Solid but dated entertainment. Lots of great actors in this but don't expect today's CGI speed and lack of plotine. Ferrigno will impress you as the Incredible Hulk and there's no CGI back then!
The Death of the Incredible Hulk.... Ending on a Sad Note...
(2 out of 5 stars)
""The Death of the Incredible Hulk" has some rather dramatically exciting moments (particularly in the first half, during which Banner's mysterious guiding of the research of the elder scientist is discovered, he reveals his identity, and work begins and nearly ends on curing him of his 12-year curse). Bill Bixby gives perhaps his best performance as Dr. David Banner, aside from the pilot, and all appears in the first act or so to be the makings of perhaps the very best, and final, entry in the series. Supporting players, including Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk, are adaquately covered (despite the weakest of first Hulk-outs in the saga as Banner is mugged in the opening minutes and subsequently changes into the Hulk and throws the muggers around and crashes into some walls). Then, the spy plot enters in and we are forced to watch as once again David Banner's hopes for a cure are ruined and in the rage of which he becomes the Hulk further complicatiung any possibility of his ever getting a second crack at the method. The spy plot subsequently consumes the remainder of the film and thus depreciates the film's overall rating. Banner comes through yet another series of heroic events and saves the day (with the help of course of his 7-foot alter ego). Then, as if the screenwriters remembered that they had to justify the title, Banner gets angry one last time and chases down a plane. The Hulk unintentionally causes the plane to explode and then falls in slow motion to the ground with a thud. Dying, the Hulk changes back into David Banner to survive long enough for Bill Bixby to utter the last words, with tears in his white eyes, "Yasmine, I am free..." One of the major problems with this film is that it serves to bookend the entire "Incredible Hulk" TV saga as a big cautionary tale. This is not fair to both the followers of the series or the cast and crew that brought it to life (though endearingly cheesily). Yes, 12 years prior, the character of David Banner made a dumb mistake in his researching into the "hidden strengths that all humans have"; however, 12 years of roaming the United States helping other people with ethical or personal dilemas while on a quest to cure himself is, I always thought, a suitable punishment for his self-ethical crime. David Banner was a good guy that made one dumb mistake that haunted him for 12 years. Death was a cheap marketing gimmick, more than an appropriate end to the saga. (Yes, there was supposedly going to be another "Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk", but Bill Bixby became too sick to act and eventually died in 1993 of cancer). Bixby was such a likeable actor too, partly no doubt contributing to my belief that his likeable character should have gotten to regain his life and have a happier ending than a thoughtless death that bore no narrative sense and didn't really bring the whole thing to a full circle. I don't know, but with such a mythological character, it is not an issue of even death by how he or she dies. It has to work in a narrative sense as well as a production sense. And, of course, another issue, as with the prior film "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk", Jack Colvin's reporter Jack McGee was not part of the story, thus robbing the audience of some of what made the TV show classic. After seeing this film, I just wondered why it was made and why something that began with such vast ideas could end in such narrow cliches..."
Excellent ending to the series
Brian Reaves | Anniston, AL USA | 05/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rather than sit and berate the fact that Hulk dies in this movie (sorry if I spoiled that for you, but the title should have been a hint), be thankful that this series gets a treatment that a LOT of others never do: an ending. While "The Fugitive" stands as an exception, most series of this nature usually just fade into oblivion and force you to make up your own ending (anyone remember "Nowhere Man"?). I, for one, thought this movie was excellent, and the storyline was good. Yes, there were some cheesy moments, but it's a TV movie about a comic book, for crying out loud! Give 'em some credit! All in all, this movie has a solid plot, and Banner's last words truly were a perfect ending to it (though the manner of Hulk's death seems sort of haphazardly thrown in at the last minute). Well worth viewing and owning!"
Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno do their final tag-team effort w
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Incredible Hulk" ran on CBS from 1978 to 1982, starring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner and body builder Lou Ferrigno as his giant green alter ego. The television series kept Banner on the run, while reporter Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) dogged his heels. Basically it was a set up similar to "The Fugitive," except every week at some point Banner would have to become the Hulk. The key line was so obvious they worked it into the opening credits when Banner warned the reporter: "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Fans certainly did, even if they never read the Marvel comic books about ol' greenskin. When the television series went off the air NBC aired an animated version of "The Incredible Hulk" as part of its Saturday morning lineup that run from September 1982 to September 1985.
In 1988, Bixby, Ferrigno and Colvin returned for the first in a series of television movies, "The Incredible Hulk Returns." This was followed the next year by "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," which ditched the reporter character and replaced him with another Marvel superhero, Daredevil (a.k.a. Matt Murdock). Then in 1989 we have what proved to be the last television movie of the Hulk, which makes sense when you look at the title of the film (there were rumors of a sequel, but Bixby's death in 1993 made that impossible). Bixby directed this television movie, so you have to think this is how he wanted to the series to end.
People think Banner is dead, so he is laying low, calling himself David Bellamy and working as a janitor at a high security research facility. David seems to be a bit slow, always forgetting his thermos and leaving by the wrong exit, but he has been there for several months and the guards are used to his slow ways. Of course this is just a pretense so that when everybody goes home he can sneak into the genetics lab. Ostensibly he is looking for a way to reverse what has happened to him and get rid of the Hulk, but he is also helping Dr. Ronald Pratt (Philip Sterling) with his research by correcting his mistakes. Pratt is trying to figure out who is helping him along and is surprised when he discovers it is the janitor. But he understands perfectly when he learns that David is the famous David Banner and agrees to help.
Meanwhile, there are evil foreigners who want to get their hands on Pratt's research and use it to create an army of perfect soldiers. Kasha (Andreas Katsulas, appearing without the massive makeup we remember from "Babylon 5") has coerced the beautiful Jasmin (Elizabeth Gracen), mistress of disguise, to break into the lab and steal Pratt's secrets. Even worse, Jasmin's sister, Bella (Anna Katarina), would not mind seeing her dead. Jasmin gets into Pratt's laboratory in the middle of an experiment with Banner, which means, of course, that the Hulk is going to appear. Now all the pieces are in play.
What is somewhat surprising is that the script by Gerald Di Pego, who also did "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," turns the last half of the movie into more of a romance. Fate has thrown David and Jasmin (pronounced "Yasmin" and not "Jasmine") together, and they fall for each other. In terms of this plotline that seems a bit of a stretch, but then technically the first Hulk movie (i.e, it was released on video as one) was the two-part television episode with Mariette Hartley as Dr. Caroline Fields, where she dies and we all cry. Clearly Bixby is interested in provoking that sort of response for the end of this one.
There is certainly an element of pathos to the finale of this one, but the big moment is not really set up that well. I had trouble accepting the relationship between Jasmin and David, so I had to play catch up. But then I felt the same way about the big scene for the Hulk at the end as well, finding it fell short of the big finish as well. Consequently, "The Death of the Hulk" has a bittersweet ending because they should have been able to come up with a better way of pulling this off. I round up on this one only because the ending has the implicit Bixby stamp of approval and because the first half was pretty solid."
What a Shame
Matt | NJ | 10/18/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I would have to call this a very lackluster finale to what was an otherwise amazing run for the Incredible Hulk. The original TV series seemed to be the standard that none of the later made-for-tv movies could touch. "Trial of.." and "The Return of..." both seemed to lack the production quality of the series - and this movie was even worse in that regard. The death of such an awe-inspiring character as the Incredible Hulk should have been part of a far better-written and better-developed script. This movie just doesn't do it for me. The acting is below par and the story drags along predictably. Nothing about this will raise your eyebrows... Pick this movie up if you're trying to collect as much Hulk footage as possible - otherwise, don't bother. You will most likely not watch it more than once."
It was well done!
Christopher S. O. Chao | Hong Kong | 02/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a big fan of the Incredible Hulk TV series as a kid more than 20 years ago. When 'The Death of' came out, I was delighted to watch it on video. The plot is quite excellent and Bill Bixby, as always, was able to play out the gloomy mood of the story and of David Banner. The ending of the movie is truly touching. Honestly, David Banner's last words made me cry. It could not have been a better ending to the movie. And I agree with one of the movie reviewers that, it was probably better that 'The Rebirth of' was never made and the ending to the Hulk story was left where it was at the end of 'The Death of'. It is an excellent DVD for anyone's Hulk DVD and related collection. The only down side to the DVD is the quality of the picture. At times, 'old spots' appear on the picture but this minor imperfection does not taint the quality of the movie as a whole."