Being a child of the 70's I was fascinated with the television show The Incredible Hulk. Being a huge fan of Edward Norton films, I was doubly excited when the film version starring Mr. Norton arrived, combining the two. Edward Norton does not disappoint. Being a man of six feet tall, he has the uncanny ability to appear much smaller and frailer onscreen. He is phenomenal as Bruce Banner, seeming timid and controllable. The smallness of his voice and eye darts on screen remind the watcher that Banner is mostly just a nerdy scientist whose chemical experiment simply went horribly wrong.
Unlike a television series which has weeks to build up characters and plot lines, the film has to do so quickly and efficiently. They show the back story that Bruce was trying to remedy a condition that causes him to turn into the "Hulk", in all his green glory, every time Bruce's blood pressure rises over a certain level.
Bruce's concoction goes awry and it causes more harm than good, ultimately causing harm to his one love, Betty and even Betty's father. He goes into hiding and comes back into the lives of those he has harmed, yet loved, before.
At the same time as Bruce's longing to go back to his real life new characters are introduced into the mix such as Berry's new boyfriend, but most importantly the British soldier Blonsky, played superbly by Tim Roth. Blonsky, who is basically a solider at the end of the road career-wise has a chance meeting with Betty's father, Ross, who unknowingly gives Blonsky just what he needs -- a way to be an even stronger soldier, just when he thought he was past his prime. The addition of the evil Blonsky gives the film a superb twist and dark side that is a powerful kick to the already darker side of the Hulk. Both Bruce and Blonsky are looking for ways to right the "wrongs" they see in themselves, weakness, lack of control, etc. in any possible way they can, whether it causes destruction to themselves and others or not.
The modern day Incredible Hulk does a splendid job of paying homage to the original. Edward Norton's portrayal of Bruce rivals Bill Bixby's original. And the ability Norton has in always playing "dual" type roles never disappoints. He is exceedingly convincing in either capacity, whether he is timid or powerful, nerdy or simply just brawn. The newest version of this masterpiece is a powerful film that leaves the viewer revisiting parts of it in their mind for days afterward.