Film Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Updated on January 8, 2018
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 2008, Louis Leterrier released The Incredible Hulk, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, as the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burell, and William Hurt, the film grossed $263.4 million at the box office.


Five years after the accident creating the Hulk, Dr. Bruce Banner remains a fugitive from the United States government who wants to weaponize the process. His efforts to control his anger and find a cure are compromised when General Ross finds out where he is.


The redheaded stepchild of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Incredible Hulk is a passable film with few saving graces. Notably, it isn’t an origin film as the genesis of the Hulk is presented in the opening credits and the plot kicking off five years later. Still, it is a rather convoluted plot going in many different directions. Banner as a fugitive working to cure himself while on the run from government forces who decide to send in the Abomination as the only opponent who can match his strength would have made for a tighter film. Instead, audiences are given the government forcing him out of hiding, him going to New York to get the data, running into Betty, Ross infusing Blonsky with super serum, Banner meeting Dr. Sterns who turns Blonsky into Abomination, and the final showdown. There’s so much going on, resulting in a cluttered mess.

The characterization is all over the place, too. What is supposed to be the mark of Banner’s character is how he’s an intelligent scientist, yet is tortured by the green shadow following him around. His anguish over not having a normal life is his driving force to cure himself. However, this film does not properly bring forth that distinguishing characteristic. Instead, it attempts to spell out why Banner feels the way he does without properly showing it. At the same time though, Banner comes off as more mopey or annoyed during quiet moments, betraying the exposition given. It feels as if the film does not consider Banner’s plight worthy of anything more than minor annoyance rather than one of torment from the necessity of spending life in isolation for fear of hurting someone.

This goes into the acting as well, consisting of incredibly wooden performances by Norton and Tyler. This is most noticeable during the scene of the two of them speaking in Betty’s hallway as the two get ready for bed. Neither party seems to be invested in what they are saying, or doing, and the film suffers for it. The best acting comes from Nelson as Sterns. He is able to portray the manic scientist quite well, giving believability to his desires of taking Banner’s blood and creating a litany of cures.

Still, the film has good moments of action. The fight between the Hulk, the Special Forces operatives and the three local toughs in the factory at the beginning of the film is done particularly well. Darkness covers most of the factory and the Hulk is hardly seen in what little light is shining, taking care of the toughs before focusing his unstoppable rage on the operatives. It does well showing Hulk as a mysterious monster who can barely control himself but at the same time is unable to be stopped by conventional methods. Further, the fight at the climax between Hulk and Abomination is great. The former is actually outclassed by a stronger opponent who is able to grab a missile in midair, hit himself with it and take no damage. Here, Hulk has to utilize the intelligence he has in order to get the upper hand.

2 stars for The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Reviews & Recognitions

bold indicates reception of award/recognition

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA – Saturn Awards

  • Best Science Fiction Film

Alliance of Women Film Journalists – EDA Awards

  • Special Mention Award – Remake That Shouldn’t Have Been Made

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

  • Top Box Office Films

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Most Underrated Movie of the Year
  • Best Sci-Fi Movie of the Year
  • Best Action Sequence of the Year (Final fight vs Abomination)

National Movie Awards, UK

  • Best Superhero
  • Best Performance – Male (Edward Norton)

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Summer Movie: Action Sequence


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)