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So, last week Rob challenged me to write up my take on the announced Hulk sequel with Edward Norton in the role of Bruce Banner.

Now, I seem to be in the minority in that I thought the 2003 Hulk movie was pretty much right on. It was mostly about the emotional aspects of the Hulk, with some action towards the end. I loved the CG hulk, the way he moved and interacted with everything around him felt to me like exactly what the Hulk should be. I’ve been a fan of the Hulk ever since I was a kid and would watch re-runs of the Bill Bixby series. While the film wasn’t exactly like the series or exactly like the comics I felt like it was a good middle ground. The only part I didn’t like was the very end with the fight between the Hulk and his father who was more or less The Absorbing Man. That I could’ve done without. I think that the Hulk movie coming in 2008 should be a sequel to the first movie. We’ve got the origin on film already, let’s skip it and get to something with a bit more action.


The Plot:

It’s five years after the events of the first movie. Bruce Banner has been traveling the world under aliases like Brian Bannon, Barry Burton, and Ben Barker. Bruce needed to stay on the move as he tried to learn how to keep the Hulk in control. The Hulk is something that has generally been kept out of the press, most people believe the Hulk died after the events of the first movie. The only member of the press still pursuing the story is a reporter for the tabloid The National Register, Jack McGee. He has been following reports of the Hulk’s appearances across the globe. In the meantime General Ross has put together a team of specialists codenamed: “Anger Management” to help track down the Hulk and contain Bruce Banner again. These specialists include Jennifer Walters, Betty Banner and Doc Samson. They jokingly refer to themselves as “The Hulk Busters.”

We open the movie with Bruce Banner in Texas posing as Bob Bayer, a hospital orderly. While eating at a diner he gets pulled into a fight while trying to stick up for a kid named Rick Jones. He transforms into the Hulk and carries Rick Jones away. Rick takes an exhausted Bruce back to his hotel room. As Bruce recovers from “hulking out” reporter Jack McGee shows up at Rick’s door asking about the incident at the diner. Rick tells McGee he wasn’t there, McGee explains that there were witnesses and the police won’t be far behind him. Rick gets rid of him. Bruce tries to leave but is still too weak, Rick loads Bruce into his truck and they take off out of town.

In New Mexico, at a private lab, Dr. Emil Blonsky is running experiments with nanobots and gamma radiation based on incomplete notes of both David and Bruce Banner. He’s solved some of the instability problems inherent in Bruce Banner’s work. Late at night Blonsky opts to experiment on himself when he is told he will not be getting permission for human trials. Blonsky transforms into a huge, deformed creature that one of Blonsky’s assistants refers to as an “Abomination.” Blonsky is aware of his new look and there is no apparent change in his personality. When security starts showing up and pulls guns on hims he freaks out and crashes through the wall. The next day, the “Hulk Busters” show up at the site of Blonsky’s lab examining the wreckage. Jack McGee also shows up and is thrown out after a confrontation with Ross.

Bruce and Rick make their way into a small town in Arizona. They see a TV report on an explosion at a New Mexico lab. Banner is concerned because he knew Blonsky was continuing his work at that facility. He stops in the local library and gets on the internet where he logs into a chat client as Mr. Green and chats briefly with a person going by the screen name: Mr. Blue. Mr. Blue lets Bruce know that the Hulk Busters had been at the site and that they suspected the Hulk had been there.

Blonsky is hiding in the sewers, he’s wrapped himself in rags and stolen some notebooks and pens, he’s trying to figure out how to reverse what’s happened to him, but his hands are too large for him to take effectively take notes. He tosses away the paper and uses his finger to carve notes into the side of the sewer.

Bruce tries to ditch Rick in the Arizona town. Rick catches up to him and insists on going with him.

At the home base of the Hulk Busters, Gamma Base, the team are reviewing the evidence collected at Blonsky’s lab. General Ross and Jennifer Walters are convinced that it was Bruce Banner attempting to steal Blonsky’s work, Betty and Doc Samson are convinced that the missing Blonsky may have gone through a transformation similar to Banner. After their meeting General Ross confronts Betty with a stack of printouts of chat sessions between a Mr. Green and Mr. Blue. He accuses her of feeding information to Banner, she denies it and he kicks her off the Hulk Busters team.

Blonsky breaks into a medical supply warehouse and steals armloads of supplied. He fights off security and kills all of the guards, including a man who runs from him. On his way back into the sewers he is confronted by the Hulk Busters. Doc Samson is wearing an exo-suit and tries to take on Blonsky one on one. Blonsky destroys the suit and nearly kills Samson, then escapes into the sewers. Jack McGee stumbles upon the scene and is shocked to find what he believes is another Hulk.

Bruce and Rick arrive at Blonsky’s New Mexico lab. The break in and Bruce starts going through Blonsky’s research. He sees in the research a way that he might be able cure himself and Blonsky. Before he can get too far into the research Security interrupts them. Bruce turns into the Hulk after one of the guards strikes him. He escapes with Rick in tow. During their escape the Hulk catches a glimpse of Betty outside Blonsky’s lab. He scoops her up as well and retreats into the desert. He reverts back to Banner in the desert and while Bruce recovers Rick and Betty get acquainted. Later the three of them make it back to a motel in town. Betty calls her father, and explains to him what has happened with Blonsky and that she’s found Bruce. In The National Register is an article by Jack McGee about the government creating and testing an army of Hulks. Ross and Walters show up at the motel with a group of soldiers, they haul Bruce back to Gamma Base and lock him in a specially designed containment tank.

Blonsky, thinking he’s solved reverting himself back to normal, opts not to wait until night and emerges from the sewers in broad daylight. He tears across town back to his lab to get the final pieces of equipment, he starts to display an increasing degree of savagery. Jack McGee sneaks on to Gamma Base and is quickly caught by the Security detail. After another confrontation with Ross the Hulk Busters are alerted to Blonsky’s rampage and Ross takes Walters and a team despite Betty’s insistence that he let Bruce out and that Bruce is the only one who can stop Blonsky. McGee takes Betty’s side. Ross refuses to let Bruce out now that he’s finally caught him. They intercept Blonsky, but seem unable to even slow him down. Betty, McGee, and Samson are watching the events as they are reported from a news copter. When the helicopter is knocked out of the sky Samson, McGee, and Betty go to Bruce’s containment tank. Bruce is being kept calm with Nitrous Oxide. He refuses to be let out, insisting that the Hulk will be useless to them. That the Hulk will just hurt more people. Samson explains if he believed that he wouldn’t have been feeding Bruce information for so long. They shut off the Nitrous and then shut off Bruce’s oxygen. Bruce begins to suffocate and turns into the Hulk.

What follows is a huge slug fest between the Hulk and the Abomination. Afterward Bruce slips away and Blonsky is taken to a facility to keep him contained, and potentially cure him. Rick and Betty hit the road in search of the Hulk and McGee starts following his own Hulk leads again.

The Cast:

Bruce Banner

The Character: Bruce Banner was a researcher whose experiments with nanobots and gamma radiation, mixed with his own father’s genetic experiments transformed him. Now, whenever he experiences intense anger he is transformed into the Hulk. Since his initial transformation, chronicled in the first film, he has been on the run under various aliases. He’s traveled the world in search of a cure for his condition, helping people when he could and trying to stay one step ahead of General Ross and reporter Jack McGee.

Played by: Edward Norton will be really interesting to see in this role.

The Hulk

The Character: The Hulk is an alternate personality of Bruce Banner, he is essentially a giant angry child. He reacts to his surroundings with no concept of consequences. At the same time, he avoids harming people. Unlike in the TV show and the 2003 film, the Hulk talks. He utter simplistic phrases like “Hulk Smash” and “Puny Human” and expresses a hatred of Bruce Banner, who he does not understand is a part of himself.

Played by: A combination of CGI and Animatronics.

Betty Ross-

The Character: Betty Ross was romantically involved with Banner when they were both researchers. She is torn between her love for Bruce and her loyalty to her father General “Thunderbolt” Ross. She is part of the team codenamed “Anger Management” and cringes at the name “Hulk Busters.” Her primary role on the team is searching for a way to cure Bruce.

Played by: Ideally Jennifer Connelly would reprise the role.

General “Thunderbolt” Ross-

The Character: General Ross is dedicated to tracking down Bruce banner and locking him away. He formed the “Anger Management” team with a combination of scientists and military personnel in order to build and implement equipment and strategies that would allow them to capture and contain the Hulk.

Played by: If you can’t get Sam Elliott you shouldn’t make the movie.

Rick Jones-

The Character: Rick left his doctoral study in genetics to drive across America in his beat up old truck. He has a tendency to get into trouble as he’s mouthy and goes out of his way to help people.

Played by: Michael Jace is great on “The Shield,” and though Rick is mouthy, I envision him as a serious character.

Doctor Leonard Samson-

The Character: Doc Samson is a psychologist he was brought into the “Anger Management” team to analyze Bruce’s Psyche and try to anticipate his actions and reactions. He is also the one who coined the term “Hulk Busters.” Samson served in the Navy SEALS for a decade before getting his degree in psychology.

Played by: Kenny Johnson, Lem, from “The Shield.”

Lt. Jennifer Walters-

The Character: Lt. Jennifer Walters is General Ross’ second-in-command. She was among the soldiers trying to contain the Hulk in San Francisco in the first movie.

Played by: Any excuse to have Jessica Biel in a movie is a good one.

Jack McGee-

The Character: Jack McGee was another witness to the incident in San Francisco. He watched as the Hulk transformed back into Banner. He was a freelance reporter at the time. His article on the Hulk was rejected by every major newspaper and he could only get it printed in The Nation Register, which continues to print his articles about the Hulk as he chases reports of the creature across the world. In his travels he has run into General Ross and the “Anger Management” team on more than one occasion.

Played by: David Duchovny, because I’m watching X-Files re-runs right now.

The Abomination/Dr. Emil Blonsky-

The Character: Dr. Emil Blonsky is a researcher in the same field as Bruce Banner was once in. He managed to obtain notes stolen from David and Bruce Banner and used those to supplement his own research. Blonsky is practical seeing both the medical and military applications of his research, though he leans more heavily on the military applications as it is providing better funding. Consequently, the creature he becomes is stronger, though, unlike the Hulk, he does not get exponentially stronger as he get angrier and the transformation is seemingly permanent with no second personality emerging.

Played by: Michael Rosenbaum, the only reason to watch “Smallville,” beyond my Superman obsession and Erica Durance. The Abomination would be CGI and animatronics like the Hulk.


One Comment

  1. Hi! Sorry, but I fail to see how a Hulk movie without the Leader as the villain is really a Hulk movie. Use the old Tales to Astonish stories as your template, and you’ve got a Hulk movie!

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