Anthony's Film Review

The Incredibles (2004)

After toys, bugs, monsters, and fish, Pixar is still the master of animation...

Pixar's feature-length films have captured the hearts of audiences because of both imagination and creativity. The filmmakers there either come up with something totally new or find new ways to tell familiar stories. The Incredibles does the latter as it combines two seemingly incompatible stories: a superhero action-adventure and a story about family relationships. The resulting mix blends the two very well in a way that has never been seen before. In addition, Pixar's films work on all levels so that moviegoers young and old can have something to appreciate. Even so, parents should be warned that there are plenty of explosions and action scenes.

The film starts with Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) saving many people from danger only to cause much collateral damage in the process. Superheroes are sued by citizens, who also demand their secret identities revealed to the public. The government creates a Superhero Relocation Program to allow superheroes to live normal lives without having their identities revealed. Mr. Incredible and his new wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), therefore, live as Bob and Helen Parr with three kids that have superpowers. They also have a friend, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), who comes by from time to time.

As the Parr family go on with their lives and deal with everyday life issues, Bob still feels the superhero blood flowing through his veins. He secretly accepts an assignment from someone named Mirage while hiding it from the family. Over time, Helen discovers that something may be wrong, and as Bob gets into trouble, it is up to her to save the day and hope that the kids can behave at home while she's gone.

The villain is Syndrome (Jason Lee), once an obsessed fan of Mr. Incredible who actually followed him around and interfered with his crimefighting. Once Mr. Incredible told him to back off, his dreams of being a superhero like him were shattered, leading him to despise superheroes and plot to wreak havoc on the world. His scheme involves deadly and intelligent robots, and his headquarters is an island with a base that pays homage to the hi-tech wonder of the James Bond films.

Even in an action film like The Incredibles, there are still lessons that any family can take home with them. It's a film about sticking together as a family, which is rather neat considering how there are family arguments and interactions even when this superhero family has to save the day. It's also about how, as Syndrome illustrates, striving to be just the best tends to be a huge letdown. Combine that with explosive action and wacky humor, including scenes with Edna the superhero costume designer who explains the safety hazard of capes, and you have a film that manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seat and smiling at the same time. The Incredibles is a superhero movie with a lot of heart underneath the surface.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Incredibles, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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