Why I Love “The Incredibles”
I love “The Incredibles.” it’s one of my favorite movies, and when it’s on, I drop everything and glue myself to the couch. I tried to figure out why I love this movie so much, and I came up with a number of reasons:
I love the story of Mr. Incredible’s rebirth. He’s living a boring, everyday life, and he longs for something more. He longs for a return to the Glory Days. There’s a great scene early in the film, which is an argument between him and his wife (Elastigirl) that examines his frustrations. it’s downright moving in places.
I love the architecture of the island. it’s a particular style – Googie – which was popular in the 50s. it’s like an episode of the Jetsons.
The soundtrack is fantastic, and straight out of a 60s’ era Bond film. The scene when Mr. Incredible is trying to break back into the compound on the island is wonderfully atmospheric. The music where Mr. Incredible is looking through the database at the compound and realizes all the super-heroes that have been killed is perfect – a rising crescendo of horns that rivals anything John Barry ever did for 007.
Elastigirl is perfectly-voiced by Holly Hunter. She’s imbued with a perfect balance of attitude and concern. The scene when she’s in the plane coming in on the island and is attacked is a wonderful mix of military bearing and maternal fear.
The action scenes are so inventive. There’s a scene in compound where Elastigirl gets stuck between several sliding doors and a couple hallways. you’re thinking, “how is this gonna work,” and then it resolves itself with you thinking, “oh, sure, that’s what would happen.”
There’s a neat sense of “far-ness” in some scenes.
I’m thinking when the guards see the decapitated monorail car. You then hear Mr. Incredible grunt in the distance, and the car comes flying in from far away.
When Dash and Violet escape from the rocket exhaust cave, and you see the rocket launching in the distance.
When the surface-to-air missiles come up on the horizon to attack Elastigirl’s jet.
When Mr. Fantastic heaves the car at Syndrome at the very end, and he’s see it coming in the distance.
Samuel L. Jackson is awesome as Frozone. ‘Nuff said. (“Honey, where is my super suit?!”)
The movie isn’t light and breezy. There’s a real sense of menace to it. Kids are often put in danger, Mr. Incredible gets tortured and seemingly listens to his family die in a plane crash, and a fair amount of people die, sometimes gruesomely (though off-screen). Syndrome goes through a jet engine at the end, remember.
The film is great mix of super secret agent and superhero. It’s got an awesome 60s feel to it – the height of James Bond-mania, not coincidentally – and grandiose mega-villain plot. (A friend once called it “the best [James] Bond film in about 30 years.”)
Finally, Kari is awesome as the babysitter. She’s a perfectly oblivious teenager, and the short on the DVD – Jack Jack Attack – is an absolute riot.
A wonderful movie. I’m watching it right now as I write this. I taped it. God help me – I may never leave the couch.