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The Incredible Hulk vs. Ang Lee’s Hulk: Which Hulk Movie is Superior?

The MCU may not have a Hulk movie of its own. But there already are two films featuring the Jade Giant in Hollywood. Ang Lee’s Hulk movie was different, probably still is, than most superhero films. The Incredible Hulk is said to be a darn good popcorn flick.

The question is – which Hulk movie is better? Is Ang Lee’s Hulk movie the better choice or does Louis Leterrier’s film take the cake?

Ang Lee’s Hulk Movie: The San Francisco Sequence

Ang Lee Hulk San Francisco
Ang Lee Hulk Movie San Francisco Scene

Almost every fan of the Ang Lee Hulk movie would swear by it. The San Francisco set really took the viewers’ breath away. A single, well executed set piece could really help elevate a movie. And Ang Lee’s Hulk movie did it with this scene.

In the movie’s second act, the Hulk latches on to a fighter jet and the pilot takes the jet to the upper atmosphere. The Hulk passes out and crashes into the ocean. Then he tears his way out from under the streets of San Francisco.

The Incredible Hulk: Tried To Expand With More Hulk Villains

The Incredible Hulk The Leader
The Leader

The Ang Lee Hulk movie left little to no room for a sequel. But The Incredible Hulk movie did way better in that regard. apart from the post credits, the movie also teased another iconic Hulk villain.

In the closing moments of the movie before the Hulk fights the Abomination, Banner’s irradiated blood falls into the head wound of Samuel Sterns, whose head quickly starts to mutate. Sterns is better known as the Leader, a Hulk villain ranked by IGN as the 63rd greatest comic book villain ever.

Ang Lee’s Hulk Movie: Visually Appealing

Ang Lee Hulk visuals
Hulk (2003)

The Incredible Hulk had succumbed to the trend back in the day. Louis Leterrier was clearly influenced by the Nolan Batman movies and his Hulk movie was dark and gloomy, mirroring the DC movies of the day.

In retrospect, Ang Lee’s Hulk movie embraced the colorful visuals the Hulk comic book panels are known for. Many of the scenes in the movie were visually stunning, one of the many highlights of the movie.

The Incredible Hulk: Two Words – The Abomination

Abomination Tim Roth
The Abomination

Eric Bana‘s Hulk had one major flaw. It did not have a villain that took up the spotlight like Tim Roth did in the 2008 movie. Back then, memorable comic book supervillains were too far and too little. The 2008 movie tried changing that.

Tim Roth played the Abomination to near perfection. In pre-MCU days, managing to get away with something like that is not everyone’s cup of tea. Ang Lee’s Hulk movie though was forced to suffer through a huge villain problem.

Ang Lee’s Hulk Movie: Dives Deep Into Bruce Banner

2003 Hulk Eric Bana
Eric Bana – Bruce Banner

Some movie connoisseurs are of the opinion that Ang Lee made a superior Hulk movie. And that is because he focused the story more on the man than the monster. Ang Lee’s Hulk movie focused on the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dynamic rather than the more thrilling parts of Hulk adventures.

Instead of making it yet another generic action packed blockbuster within the superhero genre, he tried to do something really unique. The Freudian psycho-drama part of this movie really intrigues fans to this day.

The Incredible Hulk: The Action Is Way Better

The Incredible Hulk action
The Incredible Hulk Had Better Action Sequences

One criticism the Ang Lee Hulk movie gets is that the film lacked sorely in production value action scenes. Showcasing too much of the man within the monster left very little wiggle room for good action sequences.

On the other hand, 2008’s The Incredible Hulk had tons of thrilling, adrenaline packed action scenes. Many a times the 2008 movie took us by surprise with the raw brutality of Edward Norton’s Hulk. By skipping the origin story which everyone knows. Louis Leterrier made the right call.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.