is not a review of that film (which I still haven't watched all the way through), this is a comparative review of Iron Man and the new Incredible Hulk and by the way might I saw it was pretty "incredible". This was a lot more action-packed as it should be considering its protagonist is a giant green monster that goes on crazy rampages. Both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk are worth the money to see them in theaters but which one won out for me? Well, all and all, it was Iron Man for the win by a decent lead and here is why.

The Good of Iron Man:
The special effects in this movie was top notch. Nothing less than amazing. Close-Ups of Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit were superb and watching him battle was even more marvelous. Of course, this is the backbone for a movie like this but where it really shines is in the acting and the relationships the various characters have with each other. So far in all the movies I've seen so far Robert Downey Jr. has got to be the most perfectly cast character I've seen, hell, I'd say I haven't seen a better casting job since I don't even know. Downey has such a swagger about him that exudes Tony Stark. He's quick witted, charming, dashing. The movie opens up on him swooping up a hot date with a new reported who is against everything he stands for with his weapons development! Tony and Pepper's relationship is fantastic as well, I couldn't get enough seeing them together, they worked so well toghether on screen. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this film. The pacing of it was pretty near-perfect for me. The first time we see Iron Man is some real combat (when he goes to the small middle eastern town) is really great. I especially enjoyed the part where the terrorist were holding a few civilians hostage and Iron Man easily calculates and separates friend from foe and easily gets rid of the terrorist with precise shots from his shoulder-weapon thing.

The Bad of Iron Man:
The only very small issue I had with it was the end battle. It was okay but I ended up enjoying some of the other actions sequences like Iron Man's race with the military Jets, his escape from his captor's clutches or his little escapade in the small middle easter town.

Story: The story was great. A very nice introduction story that did what it had to: introduced Tony Stark and his co-stars while leaving us wanting more. (7.5/10)
Special FX: Superb and practically flawless. To me, pretty jaw-dropping. (9/10)
Pacing: Very well paced. Very good balance of comedy and serious scenes with a mix of action. I never felt bored or confused. (9/10)
Editing: Very nice, the editing played a lot into the pacing of the movie but nothing spectacular. (8/10)
Acting: Very very splendid. Couldn't ask for better performances, perhaps from a few characters maybe. (9.5/10)
Recommeded: Yes!

TOTAL: (9/10)

The Good of The Incredible Hulk:
The action is the strong suit of this film for sure. The story was alright, I did like how he was always on the run and trying to control the beast within. The special effects were really great. The Hulk looked really good on his own and the only time it was really obvious he was a CG character was when there was a two-shot of him and Betty under the cave. Besides that I really did believe Hulk was a breathing character on his own. I especially love the scene where Bruce is strapped down in the doctor's chair when he attempts to cure himself from the Hulk. I couldn't tell the difference between Bruce and Hulk as CG and live-action. It was very slick. I enjoyed Edward Norton as the new Bruce Banner but I think I miss Eric Bana's take, plus I thought Bana had a better look for Bruce. I don't think the problem in the previous film lied with the lead actor, it was with its story. My favorite part of this film (actually I have two) but my primary favorite part of this film was Stan Lee's cameo! It was brilliant. My second favorite part of the film had to be the near-love making scene between Betty and Bruce. Betty seriously sounded disappointed.

The Bad of The Incredible Hulk:
The first act of the film was a little slow. Those establishing shots of South America were a tad too long for my taste. I did not enjoy the relationship between Betty and Bruce as much as I did with Tony and Pepper. There was just something missing between the two of them. With Peter Parker and Mary Jane in the first Spider-Man you really get a good feeling about the two especially after the scene where they talk to each other about their aspirations in their backyard and you get a good feeling with Tony and Pepper when Pepper's changing out Tony's battery that keeps him alive. But with Betty and Bruce, aside from their intimate scene, which was good due more to the writing rather than the performances, you don't really feel an attachment to the two as much as you do with other superhero couples. Perhaps that's just me but I really didn't care if they saw each other, got together, or broke up. With Spider-Man I was rooting for Peter to get Mary Jane and with Iron Man I wanted so desperately for Tony and Pepper to kiss at the end of movie. That could just be me, though. The other thing that bugged me in the film was Emil Blonsky (the main villain who ends up becoming Abomination). His transition into villian just didn't work for me. At first I felt for him as a confused soldier who had no idea what was going on when he first meets Hulk. He doesn't like going into a mission where his commander or general doesn't tell him what's really up but then all of a sudden he's on a crave for power and become a drug attic of it. The transition was just too quick. I just couldn't believe why he would stand right in front of Hulk and taunt him into kicking him into a tree just to test his power. His character didn't come of to me as craze and that was a pretty rash thing to do.

Story: The story was okay. A good revamp of the franchise and great job with integrating it with a larger marvel universe. (7/10)
Special FX: Great, the Hulk looked real and the final battle was marvelous (9/10)
Pacing: Little slow in the beginning but picked up nicely enough. (8/10)
Editing: It was alright, nothing especially special. Just solid editing. (7.5/10)
Acting: Didn't like the relationship between Bruce and Betty as other Marvel relationships. Didn't enjoy the main villains performance and transition to villain. (6/10)
Recommeded: Yes!

TOTAL: (8/10)



Juanita's Journal said...

I've seen both "THE HULK" and "THE INCREDIBLE HULK" recently.

Frankly, I don't think that either movie is superior of the other. For me, the virtues of the 2003 movie were the child/parent relationships for both Bruce Banner and Betty Ross; the stylish split screen format, a slightly better cast and stronger ending. The virtues of the 2008 version was obviously better action, the special effects were a little better, and more in-depth in the Marvel cannon.

But each film lacked something that the other possessed. Which is why I cannot agree that one is better than the other. If Marvel Films had combined the virtures of both versions, they could have had a hell of a film on their hands.

*_*Antoine*_* said...

I really can't pass full judgment on the first Hulk to this latest one as I did not watch the first Hulk in its entirety.