The Incredibles

A-

The preview for this movie showing an out-of-shape former superhero trying to get back into his uniform isn't even in this movie, but still provides a perfect first look. It's always nice that they can do something funny without ruining part of the movie when you do see it. It has to be a challenge for Pixar to keep coming up with good movies. While I don't think there is the depth to the characters that Toy Story or Finding Nemo had, this is still better than Monsters, Inc. which is pretty good.

There is a unique visual style with very cartoonish characters similar maybe to The Flintstones. I guess they don't want to have people look too human. However they still must have spent a disproportionate amount of money on the hair of two female characters which looks almost too realistic, with the result being they look like Barbie dolls where you have actual hair attaching to an obviously fake head.

Yes it's a cartoon, but it is still disappointing that you know a lot of what will happen after the setup in the first ten or fifteen minutes. There is still some funny stuff here without trying to do Austin Powers all over again. Most of the laughs come from superheroes being forced to lead ordinary lives like there is something wrong with having super abilities. But there are other funny things too like why it is advisable for a superhero costume not to have a cape. The plot itself borrows a lot from James Bond, and the music with the outsized orchestrations seems to come right out of Goldfinger.

The action is good, though maybe a little too frenetic in some scenes. Also I thought Holly Hunter as the chiding wife playing off of the enthusiastic, bumbling husband got tiresome quickly. And Samuel Jackson's role seemed out of place: too small to be important, but too big to be a cameo. Maybe in an earlier version he had a bigger role (I read a summary at www.allmovie.com that had some stuff about the daughter that wasn't in the movie, so it went through some iterations). But those are minor negatives. By the end of the movie any weaknesses are forgiven and you just have a great time watching everything come together.

It seems odd that some of the best movies I've seen this year are targeted towards kids: Harry Potter, Spiderman, and now The Incredibles. This is a fun movie to watch. I'll give it an A-.