Friday, November 19, 2004

Hidden Meanings

Went to see the Incredibles after work yesterday, and it is aptly named. Being, indeed, incredible. Brad Bird and Pixar team up to produce a funny, bright, exciting, and technically astounding, animated adventure that will definitely hold up to repeated viewings (in fact, several of my geekier coworkers have been to see it multiple times already). A cross between one of those Marvel "what if" storylines, a Bondian villain (and villainess with the requisite heart of gold) and some 60s kitsch a'la Thunderbirds designed to appeal to we 40-plussers.

But it did strike me that there was a bit of an agenda (warning, minor spoilers follow), and in fact it might even be a conservative agenda. Sir, you must be on crack, you say. That is besides the point, I respond. Please bear with me for just a moment.

The film begins with what can only be seen as a call for tort reform, a favorite whipping horse of the right wing. The Supers (as the super heroes are referred to) are placed in a relocation program because their daring-do, or the results there of, have lead to a series of frivolous lawsuits, and the government has found the cost/benefit ratio of underwriting the Supers heroics to be too expensive. So Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), his (strangely sexy) wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their three incredible children are placed in the 'burbs, he to live as a low level insurance company functionary.

The recurring theme played out especially with the male heir to the incredible superpowers, young Dash, can be summed up thusly. When everyone is special, no one is special. Is this not nothing more than a screed against PC attitudes in modern society, and a call for a meritocracy based on genetics. Can eugenics be far behind? OK, I'm going over the top here, but you get my point.

Seriously, I think there might be a bit of a "point of view" here, but it is mild and in good humor, as is this screed. I would say that the filmmakers are at most poking fun at some of the extremes of our society. The movie is a delight. Go see it.

On a side note, moviegoers were treated to Pixar's short film Boundin', which was a lot of fun as well. There was also teaser trailers for Pixar's next (and final Disney) outing, Cars. And finally, it is that time again. The teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith has been unveiled. My prediction... It will stink as much as Episodes 1 and 2.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:05 PM

    I can see the interpretation about the agenda in the movie. Mostly it just glanced off me. It was a different take on a theme that has been repeated a few times in comic books the past 20 years or so. The superheroes are forced to retire by the government. Some go willingly, some don't. The Incredibles did a different take on it than Watchmen, Golden Age, or DC:New Frontier.

    I did love the fact that Mr. Incredible was constantly bending the rules to help out customers of the insurance company he worked for.

    All in all, as a comic book fan, I really liked the movie. It was a good comboniation of James Bond and superheroes. Hopefully Cars will be better than the trailer.

    Have fun,
    Geoff

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