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The Incredible Hulk

Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images and brief suggestive material
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller, Superhero
Runtime: 114 minutes
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth, Ty Burrell, Tim Blake Nelson

Sex/ Nudity: Some kissing and foreplay, including references to how “excited” the Hulk can get before turning into his alter ego.

Violence/Gore: LOTS of action and violence, including fighting, people being hurled about, explosions, rocket launches, grenades, etc. Painful scientific experiments are shown, as well as some blood and wounded bystanders.

Language: “Crap,” “hell,” “bitch,” “a-hole” and a cut-short “sh-t”

Which Kids Will Like It? Kids 13 and older who like superhero movies and/or are familiar with the Hulk comic books.

Will Parents Like It? Yes, this movie has tons of action, but offers a good message about doing the right thing.

Review: Sometimes, I get tired of all the remakes out there and annoyed that filmmakers can’t come up with something new and fresh. Then again, there’s something comforting about seeing familiar characters on the big screen, especially when the filmmakers make the effort to include historical references. Such is the case with The Incredible Hulk.

The story begins with scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) living in Brazil and working at a bottling plant while searching for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells during an experiment gone oh-so-wrong. Banner is also learning how to control his emotions, because every time he gets angry, he transforms into a giant, green beast, The Incredible Hulk.

Living in the shadows, Banner is hiding from General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) and his military minions, who view Banner’s body as a weapon of mass destruction. Complicating matters is the fact that Banner is in love with Dr. Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), though for her own safety, he hasn’t seen her in while.

The General is hoping to beat Banner at his own game by working with Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who has a lust for power that manifests itself in The Abomination, a creature even bigger than the Hulk.

Rounding out the cast are Ty Burrell as Leonard, the man competing for Betty’s affections, and Tim Blake Nelson as Professor Samuel Sterns, a cellular biologist who might hold the key to Banner’s quest for a cure.

Although I didn’t like this movie as much as Iron Man, it still gets four out of five reels for intense action, terrific CG special effects (Wow! When the Hulk gets mad…well, let’s just say you don’t want to get him mad), and a fun plot that blends sci-fi, drama and a sweet love story. Ed Norton as the skinny scientist-turned angry monster is awesome, too. He gets it right as a guy on the run who wants to do right by mankind.

Keep an eye out for little references to the 1980s TV series. Also, you don’t have to stay through the credits for a teaser — like Iron Man — but definitely catch the last few minutes. That’s all I’m sayin’…

Jane Boursaw is a family entertainment writer specializing in movies and TV. Visit her at Reel Life With Jane; follow her on Twitter; become a friend on Facebook; email jboursaw@charter.net.