Neil Young’s Film Lounge – The Incredibles



USA 2004 : Brad BIRD : 115 mins

As with Pixar’s previous release Finding Nemo, there isn’t much for a critic to say about The Incredibles. The company have now got to the stage where their products are almost flawless – technically and script-wise – in terms of providing clever, spectacular, kinetic, colourful, post-modern family entertainments which can appeal to pretty much all age ranges pretty much all over the world: not an achievement to be coughed at, by any means. And it’s good to see Brad Bird doing well and enjoying the success he should have had five years ago with The Iron Giant – a box-office flop which was nevertheless a cut above smash-hit The Incredibles in almost every regard, especially emotional resonance.

Because isn’t there something slightly cold about these big, brilliant, metallic, retrofuturistic CGI surfaces, something a touch mechanical, relentless? Can it be a coincidence that the most effective, amusing and memorable bits here aren’t really anything to do with the Incredible family around whom the film theoretically revolves (though baby Jack-Jack does spring a terrific surprise at the end)? They’re the oddball scenes featuring costume-designer Edna Mode, a pint-sized cross between Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb and Coco Chanel (or possibly Diana Vreeland) – voiced by Bird himself with a skill that exceeds even his sterling contributions as writer and director.

6th December, 2004
[seen 25th November : CineWorld Sunderland : opening night invite-only show]

by Neil Young