Whilst much of the film-reviewing world had multiple orgasms around the release of The Incredibles, I was somewhat anxious – after criticism of my reviewing, and my ‘lack of appreciation of comedies’, I thought it likely I would be copping a barrage again. So be it.
The Incredibles is an adequate piece of film-making, with excellent animation, some great humour, and exciting action, but it fails on other levels, leaving it much less than the best film of the year as I’ve heard it referred to. Much of the first half of this film had as much life as a dead fish floating around my fish tank. I wanted to shout at the screen, and beg them to get on with it. Where Spider-Man 2 effectively explored the difficulties of being super-powered in its first half, The Incredibles imitates this poorly. Not only was this section too long, but also – dare I say it – it featured caricature only, not character. Bob & Helen Parr are an animated version of a stereotyped couple facing midlife crises, nothing more. I can’t believe other reviewers felt this movie resonated depth and understanding.
When it finally does get going, there are fun and thrills to be had. Jason Lee voices Syndrome well, but the real scene stealer is Dash Parr, the boy with wings on his feet. The most exciting action always involved Dash. Jackson’s Frozone was disappointingly underused. My favourite character though was obviously Edna Mode, who was simply superb.
The story struggles to release itself from this top-heavy first half, and when it is boiled down, is actually very simple. It certainly doesn’t support 121 minutes of screen time.
While The Incredibles is better than Shark Tale, it is regular everyday fodder. If you’re expecting your world to move after seeing it, don’t hold your breath…Rating: