Five years ago the execrable flop The Incredible Hulk deservedly dashed art-house director Ang Lee’s bid for multiplex glory.
The experience left Marvel Comics licking their wounds and hoping to revive a potentially 24-carat comic-strip franchise.
And, if plentiful action enlivened by superb CGI special effects and punctuated by aspirant intellectuality are what audiences want, then producer Avi Arad and director Louis Leterrier have delivered a surefire hit.
Just don't make him angry: Ed Norton as The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton is good value, giving depth to the tormented scientist Bruce Banner, who is hiding out in South America trying to find a cure for the gamma radiation that has poisoned him and transforms him into the raging Hulk when he gets angry.
Meanwhile General Ross (William Hurt, looking understandably hurt at the more clichéd aspects of his role as villain) is hunting Banner, and Tim Roth turns up as a relentless soldier scientifically transformed into The Hulk’s vicious new adversary The Abomination.
The action — notably the climactic Hulk vs Abomination face-off — is the film’s raison d’être and entertainingly delivered.
And, atypically for the genre, the intervening drama, while sometime verging on tedious, is not, actually, too embarrassing. This is good news.