Headscratchers / The Incredible Hulk

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     Ross's lack of subtlety 
  • Regarding Ross's attempt to capture Bruce at Culver University, why did he order such a horribly un-stealthy plan? The general certainly prepared in terms of weaponry for a Hulk encounter, but not for trying to avoid the Hulk at all. If he was trying to capture Bruce quickly and quietly, wouldn't it have been a lot smarter for him to send an undercover team posing as teachers/students to take him by surprise? If Bruce struggles, they could remind him that he's in a building full of innocent civilians and thus make him unwilling to transform. Then they could sedate him to take him out of the school and to a secure site. Even if Ross's "send ALL the soldiers!!" plan had worked, he would have still had to deal with the publicity of soldiers rushing through the school and jeeps smashing through parked cars.
    • "Make him unwilling to transform" is meaningless. Bruce is always unwilling to transform. And you're presuming that Ross knows intimately what makes Bruce transform—all he likely knows is that when Bruce is mad or agitated, he turns into a big green monster. The plan seemed to be to throw the gas in and sedate him before he could do anything.
    • Ross said himself in Brazil that Bruce wants to be left alone. He also saw in the chase that it took a relatively long time for Bruce to transform and he ended up being forced to. That's a hint that with enough speed and stealth, they could quietly sedate Bruce rather than create a situation where he's guaranteed to be agitated.
    • Just because we saw it clearly doesn't mean Ross was able to put the same things together just as clearly. Remember also that your knowledge of what seems logical is tainted by the additional information you have that he doesn't. It's also not taking into account that a man whose nickname is "Thunderbolt" is probably not a model of self-restraint and subtlety anyway. He's doing what his character always has done... poking a sleeping dragon in the eye and saying "Hey. Quit it."
    • General Ross's goal was to take out Banner before he hulked out. Presumably he brought all the extra artillery just in case, and it turns out he needed it, because (as he mentions) "someone showed their hand early".
    • Blonsky mentions the need for heavy firepower after the mission in Brazil. Ross planned for Banner to be sedated and not have a hulk out at all, but someone jumped the gun. The plan was probably similiar to the one in NYC, hit Banner with a traq dart and rush in and restrain him.

    Military as police 

  • As an added issue, has Ross ever heard the words "posse comitatus"? That's the name of a law that states that the US Military is explicitly prohibited from acting as a police unit, which is precisely what he is doing by declaring Banner to be a murderer and sending in Army units to arrest him (This is setting aside whether or not his declaring Banner to be government property violates the involuntary servitude section of the 13th Amendment). The NYPD would have been legally entitled (And technically required) to arrest him for trying to arrest Banner himself rather than leaving that job up to the police or FBI. Not to mention the appalling diplomatic incident he caused by sending a commando unit into a friendly country which has had an active extradition agreement with the US for over 40 years to kidnap a fugitive without even trying to go through the proper extradition procedure.
    • This may be the cause for his "promotion" to Secretary of State in Captain America: Civil War.
    • There is a similar, more detailed discussion on the Captain America: Civil War headscratchers. Though it boils down to though we never see him get authorization to operate stateside or in Brazil. But both are public acts (Ross has an US Army command vehicle in Brazil) and he has help from local authorities (There's a Brazilian soldier in the command vehicle with him, plus the FBI and NYPD help stateside) more then likely he had the proper authority but the movie doesn't get bogged down by having scenes showing that permission being granted. And remember, Banner has been on the run for a few years when the movie starts. Any authority to operate in the US would have been granted before the movie started.

     Anachronistic uniforms 
  • Why are the soldiers in this movie wearing BDU instead of ACU? The U.S. Army retired the BDU entirely before this movie was released, and it seems unlikely that the ACU would be unavailable to the studio, or that General Ross and his forces would be using uniforms that were on the verge of being retired. It makes even less sense if this movie is supposed to take place (at most) a few years before The Avengers, where we see soldiers in ACU during the battle of New York.
    • Because The Avengers was Backed By The National Guard and The Incredible Hulk wasn't.
    • Why would it make less sense for the earlier movie to use the earlier uniforms? Simple answer: In the MCU, the military was still using BDU at the time of Hulk and switched to ACU in time for Avengers.

     Not telling Bruce that he was working on re-creating Captain America. 
  • Why keep Bruce in the dark about re-creating the Captain America program, especially since Cap himself was considered a national hero and an unqualified success story? It's not like he would have any moral quandary about creating the next great hero, right? He doesn't know how the serum works, so he doesn't have any reason to believe that there would be any negative consequences to creating it (although we, the audience, know that there can be). Also, if you want a scientist to create a Super Soldier serum, then telling him that he's supposed to be creating something besides a Super Soldier serum is a terrible way to get results.
    • Bruce is smart enough to realize that he's not creating the next great hero, he'd be creating the next great weapon. As for no reason to believe any negative consequences? The Red Skull is plenty of reason to believe there's negative consequences to doing an imperfect serum.
    • Okay, fair enough, but the fact remains that if you tell him that he's supposed to be working on a defense against radiation, then he's going to give you a defense against radiation, as opposed to the Super Serum you were hoping for.
    • The best thing to do is just pay for a guy who'd do it anyway.

     The Abomination 
  • Why did they give Emil Blonsky the second drug that led to his transformation? The first drug was producing amazing results already, e.g., sprinting across a field with no fatigue when compared to fellow soldiers, going toe-to-toe with the hulk in melee combat, albeit in a dodge rich fashion, etc.
    • Because they wanted to "improve" on the original results. And his actual transformation happens because Blonsky threatens the doc into giving it to him, not because of an injection that the military gave him.
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