In the past ten years, there have been two films made about the Incredible Hulk. The first, which was called The Hulk, starred Eric Bana and was quite bad. Bana played Bruce Banner as a rough and tough, almost brutish scientist. This was quite a poor portrayal of Banner considering Banner is a fairly timid, nerdy, shy scientist when he is not angered into his Hulk form. It is the juxtaposition of Banner’s true self and the monster inside of him that makes him such an interesting character. Hollywood’s second attempt at the Incredible Hulk yielded much better results. Pro actor Edward Norton took over the reigns and played a more by the book Bruce Banner. Norton, who plays thin and nerdy very well, gave the audience a Banner that was brilliant, quiet and determined. Norton wore a heart monitor around his wrist to make sure his pulse did not rise enough to allow the beast out and spent the entire movie attempting to heal himself. Norton played Banner perfectly and rumors originally suggested that Norton was going to keep the role in the upcoming Avengers film. Much to my dismay, Norton has apparently backed out of the film which means, for you super hero fans, we are going to have to watch a third actor play Bruce Banner. Mark Ruffalo has stepped up to take the role, an interesting choice. Ruffalo is a great actor but does he have what it takes to pull of a version of Bruce Banner that compares to or surpasses Norton’s? I think it is going to be a tough feat to pull off, especially considering Ruffalo’s acting style. Ruffalo tends to play charming, self-assured characters which are two terms that aren’t necessarily used to describe The Hulk’s alter ego. I do think that Ruffalo will do well with the actors playing the rest of the Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. in particular. I also believe that Ruffalo has the ability and skills to play a Bruce Banner that may surpass Norton’s version. I only hope that his acting and portrayal combine nicely with the directing and writing of the film to give The Avengers the green monster it deserves.
If The Second Time Was A Charm, What Will We Get With Hollywood’s Third Attempt At Bruce Banner?