Mr. Incredible his wife, Elasti-girl, and their 3 kids have settled down
after a slew of lawsuits drive them out of the superhero business. Fifteen years
later, he is sneaking out with his friend to do some superheroing on the side.
Things turn ugly however when a new evil super-genius appears who is bent on
eliminating the whole family.
What I Thought
If I could choose just two words to describe this movie, they would be
"simply wonderful". Of course, I would never stop at just two words, as my
coworkers can attest. It all goes back to my childhood....
Oh, right, the review.
Pixar has yet another success (as if that is a surprise to anyone). Let's take
each of their strengths one by one.
With each successive movie they up the bar on computer animation, and this one
is no different. It mixes cartoon-like simpler backgrounds (think Finding Nemo
with its many sparse scenes) with this rich complexity with certain details. The
way hair moves in this movie (especially on Violet, Mr. Incredible's daughter)
is, well, incredible. They fall down a little with wet hair, it just looks
plastic. But this movie is a visual treat.
Instead of doing Polar Express-type realism, they chose to portray the faces and
bodies in a stylized-cartoonish way (similar to the animated Hercules), with
large chins and superficially overemphasized bodies. But when you look at the
facial expressions or body movements, they are anything but simple.
They also know which details to keep out. This past weekend I also saw Shark
Tale, and that movie couldn't help but stuff as many puns and cute references as
it could on each screen, and I felt as if it was overdone.
The story is well paced, beginning with a flashback 15 years ago and then
continuing in the present with the family settled down and with kids. It starts
out fine, then becomes a little slow (and fairly adult-oriented) when we see Mr.
Incredible in his drudge job and the family squabbles. Bring candy for your kids
so they can get through this part.
For this very reason Pixar gets my two snaps and kudos: they realize that adults
like this stuff too and put in material we can appreciate.
Then once the action starts happening, it's a great fun ride. The voices are all
great, and special kudos to the director. Do you remember the surfer-dude
turtles from Finding Nemo? The father turtle was voiced by the movie's director,
and it was one of the funniest part of the movie. Well, we have THIS director
lending his voice to the indomitable Edna Mode, the German fashion designer and
superhero costume designer. She is AWESOME. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Or should I say, SOO
I have had discussions with coworkers and friends as to the age-appropriateness
of this movie. All I can say is that it is a PG movie and you can take that for
whatever it's worth. In my innocent opinion, nothing an average 10 year old
cannot handle. I have a coworker who took his 5 year old boys to see it and they
loved it. Yes, there are some "adult" situations but they will go over the heads
of kids under 10 (the flirting between two adult characters, the parental
fights, etc). Things like this are put in the movie to engage the adults in the
audience and add character depth, and it works. As an adult, you'll get lots
more from this movie than your kids and have a fun time doing it too. There is
also a fair amount of violence, as it is a superhero movie, but it isn't any
worse (and sometimes less violent) than today's Saturday morning cartoons.
Two thumbs up. Wayyy up. (duh)