Length: 115 minutes
Release Date: November 05, 2004
Directed by: Brad Bird
Genre: Animation / Action / Adventure / Family
Most superhero films follow a single hero as he discovers his abilities and eventually saves the day, but “The Incredibles” takes a different approach. A married couple of veteran superheroes, as well as their super children, attempt to live quietly in the suburbs of Metroville. When Mr. Incredible longs for the world-saving days of his youth, he takes a top-secret assignment to fight off an intelligent robot on a remote island. This movie is a fun-filled family film with themes, characters and humor that appeal to children and adults of all ages.
Mr. Incredible is one of the biggest superheroes in Metroville, gaining the idolization of an annoying fan named Buddy. When Buddy tries to help Mr. Incredible save the day, branding himself as Incrediboy, the disgruntled superhero tells the boy that he works alone before heading off to save civilians. He marries a beautiful superhero named Elastigirl, and the future looks bright for the newlyweds. However, a series of questionable lawsuits commence, and all superheroes are ordered to give up their life-saving ways and live as ordinary citizens.
Fifteen years later, the couple is living in the suburbs with their three children. Violet has the ability to turn invisible and create force fields, and Dash has the power of super speed. Baby Jack-Jack, on the other hand, appears to have no superpowers. Violet is attempting to fit in as a normal teenager, while Dash believes that the family should not be hiding who they are. Amidst all this, Mr. Incredible longs for the heroic days of his youth, so he secretly goes out with his buddy Frozone to rescue people while keeping a low profile. When Mr. Incredible receives an anonymous message from a potential client who requires his superhero services, he seizes the opportunity without telling his family. He finds himself on a remote island with the mission of powering down a robot that has gained self-awareness. However, he soon discovers that his client is not who he thought he was, and his wife and children must head to the island to rescue him.
“The Incredibles” is a unique superhero film that explores the humanity of its characters rather than just the idea of good versus evil. This is expressed in the family’s attempts to be normal, Mr. Incredible’s mid-life crisis and Elastigirl’s suspicions of her husband. This aspect of the film is part of what makes it appealing to both adults and children. The story explores themes like family, betrayal, retribution and redemption without missing a beat, and the lessons taught by the film are so subtle that they never come off as preachy. Interlaced with these themes is plenty of humor to appeal to both children and adults.
The plot of the film is well-paced, showing appropriate backstory without becoming dull. The momentum builds from the introduction to a grand fight that decides the fate of the world, but every moment in between is just as engaging, showcasing plenty of well-animated action sequences to keep viewers glued to their seats. The end result is an exciting film that is neither too long nor too short, telling the full story of the Incredibles without ever slowing down.
One element that makes “The Incredibles” such an engaging film is the evident character depth. Elastigirl just wants to protect her family, and she is willing to use her superpowers to do so, if necessary. Violet may appear to be a typical teenage girl at first glance, annoyed by her family and frustrated by her younger brother, but she will do anything to save them when push comes to shove. These types of characteristics and transformations make the characters feel real despite their superpowers. It is easy to empathize with each family member, and even the Incredibles’ arch-nemesis Syndrome can garner some pity and understanding from viewers.
Although the characters themselves are interesting, the voices of talented actors are what really bring them to life. Craig T. Nelson, also known for his roles in “Poltergeist” and “The Proposal,” brings passion and heart to Mr. Incredible with his deep, gruff voice. Samuel L. Jackson livens up the character of Frozone, and Jason Lee gives Syndrome some wicked flair. These and other actors create likable, believable characters that capture the hearts of audiences.
“The Incredibles” is a fun movie with wide appeal, and its story is one to which many viewers can relate, aside from the characters’ superpowers. Although this movie features some violence, making it inappropriate for younger viewers, it is a great family movie that is sure to please children and parents alike.
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