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Avengers was great, but it was mindless and full of one-liners and huge budget CG, which isn't a bad thing entirely. However, it was made JUST to be loaded full of action so it could appeal to everybody and reel in tons of money, which it did incredibly well, mostly due to Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson. Mark Ruffalo, having never seen him in any other movie as of recent, did a good job playing what little lines he had in the movie, but don't discredit Edward Norton. He's a great actor, and also did a good job playing his role. As far as acting skill goes, they both make great Doctor Banner's because they're great actors, but if just for appearances, Mark Ruffalo can't get the gauntlet just because he was in Avengers. That's as bad as saying Andrew Garfield is a better Spiderman than Toby McGuire because he's going to be in the next summer blockbuster. Not happening. For playing a character Stan Lee gave lots of issues, Toby does a terrific job, just as Ed did.
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Being a child of the golden age of comics from the 60's and 70's and having watched The Incredible Hulk on TV, I feel that this movie continues the spirit of Bruce (or David if you will) Banner and the Incredible Hulk. Banner was constantly being chased by forces, some known, some unknown and he was always trying to keep the Hulk in control. Sometimes he won and sometimes the Hulk won and sometimes they both won. This movie follows along in that same vein. And it is enjoyable as long as you keep that in mind. But, it is not the same as the Mark Ruffalo version. There is minimal humor. The CGI isn't as good as it will be by the time Ruffalo takes over. Edward Norton is a wonderful dramatic actor. He does have some comedic talent but not the same level of talent as Ruffalo. As a stand alone, it is a great movie. As part of the MCU, Ruffalo is a much better choice than Norton.
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Ed Norton is good and the fights and action scenes are solid but the
supporting cast is awful and the directing/screenwriting is dismal.
Everything is choppy, nothing is explained and you're left wondering what's
happening for the majority of the film. Norton's performance keeps this at
three stars but I'm not sure it's worth the rewatch.