Disney and Pixar reunite for their sixth collaboration with the “The Incredibles.” Written and directed by Brad Bird, who is known for “The Iron Giant” and “The Simpsons,” “The Incredibles” offers its own take on the ever-popular superhero genre in classic Disney fashion. “The Incredibles” begins with Bob Parr a.k.a. Mr. Incredible, speeding to his own wedding to Helen, a.k.a Elasti- girl, when he is sidetracked into saving a man from falling to his death. After defeating a villain called “Bomb-voyage” Mr. Incredible finds himself in a lawsuit filed by the man that he saved.Apparently, the man was attempting to commit suicide and argued that he did not ask to be saved. This event causes much turmoil in the community of normal (non-super) people and eventually society decides that a superhero’s secret identity should be their only identity. Supers are pushed away, relocated by a Superhero Protection Program and forced to give up their selfless lives of fighting crime for mundane office jobs.
Fifteen years go by and the former Mr. Incredible and Elasti-girl are now married with three kids: Dash, who possesses incredible lightning speed; Violet, with the power to become invisible and create force-fields; and Jack Jack, who doesn’t seem to have any superhuman abilities. Mr. Incredible, who is fed up with working for a corrupt supervisor as an insurance claims specialist, longs for the good old days of fighting crime. He gets his wish when he is contacted by a mysterious woman named “Mirage,” who informs him that he must complete a new mission on a remote jungle island. Little does Mr. Incredible know that this is actually a set up by mastermind villain “Syndrome,” a madman connected to Mr. Incredible’s past. Pixar animation gets more amazing every time I see their movies. I sat in awe as I looked at the graphic details of some of the settings (mainly, the jungle and the water fall) as well as some of the vehicles, and I found myself actually having to second-guess myself with the question, “Is that real?” Indeed, Pixar has come a long way since “Toy Story,” which looked brilliant to begin with. This is certainly their finest visual achievement to date.
As a huge fan of superhero and comic book movies, I wondered whether or not Disney would “tone it down” because crime-fighting movies are, well…violent, and Disney typically is not. The good news is that the action is not toned down whatsoever. There are some awesome action sequences in the movie and I was surprised to see so many guns fired in a Disney project. Interestingly enough, this is the first Disney/Pixar film to get a PG rating, rather than a G. Mind you, it was bloodless action, but it was not cheesy like “Spy Kids 2” or “Spy Kids 3.” As for the story, I’m sorry to say that I expected a bit more. Maybe I had the wrong idea going into the movie.
Based on the trailers, I was expecting it to be more of a satire on superhero movies. While there is some comedy and satire, mainly spoofing the typical suburban family lifestyle, I felt that it was not enough. It was more of your typical superhero/ spy movie with flashy climaxes that have no imagination, except that everything was animated.
I also felt that there was unused potential regarding “fan boys.” The film touches a little on this, as the villain Syndrome is bent on destruction because he was one of those nerdy kids who idolized superheroes. This could have been more humorous in that the film fell short of that. Jason Lee does an amazing job voicing Syndrome but I felt that the filmmakers had only scratched the surface of his potential. There is no doubt that Jason Lee can play a firstrate villain, as was first seen in 1999’s “Dogma.”
Overall, this is a good family movie that is definitely entertaining. Kids will like it, parents will like it, and teens probably will too, but comic fans might feel just a little cheated.