Monday, August 20, 2012

The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004) Review

So Pixar hasn't exactly been doing as good as they could be recently (Cars 2 being a failure and Brave getting mixed reviews) but let us take a look bad at when Pixar made films every year and yet someone managed to be animated gold every time! I could talk about ones like Monsters Inc. or review the Toy Story trilogy but since I'm in such as super hero-esque mood (as a result of Avengers Assemble, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises all in one year) I thought I should take a look at Pixar's attempt at the super hero genre: The Incredibles.

Several years ago, there was a mishap involving a superhero named Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), a villain named Bomb Voyage (Dominique Louis) and a fan of Mr. Incredible called Buddy Pine (Jason Lee) trying to act as his sidekick. As a result, superheroes were banned and had to give up their super identities. Mr. Incredible goes back to his life as Bob Parr and now lives with his wife Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and his children Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Spencer Fox) and Jack-Jack (It's a baby). Despite the law that outlaws superheroes, Bob still goes out at night with his friend Lucius/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and do good deeds. This catches the attention of an unseen client willing to pay for Bob's services on his secret island. The client is revealed to be a new villain by the name of Syndrome whose real name may sound familar (Buddy Pine...remember him?) who is trying to give special abilities to everyone so there will be no superheroes left. Now the Incredibles must stop Syndrome.

While it seems like it would be a parody of the superhero genre, it actually does well and is more than a parody like Johnny English Reborn. The characters are great and actually would fit in with other comic book characters (no, this isn't based on a comic book, okay?). Syndrome is a memorable villain and easily one of Pixar's best villains (up there with Hopper from A Bug's Life and Losto from Toy Story 3) and the heroes are also great. Mr. Incredible is a very likeable character and Frozone, from what I can tell, is a character that everyone likes. The one character everyone thinks of when they think of this film is Edna Mode (Brad Bird), the person responsible for all the superhero outfits (kind of like Gok Wan).

This film looks fantastic. It is definitely one of Pixar's best look films. The backgrounds are detailed and the character models look fantastic. I distinctly remember the scenes inside Syndrome's base looking especially good probably due to the lighting (my experience with CGI animation is only Source Filmmaker). They definitely put all their effort into this one. The voice acting is also a great part. They really bring life into the characters (everyone loves Edna's voice probably because of her campiness and that Gok Wan quality).

The Incredibles is a film that may surprise those who think it's just a parody. It's not. It clearly has alot of effort put into it and it certainly paid off. If you were disappointed by Cars 2, watch this again to remind of what Pixar can really do! I haven't seen Brave yet so maybe they're back in the game after getting beaten by Dreamworks last year (Cars 2 against Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda contest). Sure, it isn't my favourite Pixar film but it's still a great film and is one of the only Pixar films that really warrants a sequel.

A fantastic looking animated film that does the genre justice (heh), has great voice acting and is one reason to respect Pixar.

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