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PUBLISHED: 18:19 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 August 2010

CINEMAGOERS didn t quite know what to make of Ang Lee s arthouse take on the mean green smashing machine Hulk


Cert 12A

CINEMAGOERS didn't quite know what to make of Ang Lee's arthouse take on the mean green smashing machine Hulk when it was released in 2003, and as a result the box office performance was relatively poor.

Five years on, Marvel are ready to have another crack of the whip, but this time around they are intent on giving audiences what they want - Hulk smashing things.

Eschewing the trend of recent superhero movies that while away time telling the main character's back story, the ins and outs of how scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is zapped by gamma rays and transformed into the Hulk are wisely confined to the opening credits.

In the space of a few minutes we learn that the US military commanded by the shady General Ross (William Hurt), who also happens to be the father of Banner's girlfriend Betty (Liv Tyler), are trying to track down the scientist and use his blood to manufacture a new breed of super soldier.

The story kicks off in Brazil where Bruce Banner is hiding out and working in a bottling factory while trying to find a cure to his condition in his spare time.

It isn't long before the military get wind of his whereabouts and a squad of commandos led by Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) are sent after him.

Banner narrowly escapes after a thrilling rooftop chase and soon finds himself back in the States, where the Hulk confronts the military head-on.

While Banner was away, however, Blonsky was injected with a super soldier formula which has transformed him into big green monster known as the Abomination, and the two gear up for a destructive mano-a-mano showdown.

Following the box office failure of Lee's more experimental musings, director Louis Leterrier keeps the direction simple and direct and, except for a couple of intimate scenes involving Banner and his girl and a few comic asides, an incredibly high pace is maintained throughout.

In throwing subtly aside and going for all-out action, Leterrier and his team have captured the real essence of what people expect from a Hulk film - big dumb fun.

* The Incredible Hulk is released in cinemas on June 13.

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