Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Dominique Louis, Spencer Fox, Sarah Vowell, Elizabeth Pea, Brad Bird, John Ratzenberger, Wallace Shawn
PG (For action violence)
The family that fights crime together stays together. That’s the motto of Pixar’s latest creative thunderstorm The Incredibles.
A kid named Buddy (Jason Lee) wants to be a super hero’s sidekick. He’s chosen Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) who “works alone” and won’t have anything to do with him. Shortly afterwards, a turn of events put the city’s super heroes on a Most Wanted list and sends them scampering into hero relocation programs where they are to keep their powers hidden and lead “normal” lives.
Forced to live by their secret identities Bob Parr, formerly Mr. Incredible and his wife Helen (Holly Hunter), once known as Elastigirl, now live in suburbia with their three children Dash, Violet and Jack Jack. Two of their children, Dash and Violet, have similarly developed special powers; however, Jack Jack has yet to display any sign of abnormality. While dad has super strength and mom has the ability to stretch her body to any length, Dash is blessed with super speed and Violet has the ability to turn herself invisible and create bullet-proof barriers.
When a mysterious man brings Bob out of retirement, the family must go to save him as he soon finds himself in the way of harm. There are other characters involved in the story. Bob’s buddy Lucius (Samuel L. Jackson), also known as Frozone, helps him get noticed by this unknown benefactor. Mirage (Elizabeth Pea) seeks Mr. Incredible out to help her boss test out his new machines. Edna Mode (Brad Bird), costume designer, helps outfit the crew as they go up against the master villain Syndrome (Lee).
The film features as much state of the art computer animation technology as any of its Pixar predecessors. The Incredibles doesn’t disappoint, providing plenty of entertainment for every aspect of the family. Bird, who directed and wrote the film, blends super heroism with espionage to form the first James Bond/X-Men pairing that’s been done superbly.
The onslaught of look-a-like pictures and borrowed-upon premises has given today’s film market a barren feel. With original concepts like The Incredibles , filmmakers like Bird are reaching out to an audience that is dying for high quality entertainment.
With Hunter and Jackson the perfect vocal casting choices and the rest as satisfactory as they come, Pixar and Disney have an undeniable hit on their hands. The feature captures the familial relationship as succinctly as possible while keeping the action and adventure in tact. Mix it all together with some absolutely hilarious segments (meeting the vile French criminal Bomb Voyage and Elastigirl trapped in a door to name a few), and you have the ultimate family film.
Toy Story revolutionized the medium but mass production has already begun to threaten the future wellbeing of the art form. With films like Ice Age and Shark Tale lowering the bar for quality, the downward spiral may be inevitable. Luckily, the genre has not submerged completely and, with the help of films like The Incredibles , hope for a solid future is within the audience’s grasp.
November 26, 2004