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The Incredible Hulk

Gail Choice | 6/11/2008, 5 p.m.

From 1978 to 1982 Americans tuned into "The Incredible Hulk" starring Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk and Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner, the guy you didn't want to make angry. We thrilled at the transformation and the bad guys getting their butts kicked by The Hulk, whom we knew as the great wrestler Lou Ferrigno. And have no fear, Ferrigno returns as the voice of The Hulk and a security guard.
Ferrigno says although the film is a different take on the Hulk character as opposed to the TV character, he's nevertheless very honored to be in the film. He says, "I think it's so important that 30 years later that I'm the only surviving character from the Hulk series and able to give back and be a part of this film because I love doing the promotion and also educating a new generation about the beauty and greatness of the Hulk."
Well, get ready America because the Hulk is back. The filmmakers say they have re-imagined the Hulk, but as always in true American hero form, he still saves all from the bad guys, only he's a little more animated, and that may be a drawback to some. But the heart and the intenseness of the Banner/Hulk combo is still there and unmistakable; get ready for a wild ride and kick-butt action.
Edward Norton (two-time Oscar® nominee, "American History X," "Primal Fear") is in the title role; we meet Banner as he's living in exile, and desperately hunting for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him: The Hulk.
Every good guy must have a bad guy and this one is the baddest of the bad, Tim Roth ("Pulp Fiction," "Hoodlum"). Before Roth's character takes on the rage of the Hulk he stands up to him as Emil Blonsky, a mere human. When the army wants to cage and engage The Hulk into services for the US government, they transform Blonsky into The Abomination, a monster more superior to The Hulk in every way, accept heart of course.
Every hero has one true love. Liv Tyler ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Strangers") stars as Dr. Elizabeth "Betty" Ross and shares his undying love. Betty can look at The Hulk and still see 'Bruce,' not the green 'thing' that everyone else seems to dwell on.
The ringleader and ultimate bad guy is General "Thunderbolt" Ross played by William Hurt ("Into the Wild," "A History of Violence"). He wants to get to The Hulk before another nation much more dangerous gets to him first.
And Peter Mensah with a very strong black presence ("300") stars as General Joe Greller, forced to listen and support the Army's effort to snag the Hulk.
The Incredible Hulk is one of the most popular Super Heroes of the last century. Created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character debuted in May 1962 in a series of Marvel Comics. Lee says that he originally thought it would be fun if the monster and the man "both hated each other. The good guy, Bruce Banner, doesn't want to turn into the monster and wishes he could cure himself. The monster thinks of Banner as a weakling and wishes he wouldn't have to change back to Banner." And their battle for dominance raged on for decades while readers devoured it. Guess what folks, the battle rages on.
Ferrigno sums it all up, "Worldwide, every one of us has a little Hulk inside. And the Hulk is green and that appeals to every nationality." He continues, "We relate to this character because The Hulk expresses how he feels on the inside when it comes to anger and real passion."
"The Incredible Hulk" in theaters Friday, June 13.
- Gail Choice can be reached by e-mail at gcprods@aol.com.