The Incredibles (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/10/2004

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Incredible by name and incredible by nature – brilliantly acted, wonderfully animated and hysterically funny throughout, this is one of the best films of the year. Unmissable.

Those pesky Animation Geniuses at Pixar Studios have done it again. Not content with giving us Toy Story 1 and 2, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo, they’ve gone and made what could easily be their best film yet, because The Incredibles is an absolute treat from start to finish. Everything about it is perfect, right down to the tiniest detail.

In fact, the Academy might just as well hand over the Best Animated Film Oscar early this year, because this is going to wipe the floor with the opposition, Shrek 2 or no Shrek 2.

Superheroes Living Under Assumed Identities

The film kicks off with an amusing opening sequence that introduces both Mr Incredible (aka Bob Parr, voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and his wife, Elastigirl (aka Helen Parr, voiced by Holly Hunter), as well as explaining exactly why we find them living under assumed identities 15 years later, along with their children Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack.

Frustrated at the loss of his glory days, Mr Incredible accepts a mysterious invitation to a remote island, in the hopes of a secret world-saving mission. However, when Bob goes missing, his family is forced to spring into action in order to rescue him and defeat the sinister supervillain, Syndrome (voiced by Jason Lee) who is holding him captive.

The Incredibles is written and directed by Brad Bird (The Iron Giant), who cut his teeth on The Simpsons and therefore knows a thing or two about the importance of stuffing gags into every frame. Accordingly, there isn’t a single wasted moment in the film – it’s brilliantly written and the gags come thick and fast; you’re guaranteed to be either smiling, chuckling or crying hysterically with laughter throughout the entire movie.

Everything Done To Perfection

The animation is gorgeous to look at, from the old-fashioned credits sequence to the fabulous retro design of the film. It’s also packed with inventive ideas and clever references to other genres, such as sci-fi movies, comic-book superheroes and James Bond films.

In addition, it has a terrific soundtrack by Michael Giacchino, as well as refusing to pander to modern culture; for instance, there’s not a single instance of product placement (hang your heads in shame, Shrek and Shark Tale) and there isn’t even an accompanying pop single.

Most importantly, Bird understands the importance of character and story: the characters are all incredibly well drawn (pun intended) and brilliantly voiced by the cast. Importantly, the jaw-dropping action sequences each contain significant character moments – for example, a particular highlight involves Dash and Violet pooling their superpowers and working together for the first time.

There are so many wonderful moments and sequences that it would be pointless to list them all, although special mention should go to Samuel L. Jackson for his super-cool portrayal of Fro-zone and Brad Bird himself has a delightful bit-part as Edna Mode, the superhero costume designer modelled on Hollywood legend Edith Head.

Put simply, The Incredibles is a genuine instant classic and one of the top five films of the year – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer, and then you’ll want to see it again immediately afterwards. Unmissable.

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The Incredibles (U)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 21:54

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