Incredible is the right word
By Philip Concannon
, 28 Oct 2004
You save a guy's life and what thanks do you get? In 'The Incredibles', the latest wonderful offering from Pixar, superheroes are being put out of business when injured pedestrians start filing lawsuits against them. Mr Incredible(Craig T Nelson) has been forced to shelve his superhero antics and settle down for a 'normal' life as lowly insurance clerk Bob Parr. 15 years later he's living with his wife Helen(Holly Hunter), the former Elastigirl, and their three kids.
Bob occasionally stops a few minor crimes with his friend Lucius(Samuel L Jackson), who was once Frozone, but the thrill isn't the same. All that soon changes though, when he receives a mysterious request to fly to a volcanic island and save it from a rampaging machine. But when he finds himself in trouble, it's time for his family to put their superpowers to the test.
Brad Bird and Pixar always seemed like a great mix and 'The Incredibles' delivers beyond all expectations. As you'd expect, the film looks sensational with the animation techniques appearing sharper and brighter than ever before. But the strength of Pixar's films has never been down to the way they look. It's all about the script which once again is tight, witty, intelligent and full of surprises.
The characters are memorable too, with the distinctive voices of Nelson and Hunter breathing life ito Mr Incredible and Elastigirl, and Jason Lee doing a good job as the chief villain Syndrome. Brad Bird himself offers a hilarious cameo as Edna, the eccentric designer of The Incredible's outfits, but Samuel L Jackson doesn't really make much of an impression with his brief screen time.
Bird handles the numerous set-pieces with a master's touch(Elastigirl's door trouble and the moment the kids first use their powers are particular highlights) and the villain's world-domination plan is more believable, and developed with more skill, than in many live-action superhero films.
This is truly breathtaking stuff, one of the films of the year and one of the best animated films I've ever seen. Thrilling, hilarious, tense and often quite moving, it's an exhilarating and completely satisfying experience. When the credits have rolled, there's only one nagging question which remains...
...How the hell are Pixar going to top this?
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