"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, November 29, 2004

Trailing Edge Film Review: THE INCREDIBLES

Thanks to a visit from the boy’s grandparents, the wife and I got our first opportunity in a VERY long time to see a movie together. We chose the much lauded box office megalith, THE INCREDIBLES. The film was directed and written by Brad Bird, who was the primary mover behind THE IRON GIANT, which was a fabulous animated feature. (If you haven’t seen it, go rent it. It’s superb for adults and children grade school and older. I plan to add it to the permanent collection in the near future.)

The Incredibles is a compelling action-driven story with a better portrayal of super powers than I’ve ever seen. Mr. Incredible’s super strength, ElastiGirl’s super-flexibility, Dash’s super-speed, and Violet’s invisibility and force fields are all played to maximum effect. At the same time, the personalities, family roles, and ages of the different characters are also well-utilized to involve the viewer. This film has pace, depth, and delivers a satisfying conclusion. In short, it is a virtual can’t miss for the movie fan looking for a diverting way to spend a couple of hours.

For those who like to examine a film for message, there is also much to be explored here. The first main theme is the importance of accepting excellence and the benefits and drawbacks that arise from it. The superheroes have been put out of business through a combination of envy and lawsuit harassment that put me much in mind of the plight of physicians in America. The second theme is family. Director/writer Bird shows great concern for the enduring value of the intact family with married mother and father.

Given that I’m no great shakes as a film critic, here’s hoping our true expert, Mr. S.T. Karnick will step in with his analysis at some point.

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