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Thoughts about "The Incredibles"

A bad movie, I forget about right away. A good movie makes me think about the issues it raises. And The Incredibles is very good. So, some thoughts:


(1) What's the deal with Jack-Jack's powers at the end? If he can change the substance of his body, then he should always look like a baby, albeit one made out of fire, metal, or what have you. If he can change his shape, then sure, he could turn into a demon, but he would always be flesh and blood. Jack-Jack seems to be able to change his substance AND his shape. This seems like one power too many and lacks a certain aesthetic integrity.

(2) The movie ultimately lacks the courage of its convictions with respect to Dash. If it's OK for him to use his powers, he should compete in the track meet at full speed. If not, he shouldn't be competing. Instead, his parents tell him to compete, but to make it look like he doesn't really have any powers.

In a sense, this is cheating. At the very least, it's dishonest, since the other kids don't know they are racing against a superhero. I would have liked a scene where his parents explain to him that the essence of competing is to challenge yourself, and that racing against normal kids when you can run at supersonic speeds is no challenge. The final competition could have been archery, or shotput, or the high jump, or any event where speed is not an advantage and Dash would have actually been forced to push himself to his limits to challenge the other participants.

(3) While you could argue that it was morally just for Syndrome to die, given that he had killed off numerous superheroes and put hundreds, if not thousands of people in jeopardy by attacking the city, his death is surely a real loss. The technologies he developed could have helped millions of people. "Zero-point energy" would come in really handy in constructing buildings, for example. Flying boots might help the handicapped to be more mobile. And there's no telling what this guy could have come up with next.

I would have liked a scene where Mr. Incredible tries to tell Syndrome how respected he would be if only he used his inventions for good. (Of course, Syndrome would angrily reject such a notion. But he should at least be presented with the idea.)

(4) Bomb Voyage, Syndrome, The Underminer -- why is every single supervillain in the movie dependent on technology or inventions, instead of innate super powers? Is this a Luddite warning against the evils of technology? Why don't any super-beings use their powers for evil?


fasteddie said...

The Incredibles Rebuttal.

1 a nit to be sure in something as science fictiony as baby Jack, the point was the laugh of a sweet baby to turn into a demon.

2 It’s a compromise, they are still supposed to be underground for their safety and privacy, also the government regs and all. I think it would be boring for Dash to win a race though, let alone come in second. The point again was the joke of Dash looking at his parents, and their reactions. not the reality of it being too easy. Too logical isn’t always the best choice for stories.

3. Well the Parr’s know where the island is, so presumably would the gov. now so they could go get that stuff. I just thought of this, Mr. Fantastic, umm, Incredible, wasn’t trying to kill him, just prevent him from getting away. As far as him dying it was Karma, no?

He was using his skills for good, inventing weapons of mass destruction Mankind’s gotta have those.

4.Maybe a God didn’t allow anyone who has a bad soul be born with super powers? Or maybe they didn’t delve deep enough into that world to have a naturally powered super villain. I expect the sequel will either have this, or address it in some witty way.

GaijinBiker said...

Thanks for the comment. I think that in good movies, the story works AND it's also funny when it needs to be. You don't have to trade one off to get the other. That's why things like Jack-Jack having too many powers, or Dash running in the race, seem like missed opportunities or mistakes to me. They easily could have been handled in ways that were still funny but ALSO supported the continuity and themes of the story.




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