MCU Moments: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
With Captain Marvel releasing this weekend and Avengers: Endgame releasing next month, I think it’s time that we start reviewing some moments from the MCU. In fact, it seems like the perfect time to look back at the many origin stories we’ve had so far and the official introductions to many of these beloved characters. Each of these stories have some really fantastic sequences and quiet moments, so we’ll be diving into some of them with each post. We do not know who will ultimately survive Thanos’ snap, but we can look back at where the characters started.
With that in mind, it seems like the perfect place to start is with The Incredible Hulk. The 2008 film was released a mere month after Iron Man, and while it did not have the stellar reviews of the first MCU installment, it was fairly well-received. The film was directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Zak Penn with Edward Norton quietly rewriting the script. Edward Norton portrayed Bruce Banner/The Hulk while Liv Tyler portrayed Banner’s longtime love interest, Betty Ross. The film’s cast also included Tim Roth, Tim Blake Nelson, William Hurt, and Ty Burrell. Of course, this is the only time that Norton and Tyler appear in the cinematic universe since Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as Bruce Banner, which might be why this film frequently gets overlooked in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So, while it might not be the most beloved entry in the franchise, what are some memorable moments from the film?
1) Experimenting in Brazil
This is a short sequence, but it is one that I always appreciate in the overall narrative of the story. The whole thing hinges on Bruce wanting to get rid of the Hulk, and for most of the film, he is running away. However, Bruce Banner is a brilliant scientist, and whenever Bruce receives a plant that can potentially help with side effects, this is one of the only times we get to see Banner actually being brilliant. He is holed up in a nondescript apartment in Brazil, yet he makes do with makeshift equipment to use the plant on his cells.
The Hulk moments inevitably stand out from this movie, but this is a good moment to see the Bruce Banner that was around before the whole failed gamma radiation experiment.
2) The First Encounter
The lead up to the reveal of the Hulk is really well done, and the chase sequence to the factory is full of exciting moments. His encounter with the same guys in the plant from earlier is quite the fight once Hulk shows up, and I really do appreciate how they keep him shrouded in smoke or darkness for most of this sequence. It makes his reveal all the more awe inspiring, and it makes him all the more menacing.
Plus, there is plenty of action in this sequence, so it ends up being one of the most exciting parts of the film.
3) Arriving in New York
As I rewatched this film, I was reminded that there are not a lot of humorous moments in this story. Now, I don’t need to be laughing the whole time, but I am usually grateful for moments of levity. Bruce and Betty’s arrival in New York is one of those moments. Their decision to not the subway is a memorable scene between the two, and their brief stint in the taxi always makes me laugh. Betty needs to have some moments to shine, and her losing her cool on the taxi driver and Bruce’s response is a fun scene.
4) The Final Showdown
This film and its visual effects do not hold up as well as some of the other MCU films, but the final showdown is still something to remember. Bruce’s entrance is unique as he jumps out of the plane without a parachute. Plus, the whole sequence is these two giant beings tearing apart New York. What’s not to love, right?
We also have The Hulk saying Betty’s name at the end of this sequence, which makes for another great moment between the two.
What moments stand out for you from The Incredible Hulk? Where does it rank among your favorites in the franchise?
Be sure to let us know in the comments, and catch up with us next week as we look at the origin for another MCU character.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.