Box office Numbers: $134 mil.
Critic Score: 67%
Crowd Score: 71%
The Ang Lee film The Hulk was a directorial mess. It took cinematic risks that didn’t translate well with audiences and was seen as a failed effort of appropriately putting Bruce Banner on the big screen.
The reboot in The Incredible Hulk was a concerted effort by the Marvel team and Paramount to include the character in the MCU, yet much of the film didn’t explore that inclusion with much of the Easter Egg cameos and references that later films were infamous for. The only pay off for the MCU was a post-credits scene where Tony Stark appears. There, he offers General Ross an opportunity for Bruce Banner to be part of a team that is being put together. With that little inclusion, the Hulk becomes part of the MCU. However, Edward Norton doesn’t reprise his role after the film, and Mark Ruffalo eventually takes on the role in The Avengers.
Although being part of the MCU, critics and audiences saw this more as a CGI monster beat-em-up rather than something that establishes a world with rich characters and a deeper developing plot. In fact, without much of the movie, audiences could’ve gone into watching The Avengers without ever having watched any of the Hulk films, and known exactly who Bruce Banner was and what he was capable of.