Recently, after being gypped out of attending a free screening of Marvel Enterprises and Universal Pictures' The Incredible Hulk, I decided that I wanted to see it enough to drive to the theater and pay for a ticket. Having been quite pleasantly surprised with Iron Man, and not as a critical a viewer of Ang Lee's Hulk from 2003, I figured that this movie would fall somewhere in between in terms of enjoyability. I felt that it was just as exciting as Iron Man, if not as "cool." And where Ang Lee's style was really great, everything was just much more vibrant in this latest iteration.
I'd like to expand upon my previous statement that The Incredible Hulk wasn't that "cool." There were some moments in the Brazilian favela, or when Stan Lee made a cameo, or whenever Tony Stark / Stark Industries was involved, that were shiver-inducingly cool. Even for someone like me who knows very little about the Marvel canon. But let's face it - Hulk is not a very sexy superhero. So I can see why the young male target demographic would be more into the "Hulk smash" aspect of things, which this movie had plenty of. The final battle between Hulk and Abomination was definitely exciting, and even cringeworthy at times (Hulk tears out Abomination's own arm bone and STABS HIM WITH IT).
As for the portion of the audience that I represent, I was very much taken with Ed Norton and Liv Tyler in their roles. Liv, as Betty, dripped with such compassion that I couldn't help but want to aid Bruce Banner in his quest for freedom. At the end of the movie, I was left unsure about how cognizant Bruce is when he's turned into the Hulk, because he seemed to be learning about who he is and what his relationships are with others as the story progressed.
Most importantly, The Incredible Hulk left me excited for the inevitable sequel. Tim Blake Nelson, as Samuel Sterns, is apparently going to be the next villain in the franchise, which I think would be incredible because he's got this great scary weirdness to him that would be really cool in a role like that. As far as other Marvel movies coming up, it will be interesting to see how this network of films will build up to a vehicle for the Avengers, which both The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man have been hinting towards.