Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Monsieur Incroyable!

I loved this movie. It is about a family of super heroes in a time when they have to hide all their talents because collateral damage lawsuits have made it prohibitively expensive for the government to allow them to be heroic. Not only is it in the best tradition of James Bond and super heroes but writer and director Brad Bird obviously knows and loves family life. Where else would you see Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elasti-Girl, racing to the rescue while simultaneously continuing an argument about domestic issues?

My favorite point was made several times and, indeed, was one of the main thrusts of the movie's message. In a world where everyone gets an award, where "graduations" are held in 4th grade so the kids feel special, where everyone must be acknowledged as "super," ultimately there is nothing left for everybody but the same level of mediocrity.

I can't remember which critic said this but this really is a movie for the parents where the kids can tag along. That doesn't mean the kids won't thoroughly enjoy it though. We saw it in a theater predominantly filled with tiny kids and they loved it. In fact, one of the things we all enjoyed most was a little boy who was so into the move that he would shout out comments to his mother, "Oh no, Mommy, what will they do now?"

This movie deserves every penny of the $70 million it made last weekend. That also makes me happy for Brad Bird whose excellent "Iron Giant" was abandoned by the studio practically before it got to theaters. He and Pixar deserve acclaim for combining originality, humor, suspense, spy spoofing, family values and "heart" in a movie that I liked better than anything else I have seen all year.

(Why the French headline? A tribute to my favorite villain of the movie, Bomb Voyage, who only spoke French and had mime face paint.)

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