Thursday Night Movie Club
The Incredibles
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Release Date: November 5, 2004

Director: Brad Bird
Craig T. Nelson
Holly Hunter
Samuel L. Jackson
Jason Lee
Dominique Louis
Teddy Newton
Wallace Shawn
Spencer Fox
Lou Romano
Elizabeth Peņa
Brad Bird
John Ratzenberger
Eli Fucile
Maeve Andrews
Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible
Helen Parr/Elastigirl
Lucius Best/Frozone
Buddy Pine/Syndrome
Bomb Voyage
Newsreel Narrator
Gilbert Huph
Dashiell 'Dash' Parr
Violet Parr
Edna 'E' Mode
Jack Jack Parr
Jack Jack Parr
The Incredibles movie poster
Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible in The IncrediblesThe Incredibles is a very good movie. The folks at Pixar really know how to write a good movie, first and foremost, then comes the incredible (ok, i had to say it) special effects. Everything works in this movie: the writing, humor, voice talents, special effects, sound effect, editing, music (reminiscent of a James Bond soundtrack) etc. The movie loses a little steam about a third of the way in, but recovers wonderfully for a slam-bang finish!

The movie beings with Mr. Incredible behind the wheel of his "normal" car. He intercepts a police call in pursuit of criminals. He calmly checks his watch telling himself, "I still have time" (This is a running gag throughout the opening sequence). Mr. Incredible morphs his car into the "Incredible mobile" and heads off to intercept the chase. As luck would have it, he is delayed by a little old lady whose cat is stuck in a tree. Mr. Incredible promptly uproots the tree to shake the cat loose fully aware that the police chase will bring them right passed him. In one deft move, he shakes the cat loose from the tree, slams the tree in front of the fleeing criminals and replants the tree in the ground. This is only a taste of the fun to come!

But rough times are just around the corner for Mr. Incredible and other super heroes. Mr. Incredible saves a man from committing suicide, only to be sued for injuries sustained as well as interfering with a man's personal life. Several lawsuits later, the government, that is paying the Super Heroes for their efforts, decide to close down the department because it is getting too costly. The super heroes are all relocated into a relocation program where they join public life under assumed identities.

Mr. Incredible, now in the disguise as Bob Parr, finds himself married, with three children, and a dead-end job as a financial advisor. His life has become pure boredom. He has let himself grow fat. He is having trouble dealing with being a normal person. His home life is a mess as he is having trouble reconciling who he was vs. who he has become. He and his good friend, Frozone, sneak out from their families on "bowling" night to prowl the streets in search of action.

His secret escapades lead him to Mirage, a very beautiful yet secretive woman. She represents a secret organization that desperately requires the help of Mr. Incredible. Intrigued, he jumps at the chance to don the tights once again to save the world against a renegade robot, which he does quite admirably.

Jason Lee as Syndrome in The IncrediblesWhat would this movie be without a villain? Nothing! Through his own personal code of "working alone", Mr. Incredible has created his own arch-enemy, similar to the way Batman created The Joker. He spurned the advances of an enthusiastic boy who desperately wanted to be a super hero himself. Feeling dejected, young Buddy Pine spends his life plotting revenge against all super heroes. He becomes Syndrome.

The movie really takes off with a bang when Mr. Incredible is captured and his family comes to the rescue. Mother Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl, begins teaching the children in the art of being a super hero. Circumstances forces the family to become who they truly are. The formerly dysfunctional family pulls together to defeat their enemy.

Photo of The Incredibles' family in actionAt the heart of The Incredible is the story of extraordinary people who must pretend to be "normal" to blend in with a world that doesn't want them any more. Its a sad tale that takes a page out of the "XMen" series. Thanks to Syndrome's plot, the world has no choice but to welcome back the super heroes to do what only they can, namely, save the world!

The Incredibles is full of both oral and sight gags! My favorite is Elastigirl looking at her broad hips in a mirror after delivering three children. You'd think that someone with an elastic body would be able to pull in the hips!

The two older children are wonderful as they try to grasp the concept of hiding their abilities and now being forced to use their powers to help save their father. The eldest child Violet (Shrinking Violet?) has the power to become invisible. She is the quiet one at school who is just beginning to learn about boys. Son Dash, who is blessed with incredible (ok, I said it again!) speed, is the trouble maker, trying to run away from life. In the process, the family is saved! They all come to terms with who they are first, and then worry about blending in with the world.

Unfortunately, Samuel L. Jackson, is sorely missing from the movie. He appears at the beginning and the end, but disappears during the middle. He has one of the funniest scenes though. As the city where he lives is attacked by Syndrome's Robot, Frozone desperately searches for his super suit. He argues with his wife, off screen, who wonders why he needs his super suit.

The Incredibles is a lot of fun! Like all Pixar movies, this one works equally well for adults as well as children. Enjoy!