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.
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.
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