|Like Hulk, questions remain unanswered. But unlike Hulk, they don't even bring them up. So I can't complain.|
Later that night, Bruce gets a place to stay from Stanley, an old friend who owns a pizza joint (played by former animated Bruce Banner Paul Soles). They talk about Betty’s new boyfriend for a bit before Bruce asks for another favor. The next day, Bruce bikes towards the science building in his new pizza delivery gear. He runs into a Lou Ferrigno cameo guarding the lobby and whips up a story about somebody ordering a pizza. After bribing the guy with an extra pizza, Bruce gets entrance and a handshake. It’s actually kind of heartwarming to see the Hulk doing Bruce Banner a favor like this.
|"Yeah, I just transferred from Berkeley."|
After Bruce waits for Norton 360 to check the computer for any spyware (clever joke), he looks for the old project in the database. But it’s gone, along with any records of this “Bruce Banner” person. He starts up an encrypted chat with Mr. Blue and informs him that the old data is no more.
Later that night, Bruce packs his bag and gets ready to leave Stanley’s spare room just as Betty and her new boyfriend enter at closing time to beg their old pal Stanley for a quick meal. And of course he happens to walk out of the kitchen right as Betty looks in that direction. She follows him outside, but he quickly gives her the slip by hiding behind a dumpster. She goes back in and confronts Stanley as Bruce walks down the rainy streets. Somehow, Betty manages to find out which direction he went and catches up to him in a car. She gets out and they embrace.
|I'd quote The Notebook here, but I've willingly blocked every memory of that movie from my mind.|
Speaking of weaponizing people, General Ross is down in cold storage looking for the old batch of Super Soldier Serum, probably stored between a stripey triangular shield and that robot Dr. Horton built. You know, the one that kept catching on fire. And he finds it. To my inner fanboy’s delight, the canister’s label is full of Easter Eggs.
The program is labeled as “Weapons Plus,” which was the main program that led to Operation: Rebirth, which gave muscles to some skinny kid from Brooklyn. Another subprogram of Weapons Plus, (Weapon X) ended up giving metal bones to a hairy Canadian. The developer is listed as “Dr. Reinstein,” which was an alias of Dr. Erskine, the developer of the Super Soldier Serum. And the Batch Number is 006-V2, which probably means that this isn’t the original formula, but an attempt to recreate the original doctor’s work. Now that's what I call showing your work. A-plus, movie.
Ross removes the serum from the canister, and we cut back to Bruce and Betty. Much like the One Ring and the Elven city of Rivendell, it’s simply not safe for Bruce to stay at Betty’s house for long, despite their wishes. Neither of them sleep well that night.
…They’re in separate beds. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Speaking of beds, Blonsky gets strapped to one after General Ross tells him that he’ll only get a low dose of the serum. If he acts crazy, Hulks out, or has his head turn red and shrivel down to a Skull, then he’s off the team. The doctor explains that Blonsky will be getting two injections. One into the deep muscle tissue, with sounds painful, and one into his bone marrow, which sounds even more painful. Like it will hurt more than you’ve ever been burned before. It will leave a scar. After Blonsky gets a needle to the spine, we cut to the next day, where Bruce is preparing to leave Betty behind at Culver University. She fusses with his shirt for a second and gets one last look at him and his dreamy eyes. But Bruce notices some Army vehicles approaching to apprehend him and tells Betty to get the heck out of Dodge as he runs in the other direction. You know, strictly speaking, the Willowdale police are obligated to arrest the military for chasing an American citizen, once again flagrantly disregarding posse comitatus.
Leading the charge on foot is Emil Blonsky. Already, changes have taken place as he effortlessly outruns people almost half his age. General Ross yells at him through the radio not to engage yet. So at the very least, Blonsky’s tendency to crave a good fight hasn’t changed. Bruce leads a good chase through campus into the library, where he swallows the USB drive with the data on it to keep the military from getting it and destroying it. Betty, meanwhile, runs in front of one of the military vehicles to stop them because not only does she have no common sense, but she seems to be under the assumption that the Army isn’t willing to break the law when it comes to US civilians.
Betty: “I know you’re in there! General, please!”
It isn’t until she yells “Daaaaaad!” that he gets out. Now, Betty has called him “the General” every time she’s referred to him up to this point. Is she on bad terms with him? Or were the writers simply trying to keep their relation a secret? I mean, who could have guessed that two characters in a movie with the same last name were related?
|This will be the one important thing she does in this movie. And even then, it accomplishes jack.|
|19! 62! Hut... hut... Hulk!|
Anyway, the fight begins, and it’s as one sided as you’d expect, considering that bullets don’t work against this guy. The Hulk is simply brutal as he smashes up the hardware while some college students try to get phone footage from a distance. Blonsky is given the order to apprehend the beast, and he enters the fray, opening with a grenade launcher and following that up with some moves straight out of The Matrix.
|So, all that science and resources thrown at Blonsky... and he's still just shooting a gun at the bulletproof monster?|
In the 1940’s, Dr. Emil Erskine created the Super Soldier Serum that appeared to only work once successfully. But that’s not true. It’s worked multiple times, but not in the way that Army wants it to. It doesn’t just give you muscles, it enhances you. Everything about you. Body and mind. If you start out as a pure-hearted boy from Brooklyn, you become a superhuman defender of the weak. If you start of as a Nazi, then you become a ruthless demon-faced maniac.
Bruce Banner started off as a guy with anger issues who repressed his emotions until he lost control. He became a giant green rage monster. Emil Blonsky started off as a born warrior looking for a good fight. Slowly, his passion for fighting is slowly growing past the point he can control it. If this keeps up, he’ll end up as nothing but a rampaging monster who only wants to destroy things. The only reason that Captain America didn’t suffer any horrible side effects was because not only did he get the formula in a lab with proper equipment and staff, but there’s also the matter of the dose of “Vita-Rays.” When you replace that vital ingredient with Gamma radiation, it doesn’t quite work properly. But even so, the Hulk isn’t the result of science gone horribly wrong. It went horribly right. So we can only imagine what’s in store for Blonsky.
Blonsky manages to hold his own against the Hulk to allow the Stark Industries sonic cannons to be brought in, which slam the Hulk with concentric circles of sound. Hulk hears Betty’s screams of protest, and this spurs him on to muster the strength to get back up and break the weapons with his makeshift shields. Blonsky steps in to fight again and pulls out his earpiece so he can taunt the big guy one-on-one.
Blonsky: “Is that all you got?”
In response, the Hulk kicks him into a tree.
|It's absolutely hilarious.|
General Ross: “You have my word, her safety is my main concern.”
Leonard: “You know, it’s a point of professional pride with me that I can always tell when somebody’s lying.”
|I thought that was Blonsky’s thing?|
|“WHY DO PEOPLE THINK HULK YOU?”|
|“I think you know.”|
|“NO, HULK DON’T.”|
|“Yes, you do. Why would anyone possibly confuse you with me?”|
|“UH… HULK DON’T KNOW.”|
|“You got it."|
|“BECAUSE WE SAME PERSON.”|
Coming up in Part 3: Yet another villain, yet another cameo.