Directed by: Brad Bird

Written by: Brad Bird

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson

Rating: [4.5/5]

Despite the wonderful mayhem and adventure superheroes get to experience as part of their vigilantism, at the end of the day they still need to put food on the table. This is America, after all, and no one receives a free lunch. Unsurprisingly, not many superhero films like to delve into this aspect but The Incredibles surely does and allows for a wonderful look into a familial unit in disarray and beautifully animated action sequences as well. 

Following the need for superheroes dissipating, most of them have decided to hang up their capes and live normal lives unless called upon. This leaves Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) at a crossroads in life where he cannot work in the area he excels and becomes bored with the life he now has, which includes a wife and kids. Everything suddenly changes, however, when an opportunity to put on the suit arises and he snatches the opportunity. 

Taking their stab at the superhero genre unsurprisingly worked out well for Pixar with their foray with The Incredibles. The way they manage to derive success comes at different levels all culminating into something quite distinct and special. Yes, this revolves around superheroes, but most importantly it tells a story about this family unit and how each of them transgresses through this life with the ability to do more but a necessity for them to conceal it. 

The opening of the feature starts everything off with a bang in the way it quickly creates this world and opens it all up for us displaying how superheroes from all over stepped in to prevent crime. Plenty of them with different powers with Mr. Incredible being agile and incredibly strong while Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) has the ability to stretch her body in any way she pleases. A sense of camaraderie existed and celebrity power allowed these individuals to feel like they owned everything around them. The sudden change meant they needed to resort to a more normal life, and when it comes to Mr. Incredible, it certainly did not go well as the expressions on his face will tell you whenever he exists in his workspace. 

A level of thoughtfulness exists with these characters and how they operate within the familial unit and how their powers reflect their personality. Elastigirl, now named Mrs. Incredible needs to stretch herself to keep control of the home and the kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell) lacks self-confidence as a teen and wants to hide all of the time with her invisibility. The son, Dash, always needs to be on the move with him having super speed and then you have Mr. Incredible trying to be strong for the sake of his family and wielding superhuman strength. These powers inform their identity and inevitably play a part in the plot later on. 

As much as this film displays the family unit, the focus remains on Mr. Incredible as he needs to contend with where finds himself in life. A midlife crisis of sorts where he despises his job and cannot do the work where his talent will thrive the most. This leads him to this opportunity to put the suit back on, which certainly then becomes difficult as it’s been years since he has last donned the suit and he can no longer fit in it. He wants to live the days of his youth yet he has his impairments but when things get rolling a level of confidence brings Mr. Incredible to a place where he feels like a man again. Almost like James Bond in how he navigates as a smooth operator, which allows what will transpire next to be all that more intriguing to follow when it comes to setting him up with a proper adversary. 

When the time to introduce the villain arrives it brings a new style of antagonist for these superheroes, it allows for a fascinating discussion about toxic fandom and how it can go way too far. Certainly a case for not meeting your heroes, the villain comes with a personal vendetta and a fairly dangerous one in how it sets all of the pieces and where Mr. Incredible fits in, which allows for some fantastic action sequences displaying the strength of each character with the threat put in front of them. 

As with most Pixar films, the animation on display has a wondrous look to it allowing these action sequences to have vibrancy. It comes as even more impressive with his being released in the very early stages of the 2000s and looks so remarkable in detailing these characters with their distinct features. They definitely get parts of their body accentuated to demonstrate their particular features helping them the most but each of them has the appearance of careful consideration of what would make their character work which can certainly be appreciated. 

One of the seminal works within the coined Pixar goldern era, The Incredibles certainly deserves its place amongst the best this studio has to offer. Providing beautiful animation mixed with stunning action sequences and a beautiful heart at its center. It carries all of the trademarks Pixar has built its empire and brings such a high level of entertainment while proving to be easily rewatchable. The film crafts a beautiful family unit with all of the wonders and warts that come with it making the narrative a deeply human one even when dealing with superheroes. At the end of the day, the film does not forget these are people first, which allows for some great character development.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: