Friday, November 13, 2015

Movie Review: "The Incredibles" (2004)

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Movie"The Incredibles"
Director: Brad Bird
Year: 2004
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Once, superheroes were commonplace in the world. But when a superhero named Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is sued by a guy who he saved from committing suicide, it opens up a string of frivolous lawsuits against all superheroes every time they try to do a good deed. These large lawsuits force the government to outlaw superheroes as they are all forced to go into hiding and lead normal, mundane lives sans powers. As time passes, Mr. Incredible is unhappy working in his regular 9-5 job, which leads to arguments with his wife Helen (Holly Hunter) and his two older kids Dash (Spencer Fox) and Violet (Sarah Vowell). His only joy comes from secretly and illegally stopping crimes at night. This leads a mysterious billionaire named Syndrome (Jason Lee) into offering him a job, but the job turns out to be more than he bargained for. 

"The Incredibles" is Pixar's take on a superhero movie and paid off handsomely for them as it was a wild success. It combines what we all know and love from the genre with a family friendly comedy. When a string of lawsuits force superheroes into hiding, all of the people with fantastic powers are left to lead normal suburban lives, working mundane 9-5 jobs. Bob Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, voiced by Craig T. Nelson, is incredibly strong and durable, and was also once the greatest superhero alive. He is married to Helen, aka Elastigirl, voiced by Holly Hunter, who has the ability to stretch her body like a piece of rubber any which way she chooses. Together, they have three kids: their oldest child is named Violet, voiced by Sarah Vowell, who can turn invisible and can also create force fields; their middle child Dash, voiced by Spencer Fox, who can run extremely fast, so fast, in fact, he can't be seen on video; and finally, there is their youngest child Jack Jack, who doesn't have any least they don't think he does. Bob obviously loves his family, but he really hates his job. He is a claims processor for an insurance company, and it's the kind of job that goes against his natural inclination of helping people. The only joy he gets is secretly doing superhero work with his best friend Lucius, aka Frozone, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, who can shoot ice from his hands and instantly freeze things. Their antics gets them noticed by a mysterious billionaire, who wants to hire Mr. Incredible for some top secret work. When it turns out his new employer is a maniacal man who calls himself Syndrome, voiced by Jason Lee, Mr. Incredible gets himself in hot water and gets taken as a prisoner. This leads the rest of his family to jump into action to come to his rescue.

"The Incredibles" is what "Fantastic Four" wishes it could be in every sense of the phrase. Every failed incarnation of Fantastic Four past, present, and future, will never be as good as this film and this story. This is a fun and exciting movie about a team of four superheroes who combat a wealthy and intelligent villain with a suit that gives him superpowers. What's not to love about that!? Disney did out of the gate what Sony has failed to do in three attempts with the "Fantastic Four" Marvel franchise, which seems to be a common thing that has happened with the superhero genre. Disney, with Marvel, churns out hit after hit after hit, and Sony, the lesser of the two, seemingly turns golden opportunities into flop after flop after flop. Let's not kid ourselves here, "The Incredibles" is essentially Disney's version of "Fantastic Four," and no one can tell us otherwise. Their take is exceptional and Sony needs to take some serious notes. Not only is each character rich with superpowers and an awesome story, but the whole movie is full of slick animation, hilarious jokes, a great message, and wonderful, flashy details. The voice work done here is both fitting and excellent, and the family friendly tone plus the homage to comics as a whole really makes "The Incredibles," well, incredible! Take notes, Fox.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

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