Review Date: November 05, 2004
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Producers: John Walker
Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible
Holly Hunter as Elastigirl
Jason Lee as Syndrome
One thing that did surprise me about the movie was its lack of emphasis on humor. About half an hour into it, I realized that I was smiling, but that I hadn’t laughed out loud once. It was a strange moment. Then, I realized that I was thinking to myself and not paying attention to the movie, so I stopped and turned back around. It’s been said that director Brad Bird based some of this film on his own “mid-life crisis” and time away from his family, and it shows. That’s not to say that as a bad thing…just different. Granted, the film does eventually kick in with humor, particularly via the character of Edna Mode (voiced by writer/director Bird himself), the over-the-top shi-shi fashion designer, who did make me laugh. The stuff about the bad guys’ “monologues” and the line about “doing a shot every time someone runs” were also quite memorable. As for the characters, all of them were engaging on their own, with Mr. Incredible, in particular, holding our attention the whole way through (thanks in part to the unrecognizable voice-work by Craig T. Nelson…good stuff!), as well as his hottie wife, voiced by cutie-pie Holly Hunter, and the kids, each bringing something special to the table. In fact, one elongated sequence featuring Dash, the boy with the super speed, on the island, is one of the film’s brightest moments. Oh, and Sam Jackson was purfect as the voice for Frozone…I only wish they had used him even more…he was damn cool, yo!
As for the animation and effects, well, it’s Pixar…what can you say other than perfection? Some brilliant work here and particularly in the second half of the movie with gadgets, action, tricks, machines, gun play, explosions and everything with the kitchen sink thrown at the screen and looking awesome! On the negative tip, the film did run a little too long (at 115 minutes, the longest animated movie ever), felt like it had various ongoing endings and featured a bad guy that was just “okay”—actually, he annoyed me more than anything. His sexy assistant, Mirage, on the other hand…hubba-hubba! Overall, the film packs into it everything you’d want from a movie and more with lots of fun for the kids, mid-life familial relations for the adults, and a nice blend of action, humor, heroics and morals for everyone. Think JAMES BOND meets the FANTASTIC FOUR meets PIXAR meets X-BOX. PS: One thing this film taught me is that unlike SHREK 2 and SHARK TALE, two animated movies I also enjoyed this year, one needn’t jam-pack its story with pop-culture references and homages, in order to be fully entertaining. In fact, one could argue that unlike those films, original adventures such as THE INCREDIBLES are the ones that will have families watching them over and over and over again, over the years.