And so, it comes to this.
My final review of The Incredible Hulk; the TV show (of sorts). I had thought my last one, The Legend of The Incredible Hulk would be my last (and I may have even said as much in that review) but nope, not at all. Thereís this final onslaught before the Hulk is forgotten and passed over for the next comic book film installment, whatever that may be.
Believe it or not, this film was made in 1990 and set in 1988. 12 years on from the first episode, this telemovie has been made and released this time by Fox, instead of Universal who produced the original series. Many visual changes have taken place here; which is to be expected given that this was created nine years after final production on the TV series. Lou Ferrigno has packed on shitloads more muscle for a start, giving The Hulk a far scarier persona than previously.
As the movie begins we see a man we recognise as David Banner working as a janitor in a government research laboratory. Seemingly retarded, this is just a clever ruse to get into the labs and it isnít long before heís working on a theory to cure himself of his Hulkanism. He gets seen by the head researcher and with his secret out the two begin a secret working relationship to cure him. However, the Russians have been watching the lab for some time to steal the research and before long the two stories become intertwined. After numerous car chases, explosions and outbursts of being the jolly green giant, everything culminates in the explosive finalť thatís hinted at in the title. Is Banner cured once and for all?
Well, youíll have to watch to see. I donít wanna give away the ending for all two of the fans still with us after so long.
Shot on an obvious budget, the special effects are of the time and therefore limited in their capacities. The car chases and such have been created with cost in mind (witness the safe distance they keep the limousine at during the renegade 4WD chases) and tend to get a little stilted. The whole thing has been shot on what looks like video, as there are colour issues throughout, but Iíll get to that in a minute.
Following The Hulk series of DVDs through each incarnation, I feel Iíve developed a feeling for the series, regardless of there only being ten episodes to date on DVD. Does this film follow the series theme truthfully? I canít answer yes. While going with the usual storyline basis, the delivery has been given us differently. Banner seems devoid of hope and his usual wit, special effects have been tacked on, as have the car chases and Russian angle. In fact, so has the romance. While this resembles the TV series, it isnít the TV series and perhaps this oneís only for the diehard fans or the mildly curious to see what that title truly means.
Like I said, shot on what looks like video, there are some colour saturation issues and bleeding. There is also that NTSC feel to the frames, regardless that this is delivered in PAL. Some whites, particularly contrasted with heavy blacks, get a soft glow to them that is inherent to video cameras of the time. Shadows are murky at best and while blacks are natural, they are also solid revealing no details.
There are moments of film artefacts, particularly in outdoor shots where there is also a low-level graininess shown. Also, and perhaps this is the worst offence of all, there are some really bad wigs used on characters, including our title champion himself.
While the dialogue is okay in this Dolby Digital stereo mix, the music is a horror show. Mid '80s extreme hits us hard at every opportunity, but on a good note, these arenít frequent. Sound effects are all fine, including some nice demolition sounds from the green one. However, there is nothing but a practical mix here for a TV program and adequate sound is all anyone should expect.
Basically, this is for anyone who loved the show (Original Pilots or Search for a Cure) and needs to see how the whole thing plays out in the end. However, bearing in mind this was made years later and by a different studio, the changes evident may give the feeling that this isnít quite the same show we all felt something for. The DVD itself is just a cash-in, obviously, to maybe sell another couple of titles to the myopic while the popularity of Hulk is still at semi-fever-pitch and to that end we should understand this offers us little more than that which it advertises.