Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Incredible Lightness Of Being

The fine blogcritics reviews for the Incredibles were compelling and resisted by me until I finally saw the film today - with a two year old, one waits until the crowds have died down, and one chooses a weekday matinee.

The most pleasant (and surprising) thing about the film was that my two year old Jr Incredible actually sat through the whole thing quite placidly. This is a first - he let a couple of gasps out at a few scenes, but evidently enjoyed the film.

I wish I could say the same wholeheartedly. The animation was marvelous, the humor entertaining and of a pretty high level. Unfortunately though, I constantly had the feeling I was watching a James Bond rip off, particularly in the second half. The music was very campy, reminscent of John Barry at his best. The social elements were actually quite well done, I think - big business vs the puny individual, downsizing even someone incredible.

The film was almost anti-capitalist in many ways - the big bad insurance company, the evil rich boy genius, the arms race - the boy genius has sold his arms to all sides and made his money (and kept himself safe).

Then the movie turns it all around and deconstructs the lone hero myth. The family that fights together stays together, evidently. The Bartleby-like character is transformed into a defender and protector of the family and the world. The public reaches out for it's saviors, exhibiting the essence of the film that there are a chosen few that must strive to protect and serve at great personal cost. The family integrity is maintained and the bad guy gets what was coming to him ever since the 'cape' warning. What was with the kids' powers? But that's a topic for another post.

4/5 - and in the top 10 for the year

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader