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.
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.
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.
While I've watched many a Fan Edit, this is the first one I've watched that has prompted me to and leave a review.
I am a huge fan of the Marvel franchise, and yet for some reason the Hulk movies have always been lacking in my opinion. While the action sequences have always been fun and entertaining, I've never really connected with the characters.
This Film however not only captures my attention, but demands it.
Through the addition of the deleted scenes, the characters now have a real story, and their development and depth now remind me why I love this franchise. In this cut, I feel genuine sympathy, understanding and a real attachment to Banner. The additional character development does not take away from the movies action sequences in the slightest, and if anything enhances them, and you now are truly invested in the films protagonist's, and when they are in peril, you really care about the outcome.
In addition to the story now being fleshed out and far more interesting, the deleted scenes are weaved into the movie seamlessly, and the average viewer wouldn't notice where the theatrical edition finishes and the deleted scenes began. Tomahawk has even gone to the trouble of adding musical score over these scenes, making the overall watching experience one to remember.
This edition of the Incredible Hulk really is the "Ultimate" edition. In fact, I couldn't even imagine not watching this edition when I next re-watch the entire Marvel story.
To be honest, my review is mostly the same as pabs' overall, though I probably liked it a bit more than him. I'm the one who approved it for the site and I had no problem doing so. It looks and sounds perfect and the integration of deleted material is seamless. It's nice to have this 'ultimate' edition of the movie with few story changes, though I don't know that I would necessarily grab this edition if I ever had a hankerin' to watch the movie, to be honest, as it adds even more exposition and pure drama to a movie that has lots to begin with. As pabs did, I would recommend it to some—especially to those who already know what they're in for—but maybe not all...