The Incredibles

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

There can't be many films of which you can truly say: what you've got on the label is what you've got in the can. This new animation from the mighty Pixar stable - the people who brought us Finding Nemo and the Toy Stories - really is pretty incredible, even for a studio before whose films I have regularly had to scoop my lower jaw up from the cinema floor with both hands.
The Incredibles is brought to us by former Simpsons director Brad Bird, whose feature debut was the terrific animated version of Ted Hughes's The Iron Man; it's an all-conqueringly funny and blastingly energised family comedy that made me feel like one of its tiny pixillated civilians that get flung through walls, plunged into indigo-blue oceans or catapulted into the sky like a vanishing dot. And in its insouciant way, it has audacious things to say about the difference between meritocracy and mediocrity.
Plenty of ideas go into the mix. There's something of X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spy Kids and also the quirky retro-feel of TV shows like Get Smart and the 1960s Batman. But as ever with Pixar, influences are subsumed into something new, something supercharged with insolent originality and modernity.
It's set initially in the superhero's postwar heyday: the world of the late 1940s when a lantern-jawed titan with a red jersey called Mr Incredible (voiced by Craig T Nelson) steps in to assist embattled citizens and foil robberies. In this, he is helped by his fiancee, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), whose superpower is to stretch infinitely in every direction. Just after their wedding, and at the very height of their success, disaster strikes. A would-be suicide takes Mr Incredible to court for saving his life, and the survivors of a train he saved from crashing also file suit for various whiplash injuries. Soon an army of snippy little lawyers achieve what no supervillain could: they debar the caped heroes from plying their trade, and the government has to relocate Mr and Mrs Incredible to another city and forces them to stay in their mild-mannered identity like normal people.
So a decade and a half later, in a late 1960s world of low-slung automobiles and affordable suburban housing, we find poor Mr Incredible incognito in civvy street, his waistline advancing and hairline retreating. He has a job in an insurance company, a terrible perversion of his true vocation. The dazzling couple has to be Mr and Mrs Ordinary in a new age of dullness, despite now having kids with secret superpowers too. Their son, cheekily named Dashiell, or Dash, has super-speed running abilities. But his mom tells him not to beat the other kids on the track, lest he draw attention to himself. "Everyone's special, Dash," she says to him piously. "Which is another way of saying nobody is," grumbles Dash. No surprise then, that when a mystery benefactor offers Mr Incredible a chance to work as a real superhero again, he jumps tall buildings at the chance. But who is the shadowy sponsor of Mr Incredible's return to greatness - could he be the most dangerous enemy of all?
The animation is, as ever, gasp-inducing with dazzling effects of light and detail that we have almost, but not quite, got blasé about. As with the Toy Stories, it is somehow the streetscapes that are the best things. The sheen and texture of cars, Tarmac, glass, brickwork, are all intensified by the dizzying horizontal and vertical perspectives: tall buildings and straight roads along which we zoom at the speed of thought.
The Incredibles is pitched more directly at kids than, say, Dreamworks' Shrek, which offered a bigger portion of smart, adult- orientated dialogue. That's not to say there aren't some very snappy things in the screenplay. I laughed inordinately at the idea that a second-rate supervillain can always be tempted into the classic mistake of "monologuing": talking continuously about the inner sense of hurt and resentment which propelled him into villain-hood, and so giving the hero a chance to catch his breath and counter-attack. "You sly dog," sneers one supervillain with the neurotic name of Syndrome, "you almost got me monologuing."
And there is one fantastically funny character: Edna Mode - tellingly voiced by Bird himself - the visionary designer of superhero couture to whom Mr Incredible applies to have his super-clobber upgraded. She is a tiny bespectacled lady, a cross between Anna Wintour and Helen Gurley Brown, who lives in an absurdly grand fastness, a veritable fortress of solitude, with an Olympic-classic design. Edna is always looking for the next thing in superhero-costume: "I never look back darling! It distracts from the now!" It is for this reason that she detests the cape in superhero-design and starts monologuing very amusingly about how dangerous they are: sucking superheroes into jet engines and ripping them to shreds when they get stuck in something on takeoff.
All I can say is: for those of you looking for the classic holiday movie, call off the search. These Incredibles claim to be an authentic family of superheroes. I believe them.


audacious - zuchwały, śmiały
bespectacled - w okularach
blastingly - wybuchowo
cape - peleryna
civvy street - życie w cywilu
clobber - ciuchy
dazzling -oślepiający, olśniewający
debar - zakazywać, wykluczać
dizzying - wirujący
embattle - przygotowywać się do walki, zbroić się
fling, flung, flung - miotać, ciskać
foil - udaremniać
fortress - forteca, twierdza, warownia
gasp-inducing - powodujący zdziwienie, przerażenie
grand - wielki, świetny
grumble - narzekać, utyskiwać
heyday - okres pełnego rozkwitu
insolent - zuchwały, bezczelny
insouciant - beztroski
lest - żeby nie
low-slung - nisko zawieszony
mediocrity - mierność
meritocracy - merytokracja, technokracja
piously - pobożnie
pitch - dopasowywać (np. tematykę)
plunge - wpadać
ply - wykonywać
propel - popychać
quirky - dziwaczny
resentment- uraza
retreat - wycofywać się, ustępować
rip - rozrywać
scoop - wydobywać
sheen - połysk
shred - strzęp
sly - chytry, cwany
snappy - w dobrym stylu; zgryźliwy
sneer - uśmiechać się szyderczo, drwić
snippy - oschły, krótki
streetscape - pejzaż miejski
supervillain - super czarny charakter
texture - faktura
veritable - wiarygodny
vocation - powołanie
whiplash injury - uszkodzenie kręgów szyjnych


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