The director of The Iron Giant does it again, this time with the box office success associated with the Pixar name. Though all of Pixar's films have been consistently good, The Incredibles is one of their best and is easily more entertaining than last year's powerhouse, Finding Nemo.
Whereas Pixar's other movies have been G-rated films that target children but provide adult innuendo, The Incredibles skews toward a slightly older audience, an audience that will understand jabs at the insurance industry and the mundaneness of office work. There is still plenty for the kids to enjoy, but The Incredibles definitely marks a maturity of the Pixar brand name as they move into the genre that can easily be labeled an action-comedy.
To get it out of the way near the beginning of this review, the graphics are absolutely terrific. Enough said.
The movie itself looks at a family of superheroes, headed by Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl. Of course, fifteen years after ordinary citizens began to sue superheroes for injuries, they are now only Bob and Helen Parr. Bob is an unhappy insurance agent and Helen is a stay-at-home mom. They have three kids: Dash (he can run like The Flash), Violet (she can turn invisible and make force fields) and a little baby who appears to have no special powers (yeah... right). Bob and Helen's marriage is on the rocks, even though Bob sneaks out at night with his old friend Lucius (a.k.a. Frozone) to do vigilante superhero work. Then one day, a mysterious and beautiful woman named Mirage contacts Bob and asks him to become Mr. Incredible one more time - for a fee. Of course, she actually works for a super villain named Syndrome - and it only gets better from there.
The Incredibles is laugh-out-loud funny and exciting, too. Pixar's wit remains intact, but they have definitely taken their films to the next level. Boasting state-of-the-art special effects (some look better than those in the new Star Wars movies), the Pixar team unleashes scene after scene of fun but intense action. All the characters' powers are put to good use in creative and imaginative fashion (though you can tell the writers wanted to throw in a few more jokes about Elastigirl's flexibility in the bedroom). Dash is incredibly fun to watch. Frozone, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, is also a good character, though he is extremely under-utilized.
The Incredibles is so fabulous I didn't want it to end. While it does have a few slow parts near the beginning, the last half is incredibly exciting - I'm already lusting after a sequel. Pixar has announced no such thing, but struggling Disney, who has sequel rights, would be foolish not to do so.
While my childhood memories want me to say that the Toy Story films are computer-animation's best, The Incredibles is a force not to be reckoned with. This is a movie you'll want to see several times in theaters.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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