Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Incredibles

Most Pixar films have been made better by a single performance. In "Ratatouille," it was Peter O'Toole as critic Anton Ego, and in "The Incredibles," it is Craig T. Nelson as Bob Parr, formerly Mr. Incredible. The genius of his performance is a man whose ambitions are too big for the small cubicle, car, or shirt (take your pick) he is stuffed into. But he is not your normal suburbanite. He's a man truly having nostalgia: he was a superhero, but he was relocated to suburbia. As was his wife Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) and his kids, Dashiell (Spencer Fox) and Violet (Sarah Vowell). It is a family of supers. So, when Mr. Incredible gets fired from his job after he launches his boss (Wallace Shaun) a locker, he gets the chance to go back to the good old days and gets to help debunk a learning robot. But he soon finds this is the scheme of his biggest fan, turned bitter after Mr. Incredible wouldn't let him be his sidekick. He is name is now Syndrome, and he used to be Buddy Pine. The actor playing him, Kevin Smith regular Jason Lee, seems to have a blast in his ridiculous villanous role. His scheme: to make himself look super by staging and then fixing disasters. Also, he wants to make everyone a superhero, so then, to quote him "no one would be [super]." This film's set-up feels great, but its execution suffers, as it is targeted at both adults and children, so the jokes are aimed at both, 75%-80% of them at the younger ones. What I am getting at is that Bob Parr's size and other features tend to be less exaggerated later on then earlier. The film has a good ending, but the film isn't the comedic powerhouse it could be. B+

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