The Sunbaked King

The Incredible Hulk and Wanted

Two action films, the first a repeat of a Marvel superhero flick that once tanked in the box office and got slammed by the critics, and the second an Angelina Jolie feature that promised a lot of kick-ass, gun-toting, gun-shooting scenes. The short story: both of them were terrific. Now, for the long story:

BEHIND THE LINE

The Incredible Hulk

Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth

I had my apprehensions. First of all, I don’t like The Hulk, and the first movie about it– directed by Ang Lee no less– didn’t help my perception of the not-so-gentle giant any. Second of all, it casted Edward Norton for the lead role. While I love the guy (you all must watch Primal Fear), I just didn’t see him being that huge. Sure, he’s good with fucked-up characters, but small fucked-up characters. Thin fucked-up characters. He didn’t seem like the type who could be, you know, big. I thought it was a total miscast. Add Liv Tyler to the mix, and you will have one hell of an expensive sleeping pill.

It turned out that Liv Tyler was going to be the only laughable character after the movie ended. Everything else, from Norton’s awkwardness to the Hulk’s apparent lack of appeal, amazingly worked. Now, I’m glad they casted Norton for the role. His shy smiles, his geeky excitement, and his eternally unsure gait proved to be an effective contrast to Hulk’s raging anger. 

Speaking of the big man himself, is it just me, or did they tone down the CGI this time around? That’s the only thing I remember about the first movie. Or maybe it’s because they focused on the sensitive side of The Hulk more– i.e., his human side, Bruce Banner– that they didn’t show that much of the giant. Either way, it was a good move, because green is not my favorite color, and seeing it dominant in the movie screen? Erch.

In any case, it was a good second attempt. Ang Lee, hang your head in shame! (Or not, I still think you’re brilliant.)

P.S. I still can’t pronounce H-U-L-K. Do you pronounce the L, like bulk? Or is it unmentioned, like puck? Help. Me.

Wanted

Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy

There’s always that movie that you think you’ve got pegged. Like how you’re sure that this was going to be a major action movie, complete with guns, bloodshed, and a steamy bed scene or two. Like how you’re sure that Angelina Jolie is going to kick ass, and most probably would be fighting for the side of good. Like how you’re sure that you’ll be visually satisfied, but end up feeling empty inside.

Boy, how wrong I was. How very wrong.

Confession: I got teary-eyed at certain scenes.

Confession: I began to question the things I do from day to day.

Not in a million years (exaggeration, yay!) did I expect Wanted to be an introspective film, or a film that would wring out emotion in me. But it did. Somehow, the movie made me realize that there are several facets about myself that I have not yet explored; in fact, there’s a particular facet right now that’s emerging, and, just like Wesley Gibson (McAvoy’s character), it’s exciting me and frightening me at the same time. I’m just wishing I won’t feel the pain of initiation the way he felt it, but I guess it’s inevitable. Every person who wants control over his life must take accountability for it. Every person must face the consequences of his own rebirth.

But back to the movie. 

Jolie does what she does best, and as expected, she delivered another death-dealing-assassin type performance with relative ease. McAvoy is perfect as the 8-to-5 guy with a little bit of the assassin type running through his veins. I thought the Gibson voice-over was a nice touch; I have a certain fondness for movies with a bit of voice-overs in them. It’s like using hand-held cameras to achieve a realistic effect– it brings me closer to the characters, more bound by their actions and motives.

Of course, the actions scenes were top-notch. But given all that I’ve said about the movie, I doubt that’s the only reason why you’ll be raving about it after. Now, I’ll end this review with a question, one that probably wouldn’t make sense right now, but will after you’ve watched Wanted:

What have you done lately?

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Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

2 Responses

  1. tristan says:

    Sana si Jennifer Connelly na lang.

    Mas bagay man si Norton as Bruce Banner. Because Banner is supposed to be some nerdy lab rat. Eric Bana was the bigger miscast as he was more of a macho hero type.

  2. kerwinray says:

    Yep, I think Jennifer Connelly would have worked as Hulk’s lurve interest this time around. She was paired with Eric Bana before, right?

    Word on everything you said re Banner, Bana, and Norton.

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