Sunday, July 20, 2008

but can she act?

I finally saw The Incredible Hulk (the $2 show at The Riverview Theater). I was pretty skeptical considering the fallout between Edward Norton and the producers, but the movie was quite entertaining. More entertaining than I thought a Hulk movie could be. We're still not at a point with CGI that a movie like this can be totally seamless. The Hulk himself still requires a significant suspension of disbelief. However, the fight scenes were engaging, the plot moved with quick pacing, and the cast (for the most part) gave solid performances. There was just one element of the movie that felt considerably lacking. I'm talking about the beautiful face of Givenchy, Liv Tyler.

As far as celebrities go, Liv Tyler seems like a completely sweet and relatively normal woman. Not to mention the fact that she's absolutely stunning. I love her campaigns for Givenchy (Did you notice during the movie that when Bruce Banner dumped the contents of her purse onto the hotel bed, a Givenchy compact was included?). But whenever I see her in a movie, I feel like she plays her character as a total victim. As written, the character of Betty Ross, Bruce Banner's love interest, isn't even your standard damsel in distress. Abomination never grabs her and scales the Empire State Building. She's never captured and held hostage to lure the Hulk out of hiding. In fact, she rarely is in a position to need much rescuing at all. Nonetheless, every time she whispered "Bruce," all trembling and watery-eyed (and believe me, she does this at least a dozen times in the film), it reaffirmed my opinion of her as an actress. Even when Peter Jackson combined the characters of Glorfindel and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings movies so that Arwen could have something heroic to do in The Fellowship of the Ring, she still played the character as some delicate fragile flower. And I know that I'm not the only one who could barely handle her character in Empire Records (although I love that movie. GWAR!!). I would've loved to see what another actress could have done with that same Hulk source material, like what Maggie Gyllenhaal did with Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight. Creating a strong character is often just as much about the acting as it is the writing, and I don't think Liv Tyler will be saving the day any time soon. But again, she's so so pretty.

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