The Incredibles

20 Mar

AN ADULT-SAVVY DYNAMIC: underneath the superduds, it’s just Bob and Helen and the kids.

Pixar, the animation studio behind Toy Story and Finding Nemo, adds to its laurels and then some with this tale of a family of costumed crimefighters. Writer/director Brad Bird’s witty take on the domestic lives of superheroes is set in a cheery, postmodern society where frivolous litigation (collateral damage and personal injury) against superheroes had become so rampant that the heroes — much like the mutants in X-Men — were legally required to suppress their superpowers and fit in with everybody else. As the film opens, it’s 15 years later: Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), now plain old Bob Parr, has traded his six-pack for a beer gut and is pushing a pencil at an insurance company, and his wife, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), now Helen Parr, has become a stay-at-home mom supervising a rambunctious trio of super-charged children. Sick of the mundane malaise of suburbia, Bob puts on his Mr. Incredible tights and joins his former sidekick, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), in parlaying their bowling night into an opportunity to revive their superhero escapades. One thing leads to another, and without telling Helen, Bob accepts an invitation to a remote island to battle a peevish megalomaniac (Jason Lee) and his omnipotent über-bot. Mr. Incredible proves not as incredible as he used to be, and an angry Helen and the kids have to bail him out. Sure, the world hangs in the balance, but it’s the adult-savvy everyday dynamic between Bob and Helen that saves the day. (115 minutes)


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