The Incredible Hulk

  • Review Date: June 11, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Bloodier action than other comic book adventures.
  • Review Date: June 11, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

Age(i)

2
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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The military is pursuing Banner/The Hulk in the hopes of recreating his freakish ability as a military weapon; Banner constantly struggles to control his temper for fear of transforming into his brutish, superhuman alter-ego.

Violence

Extensive super-heroic violence, with super-strong characters striking mighty blows, hurling people and objects about, destroying vehicles, and more. Extensive (albeit mostly pointless) firearms use against the Hulk and his nemesis; explosions, rockets, gas grenades, sonic cannons, and more are also deployed. Wounded bystanders and civilians are seen; the climactic battle features extreme graphic super heroic violence -- for example, the Hulk ripping off one of his opponent's mutated bone-spurs and using it as a dagger. Some martial arts and grappling. Characters fall from great heights; blood is often seen on-screen, as well as painful-looking experimental science-fiction medical procedures.

Sex

Some kissing in semi-clothed circumstances; some references to how "excited" the lead character can get without risking turning into his monstrous alter ego.

Language

Language includes "crap," "pissed," "a--hole," "bitch," "hell," "goddamn," "damn," and a choked-off "s--t."

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. Several brands appear on-screen, including Norton computer utilities, Polar heart rate monitors, and SanDisk USB drives.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some cigar smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this big-budget comic-book adaptation features extensive, graphic super-heroic violence. There's a strong sci-fi/fantasy element, but unlike the gleaming technological feel of Iron Man, this movie has a much messier, more biological style. Expect plenty of injections and experiments, lots of spilled blood, and more general ickiness than in other superhero movies. The Hulk and his nemesis also look quite monstrous, which might scare the pants off young kids. And there's some language (including "a--hole" and "bitch") and a semi-clothed kissing scene.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE INCREDIBLE HULK opens in mid-story, with scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) living in exile. Years ago, a medical experiment cursed him with a bizarre affliction -- when he's frightened or angry, he transforms into the Hulk, a nine-foot-tall green behemoth with limitless physical strength and a limited intellect. Banner's trying to cure his affliction; meanwhile, his old boss, Gen. Ross (William Hurt) wants to find Banner to analyze and recreate his abilities. But when Ross uses experimental medical technology on soldier Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who also gets hold of Banner's irradiated blood, Blonsky becomes a creature so horrible that only the Hulk can stop him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ang Lee famously said that his arty, brooding 2003 take on the classic Marvel Comics character was an attempt "to make a delicacy out of American fast food." Apparently, the higher-ups at Marvel -- who self-financed this newer version -- figured they could make more money with a simple meat-and-potatoes action film, which is what director Louis Leterrier gives us. And The Incredible Hulk does have plenty of super heroic action, as well as a great sense of humor about its origins and roots. There's even romance between Banner and his long-lost love, Betty (Liv Tyler), a scientist who happens to be the daughter of his nemesis, General Ross. Add in Roth's bad guy, a military man so obsessed with stopping the Hulk that he turns himself into something worse, and you have all the standard-issue elements of the modern comic book action film.

And that's all you have. While there are plenty of operatic fight sequences and extraordinary special effects -- and Norton is effective as a super heroic variation on The Fugitive -- The Incredible Hulk never really takes any chances or truly delivers anything other than loud fistfights and visions of mass destruction. It doesn't have either the style and panache that made Iron Man stand out, or the vision and visual style that Christopher Nolan brought to Batman Begins. The Incredible Hulk is a fairly good summertime action film designed more to make money than a statement, and it's certainly competent and confident in the execution of those modest aims. There's plenty of room left for a sequel if it's a hit, but it's hard to say whether there's room for a so-so superhero at a box office increasingly crowded with comic-book heroes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about anger. Do your kids feel they have the equivalent of a green monster inside sometimes? Do they think that superheroes express human problems made really big?

  • Talk about Bruce Banner's struggle for control. What does he give up in order to be responsible? Can you think of any similar situations people might face in real life?

  • Another good discussion is about the popularity of comic book films. Why do your kids think there are so many of them? What's the appeal? How is this movie different from the previous 2003 version? And how is it different from movies like Iron Man and Batman Begins?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 12, 2008
DVD release date:October 20, 2008
Cast:Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth
Director:Louis Leterrier
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense action violence, some frightening sci-fi images, and brief suggestive content.

This review of The Incredible Hulk was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byPrototype79043 July 5, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Kid, 10 years old December 26, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Be sure if it is apropriate.

O.K movie very violent and scary for little kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 2, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Very violent, bad movie

I know so many people absolutely loved this movie, but unfortunately, I'm not one of them. It wasn't terrible, but it was pretty bad. I didn't think this movie was scary, but it was pretty violent, had some drugs, and had a sexual type scene. Little kids will be scared because of the violence and the hulk. Be sure to watch this first before letting your 11 and under kids to watch it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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