10 Things The Incredible Hulk Got Right, According To Reddit

The Incredible Hulk is an often forgotten early entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Given that the movie was one of Marvel Studios’ only financial flops and is rarely referenced in the larger franchise, it can be easy to forget that the Hulk solo film is a part of the MCU at all. This anomaly is only worsened by the recasting of Bruce Banner for future films, as Edward Norton was replaced with Mark Ruffalo, who portrays the role to this day.

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While the film seems to be a relic of a bygone era of superhero filmmaking, there are still some fans that stand by the movie to this day. These defenders have taken to Reddit to voice their opinions on what The Incredible Hulk did right.


Bruce’s Curse


While many superheroes are given incredible gifts, one of the draws when it comes to Bruce Banner as a character is that his abilities are more of a curse than anything else. Redditor LillePop believes the 2008 movie brought this out best, writing “I think it’s very cool to see a Marvel movie where the protagonist is actively trying to avoid conflict instead of leaping headfirst into battle.”

Although this aspect of The Incredible Hulk might have been off-putting to superhero fans, especially those who have seen later films in the MCU, the relationship between Bruce and the Hulk has perhaps never been as well portrayed as Norton’s take on the characters. They avoid each other, with Bruce consistently looking for new ways to allay his more dangerous side, making for a truly tragic take on the classic hero.

Believable Romance

Liv Tyler as Betty Ross from The Incredible Hulk

A common criticism of the otherwise beloved MCU is its lack of depth when it comes to romantic subplots. Reddit user silverBruise_32 believes this is not the case with The Incredible Hulkwriting “Tyler and Norton had good onscreen chemistry, which is something that Marvel has struggled [with] in their later entries. “

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Banner’s relationship with Betty Ross, portrayed by Liv Tyler, is a highlight of the film overall, giving Bruce someone to fight for. The character’s later relationship with Natasha Romanoff seemed quite random and unnatural, becoming widely criticized by fans, many of whom still hope for Betty’s return.

Brutal Action

In a thread dedicated to the positives of The Incredible HulkJonSnow31391 recalls that the film has “some of the best action [of the MCU]. Sure, it’s just two Hulks punching each other, but they have some good choreography and it feels hard-hitting. There’s also some absolutely brutal moments, which I wish they’d pepper in a bit more. “

The final fight between Hulk and Abomination indeed proves to be one of the most brutal third-act battles in MCU history, perfectly suiting the personalities of the two combatants. Many viewers fail to appreciate the grisly fight, due in part to the somewhat shoddy CGI used to render it – though this particular fight did not age as poorly as those in other Marvel films.

Darker Tone

The Incredible Hulk Poster (cropped)

LillePop thinks of themselves as a fan of The Incredible Hulk, calling it “one of the better MCU movies.” They go on to lament that some criticize the film for having a darker tone, calling it “a plus in my book.” They believe the film’s darker themes are actually quite refreshing when compared to the MCU’s lighter and more comedic tone.

It is true that the Hulk and Banner have been shifted to a much more comedic tone in recent installments of the MCU, especially in Endgame. Though many MCU fans do not seem to mind this change in tone, fans of the Incredible Hulk often feel shortchanged by this exchange, missing the days when the behemoth felt like a threat.

Designs For The Future

Samuel Sterns aka The Leader in The Incredible Hulk

Perhaps one reason that The Incredible Hulk is often forgotten is that it never spawned any sequels or spinoffs after its release. Accomplished_Cake332 backs up this claim, stating their belief that had “the story continued in a Hulk 2 film, all of the ‘hate’ would not even be a thing. “They likely refer to several unresolved storylines, most notably that of Samuel Stern’s (Tim Blake Nelson) transformation into the villainous Leader.

The Incredible Hulk would not be the only MCU franchise that needed a sequel to find its footing. Avengers like Thor and Ant-Man became better received as their respective franchises progressed, a fate which could have awaited Hulk as well. While the Hulk would still go on to be a leader in the MCU, dropped storylines mean that his solo film may never find redemption in the eyes of some fans.

Hulk Design

Though many have criticized The Incredible Hulk‘s CGI, fans like InfiniteAbyss are quick to point out that, while the effects may be shoddy, the design of the Hulk himself is actually quite good: “Hulk himself looks terrifying. They softened him down way too much afterwards.”

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Despite the less-than-seamless CGI used to bring the Hulk to life, the design is unquestionably intimidating. This version of the Hulk truly seems to be a monster, inspiring fear in any of his enemies. As the above Redditor mentions, the MCU would go on to soften the Hulk’s look, thereby losing much of the menacing nature the character once had.

A Different Take

NukaRev believes that some of the misgivings regarding The Incredible Hulk stem from the fact that the film itself is “a different atmosphere” from the rest of the MCU. They make the case that the Hulk’s more comedic turn after Ruffalo’s casting has a different “vibe” from Norton’s, thus illustrating their point.

This film is very different from the superhero movies that audiences have gotten used to over the last two decades. The film can be thought of as more of a psychological thriller than a beat-for-beat superhero extravaganza. This is an angle that Marvel Studios has largely steered away from since, despite its emotional resonance. In fact, the film falls into a genre that should be further explored in the MCU.

Promising Cast

Ty Burrell in The Incredible Hulk

Redditor silverBruise_32 reminds MCU fans that the rarely remembered supporting cast of The Incredible Hulk deserves more credit. “The cast was generally really good,” they write, “down to Ty Burrell as Doc Samson,” later lamenting that these supporting cast members never got to fully realize the potential of their roles in a larger franchise.

Given that The Incredible Hulk 2 was never greenlit, many of the original film’s supporting cast never returned to the MCU, leaving their potential in the franchise unrealized. Amazing actors like Ty Burrell and Tim Blake Nelson were never allowed to fully explore the extent of their characters – a mistake which the MCU may soon rectify as it begins to graft certain elements from its Hulk solo film into the future of the franchise.

The Villain

Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk

LillePop voices their opinion that Tim Roth’s antagonist Emil Blonsky is “a very underrated MCU villain.” They sing praises of the “simplicity” of his character, who, while not exactly relatable, is quite understandable as a villain, believing that Blonsky proved to be far less overcomplicated than other Marvel villains.

Though Blonsky did not even get close to winning against the Hulk, he presented a viable threat that exists even to this day in the MCU. A fantastic matchup between character and actor, the man that would become Abomination left enough of an impact to be brought back over a decade later in Shang-Chiwith future plans for the villain to appear in the upcoming She-Hulk series.

Comic-Accurate Hulk

Incredible Hulk

On the subject of The Incredible Hulk‘s successes, ProjectDarkInfinity writes that “it’s the only time this franchise really got the Hulk right,” describing the film’s take on the character as “a modernization of the 70s show with comic-accurate portrayals.” They disdain the fact that Norton’s creative input on the character did not last beyond his only appearance in the franchise.

Die-hard fans of the Hulk, especially those who enjoy the comics and television series, have often found themselves disappointed with how the character is handled in the MCU. Though Mark Ruffalo’s rendition is beloved for reasons other than accuracy to the comics, there is something that rings true in Norton’s portrayal of the original character.

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