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The Incredible Hulk Returns

Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  100m  •    •  Directed by: Nicholas Corea, Bill Bixby.  •  Starring: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin, Lee Purcell, Charles Napier, John Gabriel, Jay Baker, Tim Thomerson, Eric Allan Kramer, Steve Levitt, William Riley, Tom Finnegan, Donald Willis.  •  Music by: Lance Rubin.
        The Incredible Hulk and the Mighty Thor join forces for the first time to crush the forces of evil. Mere mortals don't stand a chance against their combined fury. Not the corrupt military man, not the long-time Hulk hunter, not even the good intentions of David Banner.

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Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
Image from: Incredible Hulk Returns, The (1988)
It has been almost two years since the Hulk last made an appearance and Banner has successfully assumed a new identity and, with soft music and the love of a good woman, has managed to control his anger. Working on a device that he believes can cure him of his Hyde side, Banner thinks things are going well until a former student turns up with stories of a hammer, an ancient tomb and a man called Thor. Demonstrating what he means sees the war god Thor appear and Banner is soon pushed beyond his own limits and the Hulk returns. The ensuing battle damages the lab and produces some sensational headlines in the local papers -' headlines that draw investigative reporter Jack McGee back into the picture. Meanwhile, behind the scenes a sinister plot is developing to kidnap Banner and steal the transponder device.

The surprising thing about the negative reviews on this film are not that they are negative (surely this film deserves them) but that the writers seem so very surprised by the failings in it. Did they, I wonder, not expect that the acting would be average at best, the plotting corny, the effects very basic and the whole thing dated and silly. All these things are true but I had expected them and, although they are still annoying at least I was ready for them and tried to enjoy the film the best I could. Comic book fans may get a kick out of a story that sees the Hulk and Thor put together, but for many viewers it will just seem silly throughout. Annoyingly, it takes itself seriously too much of the time and this does make the whole thing seem sillier. At times it has humour (mainly from Thor) but this is nowhere near often enough to lift the film. The narrative is all about setting up a fight at the end (the usual warehouse stuff) and doesn't do anything within this of any interest.

The lack of characters can be understood within a tvm but they are still a real loss. Banner is his usual haunted self (despite calling himself Bannion -' what a great disguise) and all this means is he mopes around thinking calm thoughts. Bixby is part of the reason it all takes itself too seriously and his performance is too worthy and self-important for such a silly film. Ferrigno is pretty poor of course but this is to be understood and the cheesy Hulk moments are something that comes with the territory. Surprisingly Kramer dominates the film and I was glad every time he came back on the screen. This is not to say he is any good, but at least he is quite funny. Colvin shows his face a few times but adds nothing to anything; Purcell is the usual love interest role and brings nothing new and, to be honest, most of the support cast are clunky and unconvincing -' a few well-known faces in there add interest but not a great deal else.

Overall this is a silly film with no characters, overused slow-mo, poor effects and is pretty much basic in most regards. There is enough here to please fans and those with low expectations however please don't be surprised by how basic the whole thing is.


Review by bob the moo from the Internet Movie Database.