Many people know (not in this forum, but still) what I think of The Incredible Hulk Starring Edward Norton. Those who don't know, I will sum all up with one word: weak. While it still has some solid action scenes, which is what Hulk fans were waiting, i found that the story was a missed opportunity because of the underdeveloped characters and the fact it looked more like a sequel to Ang Lee's Hulk than a Reboot per se.
However, I had the PLEASURE to watch this fabulous Extended Edition. I must admit it, it's REALLY GOOD. Tomahawk has restored at least 30 minutes of deleted scenes for the movie, and while it doesn't seem like it, they help a lot the story and character development.
To begin with, this version doesn't have that horrible Title sequence where we see via fast Flashbacks Bruce Banner's Accident. The Fan Edit opens directly with the scene mentioned on The Avengers, where Bruce tries to commit suicide and Hulk spits the bullet. This allows the movie to have it's own identity and let the audience explore bit by bit what happened with Bruce and the Gamma radiation.
In other changes, we can see a significant improvement on the characters, like Bruce dealing with moral questioning about what he was made to do or the suffering he has, not only because he becomes a monster, but because he had to run away from home for so long time.
General Ross' motivation is more noticeable in this Fan Edit. His ambition for capturing Hulk's power and make it a weapon, even we can see he's a little bit nut, exploring a very important theme that in the original movie was underdeveloped: Power abuse. Also, in a little sub plot, we can see how General Ross works for someone superior to him, who doesn't approve what Ross has been doing to deal with Hulk.
We can also feel a little bit better the chemistry between Betty and Bruce, so the romantic aspect is this time better presented. Even Dr. Samson, Betty's boyfriend, has some interesting extra scenes to see instead of being left out of the movie and become a filler character who is not doing anything in the story. His character has a closure in the film. And the best part, some (little) plot holes are explained. Not exactly important, but welcome indeed.
So, why were these scenes removed? Well, it's obvious that in the process, many of this scenes make the story go slower. They compromise the pace, something the producers wanted to avoid to make the movie go faster and a little bit more fun to watch so it doesn't look like the original Hulk movie from 2003. But still, I believe some of the scenes should have been added because the original film lacks character development. Or at least, I don't connect with them. Some of this scenes are not exactly necessary after all because, as i said, they make the movie's pace go slower. Like the flower scene.
In other Aspects, I will give you an 8 on Audio Editing because some scenes had loud music and I had troubles to understand what were they saying. Everything else is seamless.
I've found a far superior job, and it's unbelievable to think that a Fan Edit could top the original film. The Incredible Hulk, which had a 3/5 in my opinion, has reached a 4/5. At least, this version. They should have done the movie like this. I wouldn't have complaint so much xD.
The essential aspect of Norton's screenplay wasn't that it was moving from one action set-piece to another, or one Hulk-out to the next; it was that it built up to each Hulk-out.
Tomahawk clearly understands this. By having a greater amount of screentime dedicated to each location, It really better shows Banner's motivation for ridding himself of the Hulk; whenever he gains something, the Hulk makes him lose it. Every little aspect of his routine and daily life is shown and established so we become invested in it. It means more when he Hulks out and we lose everything we've become invested in. We feel the loss of everything he vecomes invested in, for each location. When he's in Brazil, we become invested in his love for the girl because more screentime is dedicated to it. Thus, it means more when he loses it all because he has to leave when he Hulk's out.
By establishing more of a presence for each location's respective subplots, we become more invested in them and care more when Banner has to abandon them all because of the Hulk. It makes us more deeply empathize with his motivation to destroy it, as the constantly changing structure of the narrative mirrors the constantly changing structure of his life. It's as disorienting for us as it is for him.
By establishing more for Banner to lose, and consequentially greater stakes each time he risks Hulking out, we have a film that incites greater emotional investment from the audience.
Tomahawk has done some incredible editing as I could barely notice where the new scenes were. Granted, it's been a long time since I've seen it, but the editing here is fantastic. The movie feels more complete and I can understand the characters than I ever did. I like the new opening and that it was referenced in The Avengers. And with the flashbacks now sprinkled throughout the film instead of being in the opening credits feels way more organic.
The added score at times was a little loud, but other than that, it was great. It flowed from one scene to the next without me noticing the cuts.
I watched this on a laptop on a plane so I didn't notice the SD quality as much as I would of on a TV, but it looked fine to me.
There are probably some small trims that could be done to make it better, but this is the definitive version for me now until myself or someone makes a fanfix. Its amazing how much was cut out that made a difference when put back in
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.