Alphabetical Movie – The Incredible Hulk
So, based on box office returns, we’ve all seen The Avengers by now, right?
Thus we are all aware that the best Hulk, by far, is Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. Eric Banna and Edward Norton both took one look at Ruffalo, threw their jackets over their shoulders and walked wistfully down the highway while Ruffalo smashed the shit out of Loki.
So here’s my question – what the heck happened to Edward Norton, Jr?
After American History X, I thought the guy was going to have an amazing career and it sure looked like he was headed that way. The next film out of the gate is Fight Club, a favorite of every fanboy who hates The Matrix. A short while later he was in The Score, with Robert DeNiro and Marlon fucking Brando.
Then he was in Death to Smoochy, which is a complete mess of a film but it is a fascinating mess of a film.
Then he fell into a black hole of acting. I’m not sure I want to blame The Italian Job but holy shit – have you seen The Italian Job?
I mean, the movie isn’t great but Norton is horrible. At times, he looks like his goal is to actively sabotage the film but putting in the worst performance possible. I don’t understand how you can act that badly by accident. I feel like you have to try to be that awful.
After The Italian Job he has very few roles and they are in forgotten films. I personally liked The Illusionist but I’m one of ten people who watched it.
The Incredible Hulk isn’t bad and it is certainly better than Ang Lee’s spectacularly bad Hulk but Norton never felt totally committed to the role. Is it any wonder that when it came time to put together The Avengers, Banner was recast?
It’s like Norton has given up on acting which is OK, I guess, because the movie seem to be giving up on him.
It isn’t that he is responsible for the failure of any particular film. He just doesn’t seem to want to be in movies at all.
That’s fine, I guess, if he’d – you know – stop acting. If he’s gonna keep making movies, though, I’d like to feel like he enjoyed doing it.
I’m sure he owns a much nicer house than I do and drives a much nicer car. I’ll bet the kinds of parties to which he gets invited are the kinds of parties at which I’d serve him drinks.
If he wants to pursue some other career at this point, nobody is going to blame him. That doesn’t seem to be his plan, though. Which is puzzling when you expect someone who makes a living as an actor to actually spend time acting. Looking like you don’t want to be there isn’t acting.
Let me say that this entire blog entry may be moot because I’ve heard good things about Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s new film. I look forward to seeing it and hope Norton doesn’t look like he’s bored with the whole thing.
Which could be challenging because that is sort of what most characters in a Wes Anderson film are supposed to look like.
Wes Anderson, however, is an indie director who isn’t really going to resurrect anyone’s career. If we’re lucky, he resurrected Norton’s desire to do a good job.
Norton is also in The Bourne Legacy, which could be a good film. I worry about it, though, because up to this point, the majority of the 2012 tentpole movies have been good. Something has to suck.
And Norton’s batting average is way down.