Alphabetical Movie – The Incredibles
As a geek, I like shiny new geek stuff as much as the next guy. As such, it is easy to declare The Avengers the best super hero movie ever because it is an amazing film.
No doubt, the arguments will then erupt around how I could have forgotten The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man and possibly even Captain America.
Yes, yes. Those are all fine movies. I enjoy them all.
But let’s stop fan geeking for a minute here and analyze what the best super-hero movie yet made could be.
It’s The Incredibles. It’s not even close.
I’m not trying to start an argument here. I don’t want anyone to get all Heath Ledger up in my face. You Whedon acolytes can put down the pitchforks. I’m going to justify my opinion with facts.
To begin with, the film is animated. That doesn’t make it better than live action but the best CGI elements in a film still look like CGI, if only just a little. You know that it isn’t real.
Well, by being fully animated, you have no disconnect. Within the animated context of the film, everything is just as real as everything else. Not only are the animators free to create any sort of environment they want, the characters can do anything that they need to do and the viewer will never question it.
Animation also closely mirrors comic books in visual style, which makes the movie feel more like a comic book than live action ever can.
The look of the film is hardly enough for me to call it the best super hero movie ever made.
The reason The Incredibles actually stands above all other super-hero movies, including the great ones, is because it tells the best story and mingles that story with superior action set pieces.
And Michael Giaccino’s score is nothing short of amazing.
I’ll get back to that.
What the film does so well is create characters who are people that also happen to be super heroes. Would Mr. Incredible be so miserable in his job if he wasn’t actively discouraged from helping his customers?
Or is he incapable of living his life as a “normal?”
The movie manages to combine the super hero paranoia of The X-Men with the team heroics of The Avengers with the holy shit amazing action set pieces of Spider-Man 2. Every major character in the film is given nuance and depth and we grow to understand that the film isn’t just about a group of super-heroes learning to work together.
It’s about a family learning to work together.
Also, the score kicks unholy ass. Try to remember some of the score of The Avengers. Just try.
I’ve seen The Avengers three times already. I truly love the movie. But I can’t remember a single chord of music from the film. The score isn’t awful but it sure isn’t memorable.
A good movie gives you the impression that there is so much more going on beyond the frame. Great movies make you want to see those things. Wouldn’t we love to learn more about the characters Syndrome killed in trying to build a weapon that could defeat Mr. Incredible?
Heck, how many people wanted to see The Incredibles battle the Underminer? Or just learn a little bit more about what Jack Jack’s powers were?
They way the movie ties in the idea of secret identities is exceptionally clever. It almost reflects Bill’s monologue in Kill Bill. What identity is real and what identity is secret? Is Elastagirl being true to herself by living a life as Helen Parr?
Good films are always layered. If you want to enjoy The Incredibles because it looks amazing and is very funny, go ahead. But there is depth to the storytelling that makes it a special film in my view. That depth elevates it above every other super-hero film out there.
And did I mention the score?