Friday, November 26, 2004


By Reymundo Salao
Oftentimes Disturbing
The Guardian, November 26, 2004

I would sometimes dislike the idea of calling these kind of movies as "family movies" because the term usually suggests such mushy kid flicks as "Brother Bear" and "Little Mermaid", movies that are either too cute, too clean, and too loaded with cheesy moral undertones that its like a film adaptation of a secular morality brochure. I'm glad that this film is way better than your average family treat. In actuality, and in literal terms, "The Incredibles" is purely a spectacular family movie in the sense that everybody of all ages (of the family) could and would enjoy this movie. You've got the visual treat of the animation for kids, the fun and even smart humor for the grown-ups to appreciate as well, and the action-adventure for the boys of all ages. In a stricter sense, "The Incredibles" is a superhero movie that comfortably sits along great instant-classic superhero flicks like "Spiderman 1 & 2", Tim Burton's "Batman", and "X-2".

The story starts out when Mr. Incredible, among all other costumed superheroes, were at their height of their career in their battles against criminals and the forces of evil. Until that time when our main superhero protagonist saved the life of somebody who was actually trying to kill himself. That guy filed a legal suit against Mr. Incredible for the injuries he got during the rescue. Then all the other superheroes also got sued for various other direct or indirect offenses, damages, and injuries. Until society grew a discrimination for superheroes. And so it was resolved that all the superheroes must end their lives as their alter-ego superhero identities, and just start blending and rolling with the mediocrity of everyday life.

Along with the rest of the superhero community, Mr. Incredible, who was wed with fellow super-heroine, Elastigirl, must surrender their superhero lives and blend with the rest of society, with the rest of the normal world. Mr. Incredible must fully embrace his life as Bob Parr, insurance office employee. And jump forward years later, Bob is now husband and father to his loving wife Helen Parr who also surrendered her life as Elastigirl and is now a housewife who watched over their children who were also endowed with superhero skills; the naughty and relentlessly makulit Dash, who has the super-ability of speed, their shy and secluded teenage daughter Violet, who appropriately and poetically has the power to be invisible and/or create force-fields, and then there's their toddler, little baby Incredible (okay, so the character really didn't have a name there).

Just as Bob has reached one edge of his depression, boredom, and disappointments in life, he received a message from a rich and powerful secret company who required his services as a superhero. Needing a boost in self-esteem and the desire in his heart to do noble and chivalrous deeds once more, he takes the job. But little does he realize that the dangers that lie ahead of him are far more greater that he can comprehend. And it will also threaten the lives of his family, who must also answer the inevitable call of superheroism. Until together as a team, rather, a superhero family, they realize that their powers and their heroism isn't too obsolete enough for society to need.

The film was made by Pixar, the same company that brought us the "Shrek" movies and "Finding Nemo". You would most certainly guess it right that some of the animators of this movie are Filipinos (Mabuhay ang talento ka Pinoy!). One other thing that is enjoyable in watching these big animated movies is when you try to guess the names of the voices of the characters of the movie. The performers who did the voices include Craig Nelson, Helen Hunt, and Samuel Jackson (you can't just miss guessing that distinct voice of his), The film was directed by Brad Bird who also did the voice for the film's most favorite character (among adults anyway) Edna Mode.

The movie is rich in impressively unique sequences, original humor that never lags to boredom, and an interesting plotline that may have been used in many comicbook stories, but never on the movies. You'll just love the scene when Frozone and a slightly overweight Mr. Incredible try to relive their superhero glory days only to find that they "got old" from what they used to do. I was rather glad that there were no cheesy musical numbers on this movie. Neither were there cheap shots at trying too hard in making the animated characters look like famous celebrities. For me, "TheIncredibles" stepped in when the typical CGI-eye-candy animated family treat was getting to be boring and uninteresting (A Shark Tale). "TheIncredible" may nothave those corny musical numbers, but they have the action-thrill-ride sequences, the bullseye humor, and the slickety-coolness that turns me into an instant Incredibles fan. The entertainment dosage of this movie is adequate that it gave me a childlike grin the whole time I was watching it. If you ask me, it's the perfect movie to watch this holiday(-ish) weekend. I cant wait for a sequel.