Mr. Incredible is a superhero; or he used to be, until a surge of lawsuits against superheroes submitted by the people they've saved forced the government to hide them in witness protection programs so they could lead normal, anonymous lives. Now known exclusively by his secret identity, Bob Parr, he lives with his wife Helen, formerly Elastigirl, and their three children Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack. He works as an insurance claims specialist, and he's fed up with his pushy boss and his immoral profession, but his wife's worked too hard to build a normal life for her family to abide his nostalgia for heroism. When Mr. Incredible's offered the chance to play the role of hero again by a mysterious informant, he jumps at the opportunity, but when it turns out to be a trap set by an old nemesis he had a hand in corrupting, the whole family must reveal themselves to save Mr. Incredible and countless innocents.
Directed by: Brad Bird
. Starring: Craig T. Nelson
, Holly Hunter
, Samuel L. Jackson
, Jason Lee
, Dominique Louis
, Teddy Newton
, Jean Sincere
, Eli Fucile
, Maeve Andrews
, Wallace Shawn
, Spencer Fox
, Lou Romano
, Wayne Canney
. Music by: Michael Giacchino
Some movies take the world and look at it from another angle. The wonder of Pixar movies, however, is that the filmmakers there create the world, down to the tiniest detail, before they turn it upside down. Each of their films is its own universe, viewed through a special set of eyes, and The Incredibles gives us the life of a superhero: not as funny as the life of a toy or a monster, maybe, but still thrilling, inventive, and action-packed.
The Incredibles follows Mr. Incredible (voice of Craig T. Nelson), whose career, along with all of the world's superheros, is put to rest by a string of lawsuits. In the aftermath, the government initiates a superhero relocation program, giving these men of steel office jobs, normal lives, and suburban homes. But Mr. Incredible simply can't stand it, and when a mysterious offer shows up dangling the possibility of being super again in front of him, he snatches up the opportunity, behind the back of his wife, Elastigirl (voice of Holly Hunter).
Of course, Pixar is one of the best studios working in film today, much less animation. Their films always contain great characters, story and visuals, and up until now, they've also been hilarious. The Incredibles, however, turns out to be more of an action-adventure than a comedy, but don't worry, it's one of the most fun action-adventures of the year. The superhero element adds a fast-paced style to the movie that never lets up, with death-defying stunts, explosions, close calls, and some showstopping fight sequences.
Of major note is that this is the first Pixar animated feature to contain human characters. While of course these characters are not photorealistic, ala Final Fantasy, Pixar has managed to breathe more life into their animated heroes than some live-action movies can. The characters are fluid, likable, and can display as wide a range of emotion as any actor. Add to this great performances by the voice cast, including Nelson and Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee, and you have some well-rounded performances by the voices and the bodies they're meant to go with.
Then there's just the look in general. These are the coolest CGI worlds Pixar has ever done, and on top of that, they're infused with a great retro style, bringing to mind adventure serials, superhero comic books from the 60's, and some modern touches of today (not to mention a little dash of Star Wars). There was an art book for Finding Nemo, and that movie was beautiful, but I'd be even more interested to read a book on The Incredibles.
All of this is thanks to the direction of Brad Bird, who also directed the great 1998 feature The Iron Giant. Bird keeps the story moving, the energy high and the movie fun. The Incredibles crackles, alive in every corner of the frame. The movie is exhilarating to watch, and a lot of fun to look at. Brad Bird deserves to do more movies in the future, his eye for visuals and action are excellent, and he knows how to keep a movie from dragging. He also doesn't include unnecessary parodies or references to pop culture, a relief after the oversaturation of PDI's Shrek 2.
But having gushed about the movie, because it deserves it, now the flaws have to be addressed, because The Incredibles is not perfect. Compared to the other Pixar movies, the plot falls a bit flat. It seems the script could have used a few more runs through their genius machine to iron out a few predictable points, and to make the script more accessible to anyone -- more than any of their others, The Incredibles feels like a children's film. And yet, the movie is off-puttingly violent. Sure, it's no worse than Star Wars, but that's certainly more intense than the other films that Pixar has made. Lastly, the finale feels rather flat, unlike the exciting blasts of energy provided by the door vault in Monsters, Inc. or the baggage carrier in Toy Story 2.
In the end, however, The Incredibles is solid entertainment. John Lasseter and the incredible amount of talent at Pixar, and director Brad Bird are superheros in themselves. Somehow, they've managed to dodge the bullets and lift the obstacles that most filmmakers encounter, and they've done it in the most perilous movie genre ever: the family film. The Incredibles marks their sixth success in a row, and it reminds us that we're all safer, at least, in the world of computer animation, knowing that Pixar is around to save the day.
Review by Tyler Foster from the Internet Movie Database.