By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn June 12, 2008 at 6:05AM
So The Incredible Hulk is a halfway decent blockbuster. I find the creature -- and the history of his various permutations over the years -- far more interesting than the giant-sized spectacle opening at a theater near you this Friday, but the movie clearly has enough one-sided excitement to function as the flat hunk of entertainment that it is. I've elaborated on this point here, in a conventional review. Check it out for more hulkish thoughts.
But let's get back to that Tony Stark cameo I discussed earlier. As the last scene of the film, it basically reads like a commercial for a franchise that Universal hopes to god it can pull off. If it does, the results will be huge...for a little while. An Avengers movie might bring the positive marriage of good actors and energizing spectacles we haven't seen since X-Men and X2, but I can't help thinking that decades from now, when audiences catch The Incredible Hulk at superhero movie retrospective at some revival house, this ending will make us all look pretty damn stupid. "Boy," one future viewer will say to his pal, "people really bought anything back then, huh?" Yep, pretty much.