PG for action violence
November 5, 2004
Animated Action/Adventure, Comedy
Voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter,
Samuel L. Jackson, Wallace Shawn, Jason Lee, Sarah Vowell,
John Ratzenberger, Brad Bird
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By Phil Boatwright
- From the Academy Award-winning creators of Toy Story, Monsters,
Inc., and Finding Nemo comes the best family film of the year.
This hilarious, action-packed, animated adventure has put-upon superheroes
now denying their superpowers and living under a government protection plan
(themselves the victims of sue-happy citizens once protected by the super
do-gooders: “Who asked you to save me?”).
Bob Paar used to be one of the world’s greatest superheroes (known
to all as Mr. Incredible), saving lives and fighting villains on a daily basis.
But now, fifteen years later, Bob and his wife (a famous former superhero
in her own right) have adopted civilian identities and retreated to the suburbs
to live normal lives with their three kids (a Goth-ish teen who hides from
the world through her invisibility and impenetrable force field, her supersonic
younger brother who causes havoc in class because he’s not allowed to
join the track team, and their baby brother who, so far, evidences no sign
of his own superpowers other than super pooping).
Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication
summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment. There’s
a new world threat, and Bob faces the challenge, alone. But his suspicious
spouse soon dons her super suit and, along with the rest of the family, comes
to Bob’s aid.
Taking on grown-up themes such as the suspicion of infidelity and a barrage
of violent do-or-die histrionics, Pixar Animation Studios and filmmaker Brad
Bird (The Iron Giant) incorporate cartoonish slapstick with thoughtful
PG-rated wit. Bird and company also pay tribute to the early James Bond films
by including similar music to highlight the action sequences, and the sets
belonging to the arch villain’s lair are modeled after those of Dr.
No and Ernst Starvros Blowfeld.
Along with vivid CG animation techniques, every other element of the production
has been given special attention, including story, character development and
dialogue. What’s more, a sincere respect for audience members has been
paid, no matter the age.
It’s a hoot. But beware, some children might be disturbed by the plights
of our heroes. Keep in mind, this is a story about super heroes and dastardly
villains. For some reason some parents are still under the misguided assumption
that if it’s animated, it must be okay for all ages. Not so. Guardians
should question why any animated film is rated PG.
Though this film is creative, funny and addresses life issues, it is an
action adventure about superheroes – which means violent acts of derring
That said, entertainment-wise, The Incredibles is everything other
family adventures such as The Thunderbirds and Agent Cody Banks
2 wanted to be this year and failed. It’s a super superhero adventure.
Rating: PG -- The film contains positive family values,
including married parents with a healthy love for one another, and kids, though
they bicker, coming through when their sibling is in danger. The film steers
clear of crudity and off-color language. It receives its rating for thematic
intensity and violent activity that includes explosions, chases scenes, attacking
robots, and our heroes placed in perilous predicaments time and again. Parents
should attend along with their children in order to reassure.
Phil Boatwright is the editor of The Movie Reporter. Review used by permission.
Go to Phil Boatwright's website at www.moviereporter.com
for details on how to have reviews of new films delivered directly to your e-mail
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