The green giant is in shape.
There was a time when comic-books were not treated with much respect on the screen. Then one day Marvel released Spiderman, and saw it was good, and then got really excited with the money-making machine and went on to release and release films that were not in fact that good. Fantastic Four 2, to take a case in point, was a most painful experience.
Having finally rethought their concept of film business, they revamped their franchise with Iron Man and now continue with this The Incredible Hulk. The now rightfully named Marvel Studios are finally paying greater attention to their final product and clearly going for a new generation of super-hero films. Now the story and the characters are far more important than just having spectacular shots, and the complex “marvel” universe is finally taking the place that is its by right.
The film shows off (although doesn't rely on) fantastic visual effects, as expected. The jade giant looks a bit different than he was in Ang Lee's very personal and venerated version, but he is as impressive and powerful as ever. And Edward Norton's unheroic constitution in this film seems to make him a much better candidate for Hulk's human alter ego than Eric Banna was. It seems filmmakers didn't want to use much of the first film, and of that particular vision of the character that make so many people so enthusiastic. This new film opts for a more commercial, but also a more loyal version of the comic-books, respecting the original characters and using them to orchestrate a most human story with power and responsibility as the main points.
Especially enjoyable are a few moments that one wouldn't expect in this type of film in which interesting aspects of Hulk are shown from a very human point of view, far away from superheroes. These scenes help understand what might be like to have to bear a burden like that of the protagonist's. Further into the movie, tender “beauty and the beast” moments, enormous critters fighting, and Lou Ferrigno's appearance (from the Hulk TV series), are there to keep entertaining and surprising you.