Rated PG - Running Time: 1:55 - Released 11/5/04
I remember a bit by Jerry Seinfeld about, Why is it Superman always has to crash through the living room wall? Cant he use a door like normal people? Well, Disney/Pixars The Incredibles provides a possible answer to what would really happen if we had people like Superman, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four flying around among us nowadays, crashing through walls and destroying property in the noble pursuit of saving humanity: theyd be sued, imprisoned, and/or relieved of duty, and politely asked to let us all take care of ourselves. Until we really needed them. Right, personal injury attorneys?
The latest cartoon-animated masterpiece from Pixar, The
Incredibles is a hilariously fun romp through the everyday
lives of comic-book superheroes, and although it is only the second
film written and directed by Brad Bird (whose debut was 1999s
underrated The Iron Giant),
it shows the man knows what it takes to create a fun, colorful,
and intelligent story with likable characters and cutting-edge
humor. Talk about incredible!
We first meet the super-strong Mr. Incredible (voice of Craig
T. Nelson) and incredibly limber Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), a.k.a.
Bob and Helen Parr, when they are in their heyday (around the
late 1950s), saving the population of Metroville from petty crooks
and supervillains, alongside friends like Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson),
who can create instant blizzards whenever necessary. Soon after
they are married, however, when one too many buildings is destroyed
in the process of their noble pursuits, the Incredibles and their
superheroic friends begin to lose favor in the public eye and
are forced to go into hiding. Bob gets a job at an insurance company,
Helen becomes an at-home mom, and their three incredible children,
teenage Violet (Sarah Vowell), who can disappear and create force
fields, preteen Dash (Spencer Fox), who can run like the wind,
and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile/Maeve Andrews), whose powers are
as yet unknown, try to live as inconspicuously as possible among
But it isnt long before a new super-baddie, who calls
himself Syndrome (Jason Lee), emerges with a plan to eliminate
all the former heroes and claim the world as his own. As it turns
out, Syndrome is actually Buddy Pine, who wanted to be Mr. Incredibles
sidekick back in the old days, but was repeatedly rebuffed. Though
not imbued with superpowers, Buddy has grown to become an evil
genius inventor, complete with a self-designed super suit, an
elaborate, high-tech island hideaway, and a nearly invincible
robot designed to crush humanity under its titanium footpads.
Soon the entire Incredible family must work together to challenge
Syndromes evil plans.
This movie would be a hoot even if it werent filled with
spectacular visuals and fast-paced action. Besides the main plot
line, there are subtle little background jokes and asides filling
every scene, not to mention memorable characters like diminutive
costume designer Edna E Mode (writer/director Bird),
whose hilariously eccentric persona is based on the famous (now
deceased) Oscar-winning Hollywood costume genius Edith Head. The
disparity between Ednas tiny frame and the amount of power
she has over others is hysterical, and her huge, impeccably designed
mansion is quite impressive as well.
The Incredibles is yet another incredible addition to the Pixar catalog, and yet another reason to believe that intelligent cinema is not dead. Even if it doesnt involve any actual human beings on the screen. ****½