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During the course of the Avengers, you see Mr Banner talk about his alter ego as just another entity inside of himself. Afraid, reluctant and very much un-willing to let him out, even if it means his escape from being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. Citing Hulk's violence, lack of self-control, and raw power that would come of unleashing such a creature.

However, during the argument on the plane as well as for the final battle, Banner is willing, and eventually does let the beast lose, seemingly without knowledge as to whether or not he can control him properly.

Why does Banner choose to release the Hulk and where does he get the confidence he needs to be sure that he can point the indestructible beast towards the enemy, and not towards the Avengers?

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I thought this was the greatest plot error of the whole movie, but am hoping that someone will come up with a satisfactory justification. –  Tshepang Jun 9 '12 at 16:33
    
@Tshepang I don't see it as a plot error. It was Banner's character development arc in the film. Most of the main characters had arcs, but they were limited in the amount of time to depict these on screen given the large cast. –  user209 Jun 11 '12 at 15:10
    
Actually, I wrote this before reading other's justification for such, and therefore my opinion above doesn't apply any more: the 1st release was not voluntary, hence the lack of control; this is as opposed to the 2nd one. –  Tshepang Jun 11 '12 at 18:20

3 Answers 3

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Largely he gains his confidence from Tony Stark. Their working together and sharing their personal issues caused Banner to rethink the way he thought of "the other guy". Stark coped with his condition by turning it into the Iron Man, and helping others. Banner still feared what "the other guy" would do when unleashed.

This was then reinforced after he is induced into becoming the Hulk on the Helicarrier. Upon awaking in the abandoned warehouse and learning the Hulk aimed for it to prevent casualties, Banner came to realize that the Hulk isn't always a danger to others. Thusly he chose to join the other heroes in New York City to defend Earth, whereas earlier in the film he had made it abundantly clear that his only role was to identify the location of the Tesseract.

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More what I was looking for. –  TylerShads Jun 11 '12 at 15:11

I thought the line: "That's my secret Cap, I'm always angry." suggested that he can control the appearance of the beast and that it is bubbling under the surface.

The appearance of the Hulk is a problem when it is a reflex action and his life is in danger, e.g. suicide attempts, or the attack on the ship.

When he is consciously bringing the Hulk out then he can direct the Hulk.

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Actually, as evidenced in the ending scene of The Incredible Hulk (2008), Banner already knows how to control the transformation. But, while he does have some control over the Hulk when the transformation is controlled (as opposed to having none when the transformation is spontaneous, like the one on the Hellicarrier), his control is not 100% complete (The Hulk surprise punching Thor). So Banner is comfortable unleashing the Hulk only when there is a real emergency.

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