About the Movie
Minor Character Spoilers
The Supers. Each genre in the movie industry has its time to shine. Thrillers from the 2000's, action films from the 1980's and at the moment superhero films are the get-go genre for movies.
Back in 2004, there wasn't many superhero films, and there was only one really successful movie released in that year: Spider-Man 2.
The Incredibles changed that, and it continued Pixar's run of classic animation movies. Here is three reasons why the Incredibles is a classic film:
Reason 1: Good paced, good action
Superhero films do have a disadvantage from other genres – you generally have two different parts of the story to deal with. First, is the normal life of the hero, doing normal things and the audience getting to know how the character is in the real world. The second is the superheroing – fighting crime, solving cases and beating up bad guys.
The problem this sometimes causes is it feels like your watching two movies. (Spider-Man suffers from this a little) The film will go from quiet scenes, to action and the process starts again. There is a reason why I'm bringing this up – the Incredibles doesn't have this problem. It manages to mix action and slower scenes without switching too much or without making it feel disjointed.
The pace of the story is great, and guess what else is good? The action scenes! With the Incredibles being a superhero movie, action is important. It's done extremely well, and again its quite different to what we normally see. It isn't yet two superpowered people fighting each other, this is more than the traditional hero vs Villain. It's about a team stopping a villain and his army…
Reason 2: powers! Supers! Superpowers
… and you can't do that without powers! With so many different supers featured in the Incredibles, you then also get quite a selection of super powers. So let's see, what do we have here? Super strength, super stretchy, super speed, invisibility, force fields, freeze-rays, mechanical weapons, and more. Of course, with hundreds of comic book heroes over the decades, you have seen all these powers before. But how and why they use them is quite interesting.
Instead of getting powers from random accidents, Mr Incredible and company are part of the elite members of “the supers”. There is a lot of mystery surrounding these gifted heroes: where did they come from? How many are they? How do you get superpowers? I quite liked how the film doesn't explain this, it leaves the audience to their interpretation. So your thinking this is going to be an “ordinary” family animated superhero film, with predicable powers and story? Well think again, as Pixar has other ideas.
The film starts off in the prime time Mr Incredible stated at the beginning of the movie that “we're superheroes, what could happen?” I won't spoil what happens after this, but it is a different take on what it means to super, and to have superpowers.
In Iron Man, there is one “super”. In Spider-Man you have usually two beings with powers. So with each of the Incredibles plus friends and villains having powers, either organic or man-made, there is a lot more to look forward too in the action scenes. Will Mr Incredible use his strength? Or will Dash run to outsmart the bad guy? This does leave a bit of uncertainly when there is more than one hero on screen. And considering that these heroes can combine powers, its a great movie to see all of these superpowers on one movie, without feeling like they stuffing in as many as they can.
Reason 3: It's super being a family!
While you now know there is a group of people known as the supers, the film doesn't try to cram in as many as they can like some other films you may have seen. The Incredibles take a different approach, here the film focuses on a family of superheroes. You may have hundreds of family TV shows like Home Improvement, but having this dynamic in a superhero film? That's certainly different. (No, Fantastic Four doesn't count as they aren't actually a proper family)
The film follows the Parr family, with their ordinary life and superhero work takes focus at different stages of the film. Each member of the family, have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their personality and their powers, and is reflected at different parts of the story. You know you have always wondered (No? Well, it may be just me then) what would your family be like if they had superpowers? Well the Incredibles answers that question.
You can also tell that the writer and director, Brad Bird, based this film on this own experiences. The powers he gave each member of the film was picked at random. Each member of the Parr family relates to the persons personality and this reflects on how they use their powers in the film. This grounded approach to the family's seemingly normal problems works in it's favour. At first, it seems like a normal family, and then your introduced to their powers. It's good to know that even superpowered families have their problems! (Does that make you feel a little better?)
Bob is the head of the household, and this means he has to be strong – which he uses to great effect to protect his family. Helen is super stretchy, great for being flexible to the family's needs - and great for hoovering at home in those tricky spots! Violet starts as a shy teenager, who feels like she is invisible half the time and can protect herself with force fields. Dash is like any 10 year old – he likes to explore places and is very active – which is great that he can run extremely fast. Jack Jack, the baby of the family, doesn't have any powers, but you never know, with age he might develop some...
The Incredibles is my favourite Pixar film, and is still one of Pixar's best films 10 years on. It's one of the most perfect films I have ever seen, with excellent characters, story, dialogue, action scenes, emotional scenes and score. With the sequel coming in 2019, I can't wait to see the supers once again.
My One Big Highlight
Although I really like the Incredible family, Frozone is a standout with a great vocal performance by Samuel L. Jackson. He only appears a few times in the film, but they are all great moment s. I hope that he is used more in the sequel
Elephant In the Room
There is very little I can fault. Possibly the only thing I was a little disappointed with was when the family are together in their new costumes for the first time. I wish we could of seen a bit more of that scene with them in action, fighting as a family - as they were kicking butt!