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The Incredibles

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Incredibles

Starring: Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Brad Bird
Rated: PG
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: November 2004
Genres: Animation, Action, Family, Kids

*Also starring: Jason Lee, Craig T. Nelson, John Ratzenberger, Brad Bird, Elizabeth Pena, Wallace Shawn, Sarah Vowell

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

THE INCREDIBLES isn't. Don't get me wrong. It is a good movie, well worth the price of admission, but it isn't the incredible type of picture we've come to expect from Pixar. The animation is almost as good as Pixar's previous efforts. It is in the script, which has several surprisingly slack sections, and in the choice of some of the voice talent, where the movie goes astray.

Craig T. Nelson proves to be a strange and bland choice to voice the lead character of Bob Parr, a.k.a. the superhero known as Mr. Incredible. Much better is Holly Hunter, who gives a stirring rendition of Bob's wife Helen, whose alter ego is Elastigirl. Her work, however, is sometimes almost too good, leading us to keep visualizing Hunter back in the studio working on the voice track. The movie's best character is a scene stealer named Edna 'E' Mode, a pint-sized, finicky fashion designer who creates all of the superhero's uniforms. Providing the film's best voice talent for this character is none other than Brad Bird, the movie's writer and director. He should have given his character an even larger role since every scene with Edna 'E' Mode in it sizzles.

The story, which borrows liberally from STAR WARS, James Bond and SKY KIDS, happens mainly after the world's superheroes have been relocated and given new identities, since ambulance chasing lawyers and scandal mongering journalists have made the superhero persona non grata on planet Earth. A cute sequence of grainy black-and-white footage chronicles the superhero's demise and transformation into a new world of domestic non-bliss. Spencer Fox and Sarah Vowell are cute as buttons voicing the other members of the Parr clan. As Violet, Sarah plays a girl with her own disappearing act, and, as Dash, Fox plays a boy who runs so fast that video tapes can't record his movements. There is also a baby in the family who is supposedly strictly normal. Wanna bet?

As a villain who is the spitting image of Jack Black on a bad hair day, Jason Lee provides the voice of Buddy Pine, a would-be superhero named Syndrome. Syndrome puts some serious obstacles in the way of the Parr family, but the winner in his battle with them is never in doubt.

Pixar's last movie, FINDING NEMO, is one that gets better with every viewing. I suspect the same won't be true of THE INCREDIBLES. Although I laughed many times, I can't imagine myself wanting to see it again. It's a one time kind of movie.

THE INCREDIBLES runs too long at 1:55. It is rated PG for "action violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 7 or 8 and up. It scared several younger viewers in our audience, whom I heard screaming during some of the violent episodes.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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