Written and Directed
by Brad Bird
Running Time: 2:00
for action violence.
The Incredibles was a fun movie that wasn't as good as Finding Nemo or the Toy Story films, but still continues a long line of great Pixar animation.
Bob Parr is Mr. Incredible, one of a number of superheroes living in the world, protecting us from evil. He's in love with Elastigirl, also known as Helen, and together they want to get married and save the world. But today's world is a world full of lawyers and lawsuits, and when Mr. Incredible gets sued for saving a man who wanted to kill himself, it opens the floodgates to a whole host of other suits, and superheroes are banished into anonymity. Fifteen years later, Bob and Helen are married and have three kids. Bob works for an insurance agency, but holds on to the life he used to have. Helen is having a hard time raising the three kids, as their son Dash has the powers of speed, while shy Violet can turn herself invisible and create a protective force field. And no one is quite sure what little Jack-Jack can do just yet. One day Bob is brought back into the life of protecting people, but a person from his past is really pulling the strings. The Incredible family must now come together as one if they're going to save the planet from the evils of... Syndrome!
The Incredibles is definitely more adult oriented than past Pixar films. While the other films certainly threw in a joke or two here that may have gone over the heads of kids, this movie's themes are definitely skewered towards an older crowd. The running joke is that superheroes are forced to live 'normal' lives, so that you'll see Bob get frustrated having to go to a crappy job, while driving in a crappy car and that frustration comes out all at once and he picks up his car, right in front of a little kid. See, the superheroes are supposed to be in hiding for fear of more lawsuits, so all the powers the Incredible family has can't be used. Dash wants to run track, but his parents won't let him knowing he can run circles around everyone. Bob wants to flex his muscles but when he does, he only causes trouble. Bob and Helen have marital problems when Helen thinks Bob is cheating on her. There's a lot of gun violence and bombing. A lot of the story may not be for little kids, but that's half the reason adults will probably enjoy this more than other Pixar films.
I've long gotten past how, pardon the pun, incredible animation looks these days. To be amazed by it anymore is like being amazed that they've added color to film. The look of the movie is, as always, terrific and there are times that you feel like you're traveling in the real world. At a few points in the film I had to remind myself that I was in fact watching an animated movie. The voice work was top notch with the producers deciding to use actors that aren't as mainstream as say a Will Smith. I prefer these kinds of actors because I don't fall into the trap of thinking, oh hey, that's Robert DeNiro talking and instead can focus in on what they're saying. The only character I related to their real-life voice was that of Samuel L. Jackson's superhero alter ego, FroZone, because, well, he's Sam Jackson.
The film was a non-stop ride, with even the slower parts being entertaining. There was a scene with Bob telling an old lady that her claim was denied, and even though that part of the story was very slow, it was still funny with Bob being this giant inside of the same kind of cubicle the rest of us have sat in at one point. The action sequences were top-notch and very fast-paced. Any scene that involved Dash running his heart out was masterful as the animation had to keep up with the idea that this kid could run faster than anything alive. The jokes were funny, although I found not as laugh-out-loud funny as I might have hoped. To be sure, there were a lot of times that the audience ate it all up, especially when we find out exactly what little Jack-Jack is all about, but there were times when I was smiling, but not laughing. The good thing though was that I was never bored, no matter what was happening.
My favorite character, and sure to be a cult classic character, was that of Edna, the clothing-maker to the stars. She's the one all the superheroes used to go to, to create their signature look, and she's the one Bob goes to when he needs his suit mended. She instead creates a whole line of clothing for the family and between her diminutive stature and her strange accent, she's a laugh a minute character. What made it even funnier after watching the movie is realizing her voice was done by the director, who happens to be a man! In close second was of course, FroZone. I wish they had used him more, because Sam Jackson is terrific whether he's real or animated.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I liked The Incredibles. I thought it was fast-paced and entertaining throughout. It wasn't as 'cute' as previous Disney/Pixar collaborations and because of that I personally didn't enjoy it as much as I did Finding Nemo, but by itself it was still a great movie. Oh yes, and one last thing, the movie includes the traditional Pixar short film in the beginning, a happy little film called "Bounding."
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince