Marvel's The Incredible Hulk 3 is a 2014 live-action superhero movie produced by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios centered around the popular superhero, the Hulk. It is overall fourteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe released worldwide November 7th 2014.
The idea of a third Hulk film had been discussed by Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox since The Incredible Hulk 2's release in late 2010. However, due to the film's underperformance from Fox's expectations the Neill Blomkamp's lack of interest in directing another film, the movie had a much more sluggish development compared to the other MCU sequels, nonetheless Kevin Feige and Mark Ruffalo showed optimism and a consistent desire to finish the trilogy. At Comic Con 2012 the official slate for Phase 2 was released putting The Incredible Hulk 3 in November 2014, four years after its predecessor's release. In October 2012, Marvel Studios tapped Guillermo Del Toro to direct the third Hulk film, as he was one of the runner ups to direct The Incredible Hulk but wasn't able commit due to scheduling conflicts.
Del Toro expressed an interest in simplifying the franchise back to its monstrous roots by having characters like the Red Hulk and She-Hulk join the franchise. Showing less interest in the gritty psychological analysis the other films often explored and generally desired to "shake up" the Hulk and his supporting characters. Marvel Studios did confirm that the movie would take place after The Avengers and would also deal with the growth Bruce experienced during that film.
In early 2013 Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke joined the cast of The Incredible Hulk 3, reprising their roles as Taskmaster and Crimson Dynamo respectively in addition to Tim Roth as Abomination. This sparked rumors online that the film would feature the notorious Thunderbolts team of super villains from the comics. These rumors became cemented further when Tim Roth confirmed in an interview that was the direction he was looking forward for his character go in.
The movie entered production in mid 2013. Being released officially on November 7th 2014.
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk
- William Hurt as General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross/Red Hulk
- Kerry Washington as Lucy Ryker/Harpy
- Angie Harmon as Jennifer "Jen" Walters/She-Hulk
- Liv Tyler as Betty Ross
- Aaron Eckhart as Agent Clay Quartermain
- Terrence Howard as General John Ryker
- Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/A-Bomb
- Jason Statham as Thomas "Tommy" Masters/Taskmaster
- Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Crimson Dynamo
- Salma Hayek as Katherine Waynesboro
- Adrian Pasdar as General Glenn Talbot
- Freddie Prinze Jr. as Himself (Cameo)
- William Sadler as President Matthew Ellis (Cameo)
The film begins with a young Jennifer Walters playing inside her room until being called down by her mother, Elaine, who tells Jen that her cousin Bruce is going to need to stay with them for a little bit. It then shows Bruce and Jennifer growing up together as they form a near sibling like bond. Many years later, it shows Walters now as a successful lawyer advocating on behalf of Bruce to the President and Supreme Court. She claims after the events of New York he deserves a pardon for all charges pressed against him as the Hulk. General Ross argues that he's hurt countless soldiers and that the deal he agreed to with S.H.I.E.L.D. is that he would stay locked him up. Jennifer responds saying that they followed through exactly as they promised. Containing the Hulk until he was under control, but now he is and actively saving the Earth. The President and Court discuss matters privately and eventually rule in Jennifer's favor. Matthew Ellis personally telling Bruce Robert Banner he is pardoned of all crimes he has committed as Hulk. The cousins celebrate together while General Ross is in shock and eventually collapses on the ground from a heart attack.
The camera then pans inside his body as it shows his cells begin to mutate green at first before becoming a dark shade of red spelling out THE INCREDIBLE HULK 3.
Months later, it shows the peaceful quiet meadows of the Great Plains, until the Hulk begins testing his strength limits smashing through everything in sight. Agent Clay Quartermain and Betty Ross watch him and are amazed by his raw power. Clay tells him he got the information he needs and sends Betty out to calm him down. Betty slowly approaches the Hulk and begins chanting to him "the sun's getting real low" which makes Hulk slowly transform back into Bruce Banner. Betty and him return to where Agent Quartermain is standing where he tells Banner that he broke his record again. Bruce sarcastically comments he's sure S.H.I.E.L.D. will be happy he's getting stronger. Quartermain responds they'll just be happy the Hulk's probation officer has nothing to report except training exercises. Betty says her father won't be, for all they know he might collapse again. Bruce asks her how he's doing and Betty says she hasn't talked to him since the surgery. He made his choice to alienate everyone because of his stubbornness. If he can't accept she's in love with Bruce, she doesn't want him in her life anymore.
It then shows Ross at his home in the shower. He gets out and proceeds to shave his mustache off. He then changes into some clothes and plays two new voice messages off his phone. One from General Glenn Talbot who says how he knows Ross resigned from service, but that his country could really use "Thunderbolt" again after the Hydra coup. He gets angry and deletes the message before it can finish. He then listens to the second one from General John Ryker and is about to delete it too, until he mentions that he understands his frustration about everything that's happened, and wants to meet him in person to make a proposition.
Later, it shows a Helicopter flying across the ocean with Jennifer Walters sitting inside it as the Raft prison begins emerging from the water. Inside, she begins walking through the halls seeing Tommy Masters, Ivan Vanko, and Emil Blonsky locked inside of their cells before meeting with General Glenn Talbot. Jen mentions that she has a proposition to make and Glenn says he's been told and asks to hear it. Walters begins stating that her employers Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway are one of the only civilian firms in the country to have successfully argued a case for an enhanced individual. That over the past few years superhuman criminal activity has been getting contained at an exponential rate, and the Raft is suffering from overcrowding due to it. They want to look over some of these cases and see if any of their powers can possibly be used in more productive ways in exchange for benefits. Like how they used Bruce's transformations as muscle for the Avengers, or how Emil Blonsky exchanged knowledge on stopping A.I.M.
Glenn says that he doesn't think that will work out. There's a lot of risk to granting anything to enhanced individuals with known histories of violence. Jennifer mentions that S.H.I.E.L.D. was the sole arbitrator of matters like this in the past but with the United States Government having a bigger hand in their affairs now, the times are changing, and enhanced people need legal protection as much anyone else. Glenn says he understands, but the systems they have in place for situations like this function as is. In today's political climate using superhuman criminals for any purpose is the worst thing for everyone right now. Jen backs down and almost says she's not happy about this, but says her "employers" instead, Talbot responds saying he's aware. The lawyer begins walking out as she calls Bruce, telling him when he gets the time they should have lunch in San Francisco together and hang out, he says that sounds great and will head over there. At Fort Johnson all the way in Florida, John Ryker is with his wife, Lucy, as she is receiving chemo-therapy. He walks outside and meets with Thaddeus Ross delighted that he came. Insisting he heard about his heart attack right after President Ellis pardoned Banner. Triple bypass, thirteen hours of surgery, it must've been hard. Ross claims it gave him perspective, of how he wants to spend his life or whatever he has left of it. Ryker tells him he likes that, and asks him how nice it would be to have his health back and the Hulk dead where he belongs.
Ross is listening and General Ryker escorts them inside a large auditorium, before saying that the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project was never shut down after Culver University. It just went underground, all of the funding to create this new Gamma Corps coming out of his own pocket. Ross mentions that must cost a fortune, why would he do this. Ryker explains that years ago he learned before that his wife is very sick, she has breast cancer, it's bad, he wants to help her. Ryker then attaches a device behind his ear and shows him a live feed of his brain. Zooming in on an area he claims is a "blank slate" piece of tissue that serves no real purpose. Human beings are literally designed to evolve from what they are now. That's what Erskine, Banner and even Hydra were able to do, write genetic code in that empty slot. The Super Soldier Serum though is a lost cause and Mutant Growth Hormone is unethical for the recipient, but Gamma Radiation despite its past failures has potential to be the way of the future. That's why he's keeping it alive, Gamma Radiation is how he can save Lucy, and by extension Ross.
Thaddeus tells Ryker it doesn't sound like he wants to stop the Hulk so much as replicate him. He's never going to support the creation of more monsters like that! John responds that he agrees with him. Obviously he doesn't want his wife to become that. But he's hired some of the smartest scientists from around the world into the Gamma Corps. They all agree that to fix what keeps going wrong they need to find the Hulk, rip him apart, and then figure out what makes him tick. In the meantime, with the whole world viewing Bruce Banner as a hero now the Government won't be any help in their hunt like the "good old days", which means they need to fight fire with fire. Ryker throws files onto the table and Ross begins going through them, the camera reveals them to be pictures of test subjects. John explains that's their secret to capturing the Hulk. They make Ross into something stronger than him. Something that can actually go toe to toe with that monster and take him right to them for experimentation. Once that's done they heal Lucy and him of their respective illnesses. No Hulk, a healthy heart, and the project he started finally doing what it was supposed to.
Ross pulls out a picture of Bruce Banner and Betty from his pocket and tells the story of when they first started dating he was disgusted, that a small weak little man like Banner was with his daughter, it made him so angry. He continues speaking that when he turned into the Hulk... he clenches his teeth before asking when they start. In San Francisco, Bruce is eating lunch with Jen. As they're looking over the menu a group of teenagers ask if they can have a picture with "the Hulk" Bruce tells them sure and poses with them making an exaggerated angry face much to their amusement. They thank him and he sits back down, saying how not being wanted is great and all, but he doesn't think he'll ever get used to the groupies.
Jen tells him it's not so bad, asking isn't it nice to actually be liked. Bruce tells her he doesn't know, being average wasn't so bad. He didn't have a government probation officer following him around everywhere. He then waves to Clay Quartermain on another table who waves right back to him. He asks how her latest case is going and Jen says she doesn't want to talk about work right now, Talbot completely shot down her idea for the Raft. Bruce says Glenn is tough but he's probably the most progressive General he's come across when it comes to matters like this. They shouldn't try to make an enemy out of him. He then encourages Jennifer to try and think outside the box to pass this. She suggests he should come to the GLKH building and maybe help her go through some of the files, he might know a few of them and could help her put a case together. He tells her it sounds like fun and could get him somewhere private for awhile, noticing more people staring again.
At the Gamma Base, Ross prepares to be put inside the chamber and gracefully sits down, waiting for the process to begin. Ryker tells him through the observatory that this is going to be uncomfortable, all of his rage that he's bottled up over the years will come pouring out at once. Ross brags that he spent six weeks in a Vietnamese POW camp, he'll be able to handle this. One of his scientists tells John that there's a chance he might end up a disaster from the procedure, practically no one was able to handle this much Radiation. Ryker claims they've researched this enough to see who would have the emotional capacity to become what they want, and it's not like Ross could do anything if this goes south, the scientists then start powering up the Gamma Radiation to the highest level. Ross is calm at first but then starts to violently react to it, having a flashback of when his wife Karen had died from suicide due to being forced to take part in his oppressive lifestyle, and feeling intense rage from it. He then opens his eyes revealing them to be bright red. The camera pans to Ryker who's very impressed with the results, and demands his scientists "get him into the containment suit" and drop him off to Banner's current location.
Back in San Francisco, Bruce and Jen are in the GLKH building going over different Raft inmates together to see if any of them would work for a rehabilitation effort. It then shows outside something large is running through the hills outside the city before jumping into it and causing a panic. Jen and Bruce get told the building is evacuating and both head onto the street where they see a large footprint in the pavement miraculously turned into glass. The two cousins then witness an actual Red Hulk who screams that he's looking for Bruce Banner. He begins ranting that he hates Bruce! He hates the Hulk! Bruce is about to transform but Quartermain reminds him of his probation, no unwarranted transformations.
Red Hulk charges after him and tries to kick Bruce, but he's pushed out of the way by Clay and Red Hulk instead kicks Jen with his brute strength into a wall. Without hesitation after that, Bruce then transform and the two begin fighting. Quartermain goes to help Jen, realizing she's badly hurt and Hulk tries to attack but gets ragdolled by Red Hulk. He gets up and tries to punch him but burns his hand badly when the attack makes impact. The red giant then begins to boast that he's waited so long for this, now he is finally stronger! Hulk responds back claiming he is the strongest one there is! They take the fight all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge where Hulk begins to get horribly beaten, before finally being thrown into the water. Believing Hulk to be dead the Red Hulk jumps away and escapes. Hulk is then shown floating down bleeding and wounded until suddenly he begins glowing light green and is able to breath underwater, healing from all of his wounds. He then quickly swims to the surface and jumps back onto the Bridge looking for Red Hulk. When Hulk realizes Red Hulk is gone he turns into Bruce Banner again.
Jennifer is taken inside an ambulance by a group of paramedics and once they take off, Quartermain calls Bruce (who's now in a towel wandering the docks). He asks about who Red Hulk was but Banner claims Clay's guess is as good as his. He asks how Jen is doing and Quartermain informs him it's not looking good. Bruce suggests they can give her his blood, Samuel Sterns took a full powered punch from the Hulk and completely recovered when exposed to a small dose of his blood, this can save Jen too. Clay points out that Sterns turned into a crazed Gamma Mutant from that, but Bruce says they have to try something, he can't lose her. Seeing little other option Quartermain tells the Paramedics to drive to Bruce's location instead of the hospital. Once they arrive, he gets inside and they make the transfusion.
Jen begins to awaken as her wounds start to heal, everyone is relieved until they notice Jennifer physically start to mutate as she grows in height, gains considerably more muscle mass, and turns green. Everyone is shocked and she asks what's wrong, grabbing a mirror and freaking out, accidentally breaking the mirror in her hand and causing a calamity with her new found super strength. Later that night, Ryker is on a boat going through the San Francisco bay trying to track where Red Hulk left Bruce but finds no trace of him, realizing that Hulk must've survived the attack somehow. Back at the Gamma Base, Thaddeus Ross is relaxing on the beach after his transformation when he is approached by Lucy. He asks her what she's doing outside the Gamma Base and she says that she likes to walk outside and get some fresh air. Ross asks why she's talking to him and Lucy responds it gets lonely after awhile. John moved them all the way out here and spends all of his time doing research they're barely together anymore. Ross tells her she has to know her husband loves her, that sometimes life gets in the way. Thunderbolt then has a flashback of arguing with Karen about him neglecting her and young Betty for his duties in the Military. Rattled by that he blurts out that only a man who truly cares about her would try to recreate the Hulk! Lucy clarifies he's talking about the Avenger Hulk, and Ross says the one and only. She then asks why her husband would try and recreate the Hulk, Ross responds so he can kill him.
The next day in California, Katherine Waynesboro is doing tests on Jennifer Walters realizing she's enhanced now but unlike her cousin, is unable to transform back. Jen is noticeably upset by this asking how she'll be able to live her life looking like this. Outside Bruce is waiting until Betty Ross shows up and asks what's going on. Before he can say anything Jennifer walks outside and Betty acts noticeably shocked. Bruce tells her it's alright, they'll figure this out, adding on in a world full of Norse Gods and flying billionaires in metal suits a woman with green skin shouldn't be too surprising. Betty agrees and says she'll drive Jen to work. As they leave, Bruce thanks Katherine for her help and she informs him that General Talbot wants to see him later to discuss the Red Hulk. At the Gamma Base, Lucy Ryker is looking out the window until John comes over and kisses her on the cheek saying they're making great progress but she seems ambivalent. He asks what's wrong and she tells him that she knows what's he doing, Ross told her everything and she's disgusted. Ryker confronts Ross scolding him for telling his wife what they were doing! After all he did to help him!? Ross says she had a right to know, and that he should lower his voice, "you wouldn't like him when he's angry" Ross tells him. Ryker does as told but tells Thunderbolt that he botched the first attempt at killing the Hulk so he's going to find him his own way. Once he's done he'll get rid of Red Hulk and they'll never speak to each other again. Ryker asks if that's clear and Ross accepts it.
Jen is dropped off at the GLKH building and walks inside where everyone begins staring at her and she becomes self conscious again. One of her coworkers though asks what happened and she explains the situation, they start asking her how strong she is and what she can do, Jennifer shows them and everyone becomes impressed, they all have fun and she does as well. Talbot is then shown talking to Bruce Banner saying Red Hulk couldn't have gotten the means to transform on his own, saying that he must've had accomplices. Bruce asks why anyone would want to hurt him, he's been complaining for months about having too many fans. Talbot explains that despite his turn around with the law there are many who believe President Ellis made a mistake pardoning Hulk those months ago, and apparently they're taking action. Talbot says the Red Hulk is a Gamma Radiated monster they haven't seen since well... Quartermain adds on that Red Hulk almost killed him! He alone is not just a threat to Bruce's life, but something to provoke unwanted transformation out of him endangering society as a whole. Bruce asks what he's saying and Talbot claims for his own safety, they want him to get out of the public eye for a little bit. Just long enough so that they can start to diffuse these threats.
He asks how far he'll need to go so that these guys can't find him. Quartermain claims they don't know. Talbot mentions that they're not forcing Bruce to do anything, it's a just a strong suggestion he's free to reject, but he knows the risk and if anything were to go wrong it could violate the probation. It then shows Jennifer at a local festival where she was invited by some work friends, and begins to get the attention of reporters before being interviewed by WHiH News and after telling her story is dubbed the She-Hulk. Afterwards she is approached by famous actor Freddie Prinze Jr., who says it's cool that she's like her cousin now. They flirt some more and party before sleeping together. It then does a montage of the Gamma Corps trying to find Bruce Banner while She-Hulk embraces her newfound popularity by sleeping around.
Lucy Ryker is throwing up after a chemo session and Ross is the only one there who comes to help her. She thanks him and they get to talking, Thaddeus confessing to her what happened to his wife and what it did to his family. She claims John is making the same mistakes he did, he tells her he's sorry she's yet another victim of it. Later, Bruce Banner is at the cabin in Alaska and asks Clay Quartermain if he's heard anything from Talbot. He says that he hasn't received any messages or updates on when they can come back home. Restless, Bruce goes on the computer and looks up news to try and find anything and sees a story about "She-Hulk" being a contestant in a beauty pageant. Irate about her making such a spectacle Bruce storms out the door, Quartermain tries to stop him but Bruce is insistent this is more important. He then drives away with Clay reluctantly be his side. At the Gamma Base, John Ryker is informed that they've received a tip about Banner's location. He demands his soldiers get their necessary equipment ready and head out to detain him.
In Los Angeles, the beauty pageant is progressing as She-Hulk is on the stage until Bruce Banner and Clay come in through the back and pull her off. Bruce begins scolding Jennifer for what she's doing, telling her how these powers aren't something she can just show off to the world. How it's bringing unwanted attention onto both of them, and that there are people like the Red Hulk out there who would literally want to see them both dead. Jen responds saying just because Bruce hates being the Hulk doesn't mean she has to, the world is changing and it's about time he drops this mentality of hiding what makes you special. Suddenly, the Gamma Corps troops begin breaking into the convention center and they shot a Judas bullet and one snags Bruce right in the neck, causing his eyes to turn green and him to transform into the Hulk!
She-Hulk and Hulk both begin taking out the Gamma Corps soldiers along with Clay Quartermain, until Betty Ross runs into the Convention Center and begins telling Bruce "the sun's getting real low" which calms him down. After he's turned back into a regular human, Betty tells the soldiers to get him and they incapacitate Bruce. She-Hulk starts screaming for them to stop and Betty shoots her, saying her father and her know what's best for Bruce as they take Hulk away. Clay Quartermain quickly removes the bullet from Jen's abdomen, allowing her to start healing, Quartermain pointing whoever shot her must've underestimated She-Hulk's durability. Jen gets up and realizes how Betty Ross and her father are working with the Red Hulk, they took Bruce, it's all her fault.
It then shows at the Gamma Base, Banner is being put into a special device under a green light that showers him varying amounts of radiation. Outside, Thaddeus is talking to his daughter telling her she did a great job. He kisses her on the forehead and Betty says it's time to finally finish what they started. She walks over to Bruce and he says how he doesn't understand, they love each other, she wouldn't do this to him. Betty responds that she thought she loved him. But it was only to spite her father, she resented him for so many years and knew dating him would get under his skin. After the heart attack her father reached out and they resolved their problems, reconnecting as father and daughter with Betty realizing why she really cared so much about Bruce in the first place. Banner begins to nearly cry saying that all of their time together was a lie, and she tells him it was true, from a certain perspective. Betty then ups the radiation which makes Bruce change into the Hulk and tells him that there's a silver lining to this, now they can use him to save somebody's life. She begins digging into the Hulk's flesh with an Adamantium drill as Thunderbolt Ross watches with satisfaction.
She-Hulk is with Talbot who informs her that he thinks they've figured out who's behind the Gamma Corps and Red Hulk, General John Ryker. He was involved in a campaign to resurface the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project years ago to help his wife after she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. In Ross' home they found proof of him being involved with Ryker and evidence of him traveling to Fort Johnson an abandoned Army Base in the everglades, it's overwhelming evidence they're all connected to Bruce's kidnapping. Jen tells him if they've figured out how to weaponize Gamma Radiation Ryker is going to be too strong for the Military to put down. Pointing out how little success the government had when they used to hunt the Hulk. Talbot says every other hero is up to their knees in responsibilities, they don't have anyone to turn too.
She-Hulk then brings up her old pitch of using Raft criminals as soldiers. Talbot explains how he already shot the idea down, but She-Hulk with her new personality begins advocating to him that if he lets Ryker and the Rosses exploit the Hulk it could help forge a world that's even more impossible than the one they already live in. She concludes by claiming that even if GLKH won't support her she'll take this to court by herself and advocate all over again. Talbot sees her point and tells her they can look into it. At the Raft, She-Hulk interviews Tommy Masters and Ivan Vanko about if they should be used for this mission and gets mixed results. She eventually gets to Emil Blonsky, who makes a compelling case for his involvement. Citing that he's always been a survivalist. When Loki gave him the opportunity to escape and join the Masters of Evil he took it, just like he'll take this one. Jen asks if he'll be able to keep the other two in line and Blonsky confirms that he was always the leader on their team. Katherine Waynesboro grants Ivan Vanko an exo-skeleton version of his armor and removes the Power Dampening collars from Blonsky and Masters. She then places Control Devices onto each of the prisoners, telling them if they try to betray or turn on Jennifer Walters that will disable their powers and knock them out. Waynesboro also gives She-Hulk a new purple & white suit, pointing out that Jen might not be as strong as Bruce, but she's faster. This costume will allow her enough agility to dodge the Judas Bullets.
In the Gamma Base, a group of scientists are tearing apart Hulk's head as it regenerates until Betty calls Ryker and Ross telling them she figured out the evolution in Hulk's brain and how to implement it. Ryker is excited and says they need to get Lucy prepared for surgery. Betty leaves with him and Ross walks over to the weakened Hulk, saying how long it's been since this all started. That he never cared about the damage that the Hulk caused or the lives he took, he just couldn't stand someone like Banner having that inside him. A weakling becoming strong enough to bend the world to his will, it was unnatural to him, something that had to be corrected by any means. As Ross begins walking out Hulk mutters that he will always be stronger! Ross though simply ignores him and leaves. Lucy then begins getting taken into surgery insisting she doesn't want to go but John telling her she'll feel so much better once it's over. They strap her down and, while conscious, begin the brain surgery. Outside, She-Hulk and the former villains begin their raid on the base. Taskmaster, Crimson Dynamo and A-Bomb fight off the Gamma Corps soldiers while She-Hulk finds and frees the Hulk. They run outside until running into Thunderbolt himself who tells them they should've stayed dead in San Francisco, transforming into the Red Hulk.
Crimson Dynamo breaks into the operating theater along with Taskmaster and grabs John Ryker by the neck. Tommy then goes to Betty and demands she stop, Ryker whimpers out to keep going and the Doctors finish the procedure. Lucy much to everyone's surprise starts to turn into a large green Harpy like creature who tells John he was right! She fells incredible! Lucy then claims she needs more of it, and blasts them all away with her new power, flying to the Gamma Base's generator and digs her talons into it absorbing the Gamma Radiation. Meanwhile, She-Hulk gets pummeled by Red Hulk brutally until the Hulk yells out "Blonsky" who then starts defending the two of them by distracting Ross. Nonetheless, the Red Hulk proves too much for even A-Bomb and he gets stopped too. Before anything else though, Red Hulk gets distracted by Harpy who tells him she's completely cured and able to move like never before. Red Hulk responds that he knows where more Gamma Radiation is, in Iraq, he put in there when he was General Ross. Harpy then picks him up and they fly away. Hulk reverts back into Bruce Banner finally and his first words are "thank you" to Emil Blonsky. Betty begins trying to run away but is caught and put in a headlock by She-Hulk, who tells her she isn't going anywhere.
In Iraq, Harpy drops off Red Hulk who begins changing back into Thaddeus Ross as he hits the ground. He asks what happened and Lucy explains everything to him in particular how he gave her the coordinates to all the Radiation she could ever want, Ross realizing he must've been referring to the War on Terror. They had dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste used in the conflict and buried it out in the desert. Feeling a responsibility to look after Harpy considering the way he failed to with Karen, Ross walks over to the necessary coordinates and stomps his foot on the ground, saying it's three miles under here. Harpy confirms that won't be an issue, digging her talons into the dirt and absorbing the Radiation, growing in power from it. Ross says once this is done, they'll both be strong enough to rip apart anyone who stands in their way. Back on the Raft, General Talbot is taking Betty into a prison cell as everyone watches in disappointment. Bruce visits her later and says he never thought he'd be looking at her on the other side of a cell. Betty tells him life is full of surprises, she confirms though that for a long time she really did love him. Bruce yells for her not to use the word "love". She "loved" the idea of him! Just that, never caring about anyone but herself. He's done with her now. Bruce walks out before being comforted by Jennifer, who apologizes for everything she said the last time they saw each other.
Glenn Talbot is in another room explaining that Lucy Ryker and Thaddeus Ross have turned into some of the most powerful Gamma Mutants to date. Blonsky even confirms A.I.M. could've only dreamed of those numbers. Their main objective is to track the two of them down and terminate them before any further harm is caused. The next war is going to be a genetic one, the Army and S.H.I.E.L.D. plan to stay ahead with their own resources. Everyone looks to Bruce and She-Hulk, Jen claiming to the villains that she needs them as her team to come with her again. Vanko responds even he's heard of this "Thunderbolt" Ross from his father's stories, what can he do against him with the powers of a Hulk. Jennifer says each one of them are Thunderbolts just like Ross, a force of good and evil. No matter if they love their powers or hate them, use them to help or hurt others, none of it matters now. There's only one goal and it's taking down a Harpy and a Red Hulk.
Bruce says he's in and the rest of them agree as well. In Iraq at dusk, the Thunderbolts are walking through the desert on foot. Tommy Masters tries to hit on She-Hulk and she contemplates responding back, before rejecting him. Blonsky talks to Bruce telling him despite what he might believe he never hated him, all of their confrontations as far he was concerned were strictly business, nothing personal. Bruce responds that it sure felt personal every time he tried to kill him. Emil says that he was a threat to him, Bruce is a genius and one of the only men who can actually take him head on, well, he used to be anyway. Speak of the devil, Bruce's Gamma Radiation tracking device begins going haywire, they look over the hill to see Harpy engorged and Ross standing by, telling her she's almost done. She-Hulk warns the Thunderbolts this is a bag and tag mission, their best strategy is to sneak up on them. Right after Jen finishes talking she sees Banner already in the process of turning into the Hulk, She-Hulk rhetorically asking herself why she even bothers.
Hulk roars out to them and Ross chuckles when he sees that they brought the Masters of Evil for help. Insisting that it's just more proof of Hulk's true allegiance and She-Hulk responds back or a sign of his. Harpy screams that she needs more and wants to absorb them now, pointing to the Thunderbolts! Thaddeus Ross then turns into the Red Hulk and Emil Blonsky follows suit. She-Hulk, Crimson Dynamo, and Taskmaster go after Harpy while Hulk and A-Bomb battle the Red Hulk. Ross gets hot enough to turn sand all around them into glass and begins beating Bruce bad enough that he starts to bleed. Harpy impales She-Hulk with her talons and begins absorbing the Gamma Radiation from her body, Jen slowly reverting back to a human form. Hulk and A-Bomb keep fighting but get pushed back down every time by Red Hulk. She-Hulk then fights back by reaching the last of her strength to rip out Harpy's talon causing her to shrike in pain and begin losing the Gamma Radiation she absorbed.
Thaddeus beats down on the Hulk but A-Bomb jumps in the way and proceeds to take Red Hulk's "killing" blow as it cracks his skull. Blonsky saying to Hulk that was personal, Ross then says he was a traitor before and is a traitor now before picking him up and strangling A-Bomb to death. Red Hulk begins beating Hulk again telling him the first rule of war, there are always casualties. He wouldn't know that, he's too weak. In every. Single. Way. Hulk then goes into a state of pure rage, his flesh glowing light green again as he begins transforming into the larger World Breaker Hulk. Stomping his foot so hard it makes an impact across the entire desert which also severely hurts Red Hulk. World Breaker Hulk then grabs Thaddeus and punches him all the way through the Earth before dragging him back up again. Hulk then begins beating the Red Hulk horribly and once he's on his knees reverted back to Thaddeus Ross, Hulk notices everything around him begin to shake. It then shows cities all over the Middle East experiencing earthquakes. Ross points out his attacks dislocated the Arabian Tectonic Plate, millions of people will die because of him. No matter what happens here, they'll see him as only a monster. World Breaker Hulk reminds Ross what he told him before, Hulk is the strongest one there is, and proceeds grab his hands into the ground and physically shift the plate back into place saving all the people.
Jennifer is relieved Bruce is okay, turning back from World Breaker Hulk into the ordinary Hulk. Jennifer slowly walks up to him and he finally reverts fully back into Bruce Banner again, Jen observing that he finally let all his aggression out. She-Hulk then goes to find Lucy Ryker on the ground, still slightly transformed, but deeply wounded. She calls over the Thunderbolts to help her and Bruce finds A-Bomb's deceased body on the ground putting his hand on it telling him he did well. In the United States at the Smoky Mountain National Forest S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Katherine Waynesboro is working on an altered version of Harpy's talon which she injects into Lucy Ryker, causing her body to completely dissipate any remaining Gamma Radiation. Bruce shocked that it worked, they actually have a cure now. Lucy asks what will happen to her after all that she did as Harpy. Jennifer says they're talking about pressing charges against her, but she has the first ever Enhanced Legal Defense on her side. Lucy asks who that is and Jennifer confesses it's her. She tells her to rest up with Dr. Waynesboro and they'll discuss it later. Bruce and Jen begin walking to the quinjet as Katherine requests to talk to Banner personally. He asks what's up and she tells him this Harpy talon might be able to absorb the Gamma Radiation right out of Bruce's system, finally give him the chance for a normal life. He thinks about it but tells her he doesn't want it, the Hulk is a part of him now for better or worse, he's just getting good at this. Katherine wishes him good luck and it shows in the Raft General Talbot bringing Ross and John Ryker into their cells, informing them of their dishonorable discharges for everything they've done. He then tells the Thunderbolts that they have a lot more missions coming up.
Jennifer Walters walks back into the GLKH building and begins getting more attention for being She-Hulk before shutting everyone down and claiming as fun as this has been, she just wants to be treated like everyone else now as a normal defense attorney who just happens to be super strong and green. Bruce is then shown in New York City where he enters the WHiH News headquarters and gets prepared to go on stage before being approached by Clay Quartermain, Banner asking what he did wrong this time. Clay tells him saying he actually just wanted to tell Bruce that his Probation is up and they won't be forced to keep spending every day together. Bruce says after all this, he might end up kind of missing him. He then walks onto the stage and has a seat, exclaiming he's ready for his tell all interview about being the Hulk. Bruce telling them "Let's start from the beginning."
On the Golden Gate Bridge, workers are trying to fix the damage caused by the Hulk and Red Hulk's battle until a group of businessmen show them a contract for Cross Technologies to take take over the rebuilding process. They all begin to leave and other employees begin unloading boxes with the words Pym Particles written on them.
- The Red Hulk in the comics originally gained his abilities from experiments by the Intelligencia, an organization consisting of George Tarleton, Samuel Sterns, and other genius supervillains.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. being one of the men She-Hulk sleeps with is a reference to the Ultimate She-Hulk cheating on Bruce Banner with him in the comics. It also serves as a nod to Jen Walters habit of occasionally breaking the fourth wall.
- Lucy Ryker plays a very minor role in the comics, her becoming the Harpy is exclusive to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and done by Guillermo Del Toro to try and give her character a more significant role, as the plot starts largely because of her and her breast cancer. She is the first female film antagonist to appear in the MCU.
- General Talbot mentions at the beginning of the film how he could use Ross back in the Army to help the country recover from a recent Hydra coup. A direct reference to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- World Breaker Hulk in the comics was introduced during the famous story arc World War Hulk during an intense fight with Bruce Banner against the Sentry. His stomp causing vibrations on a global scale is taken directly from the source material.
- Betty Ross is revealed is implied to suffer from many mental disorders such as bipolar, depression, and high anxiety. These are all inspired by her behavior when she is transformed into the Red She-Hulk on Earth-616.
- President Matthew Ellis who pardons Bruce at the beginning of the film also appeared in the MCU previously in Iron Man 3.
- John Ryker references that while searching for a cure to Lucy's cancer researched the Super Soldier Serum and Mutant Growth Hormone before finally settling on Gamma Radiation. The former two concepts appearing in Captain America and Deadpool respectively.
- Emil Blonsky after being recruited by the Thunderbolts begins to act very similar to the character A-Bomb, as opposed to his archetypal Abomination. In particular, saving Bruce Banner from the Red Hulk multiple times. In the comics however, A-Bomb is not Emil Blonsky, but instead Rick Jones.
- The television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is referenced indirectly via General Talbot's presence in the Raft. As during the final pod of the first season he is elected to act a mediator between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United States Government, which he does within the film.
- Betty's lullaby to calm Bruce down is a reference to the Hulk originally transforming when the sun went down.
- The final battle of the film taking place on the Arabian Peninsula is a reference to the notorious Red Hulk solo comic book series Hulk of Arabia.
- Jennifer Walters in the comics is hired to work for Goodman, Leiber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway long after gaining her abilities as the She-Hulk. In the MCU, she works for them before and during her superhero career.
- Karen Lee in the comics died from cancer, not from suicide as a result of her husband's neglect.
- World Breaker Hulk physically moving a tectonic plate back into place is directly lifted from a comic panel on Planet Hulk where the Hulk performed a similar feat.
- The Pym Particles in the Cross Technologies crates in the end credits are a substance used by the silver age superhero Hank Pym aka Ant-Man for near limitless shrinking potential.