Retro Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008): A Conservative’s Nightmare


The Incredible Hulk has a well-paced story focused on solving Bruce Banner’s problem: he needs a cure to becoming the Hulk. Meanwhile, the United States Military hunts him relentlessly. If captured, he won’t be cured. Instead, Banner will become the subject of painful and dangerous medical experiments. He does not want to be the template for an assembly line of catastrophically powerful weapons. Banner hides in Brazil to avoid that fate. In Brazil, he conducts research in secret. An American collaborator, Dr. Samuel Sterns (the Leader), is excited by the commercial potential of their work. The screenwriters and director Louis Leterrier keep their attention on this story. They do not distract the audience by slipping liberal messages into the content.


The Hulk wants freedom and peace. He knows he doesn’t belong among the “puny humans” around him. Humanity has nothing to offer that he wants or needs. The problem is that the puny humans refuse to leave him alone. Ross wants to capture the Hulk. Banner’s love interest, Betty, wants to be reunited with him. Dr. Sterns wants to profit off of “Mr. Green” (Banner/Hulk). The evil soldier Emil Blonsky wants the Hulk’s power. The military has been ordered to capture the Hulk. Whatever Banner does, there is always something to trigger him into becoming the Hulk. When he does, he destroys everything in sight, as if to say, “leave me alone!” Then, with a great leap, the Hulk escapes over and over again.


The Incredible Hulk (2008) Official Trailer - Edward Norton, Liv Tyler Movie HD


The Hulk is a blend of two distinct but related personalities. In the comics, Bruce Banner is a timid man who abhors violence. He cares about good manners. General Ross’ belligerent personality frightens him. Banner is the spitting image of a modern liberal university professor. The Hulk is Banner’s opposite. The Hulk is savage. He does not care for social niceties. Violence is his remedy for most problems. Escape is his other solution. The Hulk is masculine to an extreme. Banner is passive and fearful. He worries that things will go wrong and someone will be hurt. His concern for such things retards his influence among men like Ross.


In the film, Norton’s Banner is not timid. He has a strong mind. He has nearly full control of his emotions and body through mental discipline. In the comic, “the Incredible Hulk #1”, Ross describes Banner as a “milksop”. Norton’s Banner is not a milksop.


The crux of the Hulk storyline reminds me of the Michael Douglas film, “Falling Down” (1993). In Falling Down, Douglas plays a middle-aged white man who experiences a series of mishaps that leave him feeling powerless. Douglas doesn’t like being powerless. He becomes more agitated and aggressive as the film progresses. His life has been one of containment. He has not been able to express himself throughout his life. Douglas’ character, named D-Fens (Defense), became a symbol of the angry white male stereotype promulgated by the press then and now.



In Falling Down, D-Fens wants to be the Hulk. Just once, he wants to fully express his rage and mow down his enemies in unstoppable fury. Societal norms constrain him. He plays by the rules. D-Fens must call the police if mugged. He must not violently defend himself. The Banner/Hulk combination is a parallel creature to D-Fens. Banner is helpless before Ross’ belligerence. The Hulk can deal with Ross on his level. The Hulk is masculine, powerful, unrestrained.


The Incredible Hulk conveys Banner’s oppression beautifully. It is difficult to avoid sympathizing with the downtrodden Banner. He is brilliant but unrecognized, has no money, no stable home, and is hounded to the ends of the Earth by relentless pursuers. Of some interest, this is exactly what modern liberals, Socialists all, wish upon conservatives. We know this because they have done their best to cause these effects. Unfortunately, they often succeed.



Liberals deplatform their opponents. Conservative ideas are grounds for termination or ostracization. Liberals teach society that conservatives are inferior. Conservative ideas and reality itself are inverted. Legalized abortion becomes law and is encouraged. Men are women and women are men. Criminals are elevated to martyr status. Police officers are assassinated, shops are looted, and cities burned. This is the world conservatives experience every day. It is nightmare and reality. Marginalized conservatives and the Hulk have much in common. 


The world sees the Hulk as a monster, but the audience sees the man within. In contemporary American society, conservatives are made into monsters by media, academics, intellectuals, and their followers. All dissent is swiftly neutralized, leaving increasingly fewer paths of escape. Conservatives are asked to conform or suffer the consequences. To conform with liberal expectations is antithetical to all conservative principles. As such, it is a horror to contemplate. Should we salute criminals, polish the boots of our oppressors, allow our goods to be stolen, apologize for our skin color, sacrifice our career aspirations, discard integrity, and deny our faith? What is the alternative? The exits are closing one by one. Few remain open.



Some conservatives are independently wealthy. This allows them to maintain their lives and principles relatively unmolested. Many disguise their conservative beliefs and hide in plain sight. And yet, conservatives are increasingly losing the battle to relentless social justice warriors. How else to explain the cancellation of successful television series (Roseanne), obsequious apologies by major corporations (Reebok), and the silencing of conservative organizations (PragerU)? Marxist invaders disguised as citizens harass conservatives wherever they are found. They must be stopped before they are unstoppable. The exits are closing.



Americans today need societal balance. It may not be possible to achieve by diplomacy. On the heels of the month-long rioting throughout the country, maybe we need a Hulk to set things right. Send in the National Guard and send Socialist agitators back to their parent’s basements. Better yet, to jail, where they can be punished for the crimes they have committed.


2008’s Incredible Hulk has no clear examples of liberal bias. And so on that basis, it cannot have a bias quotient higher than 50. The perspective matches a conservative perspective well without drawing attention to itself. The Incredible Hulk receives a BQ score of 25, meaning it is moderately conservative-leaning.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy lives in an isolated wilderness surrounded by large trees, heavy boulders, and dangerous wildlife. He moved to his present location from a quaint city in Europe, where he taught at university for twelve years. Before that, he lived in a different isolated wilderness surrounded by large cacti, tiny orange rocks, and deadly wildlife. His hobbies include collecting comics and writing for scientific journals. Every other hobby he's had was turned into a career and cannot be described as a hobby any longer. His favorite book is a reproduction of a diary written by a six year-old clairvoyant who lived in Victorian England. His favorite deity is God, the one and only.