Monday, February 27, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Trial of the Incredible Hulk

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk is a 1989 live-action, made-for-TV movie set in the continuity of the Incredible Hulk TV show. Once again, it featured Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
This film starts with Banner down and out, again. In some bizarre twist of fate, David Banner is blamed for attacking a girl. An over-the-top Kingpin makes sure the victim fingers Banner to protect his own goons who actually committed the crime. Daredevil then comes to the aid of Banner as his lawyer, blind Matt Murdock. For some reason, The Kingpin thinks if he kills Daredevil all of the crime lords will fall in line under him so he arranges for Daredevil to fall.

This movie is a bit of a mess and not only that but it's incredibly boring.

Let's start with Daredevil. His costume design (a all black jump suit - no horns or DD insignia), while practical, is very dull to look at. The film spends lots of time developing Murdock and his supporting cast (once again floating the concept like in a pilot) but it never seems to get past some really bad jokes about sight and blindness. There are a couple of sequences that show the world in Daredevil's "radar vision" that are pretty neat but beyond that when I see Murdock or Daredevil on screen, I want to yawn. Any real action comes from the Hulk.

The Kingpin is likewise horrible. He fails to be menancing in any way. For some reason, this version of the character is camera obsessed... perhaps because it was a tech fad of the day. He is completely obsessed with Daredevil but you don't see how Daredevil could be a real threat because he's an incompetent buffoon. You end up wondering how The Kingpin ever became a crime lord at all.

The whole concept of Banner being locked up is an interesting one. The sequence with the Hulk breaking out of jail is one of the rare highlights in the movie. The other is actually a dream sequence with Banner transforming into the Hulk right on the stand in court! Seeing the Hulk lift the jury box with Stan Lee in it is a nice treat.

The rest of this film is a slow paced mess. They even messed with the classic Hulk opening sequence!

1LR Review - 9 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

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