The Incredibles - Brad Bird

Bob and Helen used to be super powered crime fighters until a plethora of lawsuits and government intervention forced them to retire, go into hiding, and live out their lives as normal citizens. Fifteen years later, Bob gets his chance to return to the action when he is summoned to perform a secret assignment. Far from being the blessing he envisions, his entire family must ban together to defeat a powerful threat. This family film certainly doesn't lack from excitement, adventure, humor, or great visuals, yet it does present a very disturbing subtext.The Parr family (as they are called) is largely unhappy due to the fact that they are unable to use their super powers. Helen's statements that her kids are special without their abilities purposely sounds implausible and only when the family is able to break out of their mundane facade do they truly come alive and come together as a family. This is unnerving because we have a family oriented movie stating in no uncertain terms that some people are simple better than others and it is shameful that the common rabble (that's you and I by the way) and government are holding back the so-called supers. Bob is a stifled wreak when not Mr. Incredible, Helen is a disaffected housewife until she is using her powers to protect her family, Dash--who can run on water--isn't happy until he is allowed to compete in a track race (which must be as challenging to him as fighting a paraplegic is to Mike Tyson), Violet is introverted until she disregards the mantra of never using powers, and baby Jack-Jack is hardly considered until he manifests his super abilities. It all comes together when the villain Syndrome (note: villains never have powers, only devises of their brilliant, but obviously evil, creative minds) confronts the captured Bob, restrained in a crucifixion pose, and tells him of his plans to make super powers available to all. Far from being a joyous occasion, he reminds us that once everyone is super, no one will be. While there is often a level of fascism in comics and superheroes, the blatant degradation of normal people that this movie advances is extremely disapointing. Remember: If the Parrs are just that, then the rest of us are sub.