Overall, definitely improved the film by adding in the deleted scenes. Especially the opening prologue. Really helps establish the character arc banner goes through and makes the end feel earned and different from his starting place.
First of all, let me say that this is one of the most satisfying MCU movies. Its dark instead of campy, and there is a gravitas to Norton's portrayal that is distinctly lacking with Ruffalo. I think that is more writing that acting ability, no dis to Mr Ruffalo. This edit takes that original great film and makes it even better. The only thing that holds it back is the video quality, but that is at least as much to do with being SD as it does with the edit itself. The inserted scenes are definitely rougher than the rest of the movie, being strangely brighter or in some cases sort of grey and desaturated. I know that those scenes were not finished to the same caliber as the rest of the film, and with that knowledge, the editor actually did a great job with them. It is a downside and one that I can't completely ignore. If someone were to made an HD recut with this as the blueprint it would be amazing, and a great example of what made the MCU great before Whedon and company made it a gag fest.
I loved the "Incredible Hulk" movie. It managed to capture the pathos of the character, the havoc Banner's split personality plays with his life and the ruin and regrets it brings in it train, and his inability to exorcise the Hulk, as such, or the personal demons that gave rise to the Hulk persona in the first place.
So it is really great to get a fuller film through this fanedit, closer to the best of the Hulk comics and to the Norton vision, and especially since we're unlikely to get a genuine sequel. The MCU project clearly prefers a bright world, and this Banner, and this Hulk, would scarcely fit into a universe where the mythos has been reworked to give us Thanos as a misguided alien worried about environmental limits, Stark's drinking as a humorous quirk, Hank Pym as a great husband, Scarlet Witch as a stable person, Ultron without the genocide of millions in Slorenia, Hulk as a fun guy etc.
Don't get me wrong, I love the MCU.
But this film, this outlier, gives us an idea of the roads not taken, and it does so brilliantly. There is a place for the big, fun Hulk we get in the Avengers, and Ruffalo's affable Banner. But there is also a place for this darker vision, and for restoring it, extending it, and skillfully blending it together in a far better sequence, I thank you.
I see this edit more as a proof-of-concept that there is a better movie within all the footage available for Incredible Hulk 08 than this being that better movie. Many of the scenes added enhance character development and make plot points clearer, but not all of them need to be included or included in their full form (much of the added Blonsky/General Ross footage sticks out in this way). The added scenes of Banner talking to "Mr. Blue" in Brazil also bother me since the restored footage has a different GUI on Banner's computer chat than the theatrical footage does, but that's probably minor.
All in all, I hope someone (maybe myself?) will one day tackle this film again using the structure of this edit as a guide to find an ideal "middle ground" between the too-short theatrical cut and this.
When it comes to underrated Marvel Cinematic Universe installments, I will always go to bat for The Incredible Hulk. I've always loved that film and I still love it today. Edward Norton is still my favorite actor ever to play Bruce Banner and the Hulk. The original Incredible Hulk film is a ridiculously fun, very tightly paced action film with stunning visual effects and a really compelling book at Banner feeling tortured by and conflicted with the mean green beast within. With this fanedit, many deleted scenes are incorporated back in so it can more closely resemble the script Norton wrote and it's absolutely phenomenal. The added scenes are integrated into the story near-flawlessly and they add so much more character and plot development and story depth that makes the events that play out much more engaging and tense. Even the relationship between Bruce and Betty Ross is strengthened greatly here. The opening even features Bruce trying to commit suicide but then the Hulk stops this from happening, an event that's referenced in The Avengers. This is an absolute must-see for anyone who loves the Hulk like I do.