"The Death of the Incredible Hulk" recently ran on Fox Movie Channel in the middle of the night. Re-watching it for the first time since it originally aired (on NBC), I was surprised at how well it held up. It's far, far better than the other two NBC TV-movies, which were painfully idiotic, from what I remember. The characters in "Death" were well-drawn and fleshed-out, and some of the spy stuff seemed surprisingly real, except for the over-the-top villains. (Andreas Katsulas doesn't get anything to work with here; he was much better on Babylon 5.) The woman who played Jasmine was actually a credible master of disguise.
But the hulk-outs were not as good as in the series. Lou Ferrigno's wig (or whatever bizarre thing they put on his head) was all wrong. Some of the Hulk action is pretty pathetic, too. Also, the sound cue when David Banner's eyes turn white was COMPLETELY wrong. I grew up with the later seasons of the CBS series, so a Hulk transformation without that perfect, incredibly eerie, high-pitched droning siren-like noise is NOT a proper Hulk transformation. Strangely enough, I couldn't really enjoy either of the recent Hulk films for this reason either. (Um, plus the first one needed a better script and the second one needed a better director.) I guess I got conditioned to expect that sound when I was five years old. They didn't use that exact sound in the first season of the show either, so I can't really enjoy the first season. It's only in season 2 onwards, if I remember correctly.
One big flub in the "Death" movie, though, is the atrocious vocal music that's playing after the climactic explosion, during the fall to the ground. What the hell was that? Fortunately it goes away pretty quickly. And (watch out, big spoiler if you haven't seen it) the final words spoken by David Banner are perfectly heartbreaking... when Jasmin says, "Don't die... we can be free now," he gasps, "I am
It's incredibly sad, but at least the show got an actual ending. That's more than you can say for virtually any TV series (unless maybe it was intensely serialized) from the 70s or 80s. Most of them just petered out.
Edited by soupcat, Feb 2, 2012 @ 5:12 PM.