Directed by Brad Bird
Contrary to popular belief, a cinephile like myself do enjoy popcorn movies, films where you can sit back, relax and enjoy. But like any other type of film, I assess it with the same standards as a period drama or a European arthouse experimental film on it's own unique terms. Like a lot of popcorn movies, The Incredibles, about a family of superheroes has its share of action sequences. Now, I love a good action sequence. A lot of people have blasted me in the past for bashing Michael Bay movies or certain comic book movies ("It's not Citizen Kane, you're supposed to turn your brain and enjoy the action!") and accuse me of not enjoying good action. But a great action sequence for me is not how elaborate the stunts are or how impressive the CGI effects or how huge and spectacular the explosions are: It's whether or not I care about the characters involved. You can have the most elaborate stunts and eye-popping effects, if I don't give a crap about the characters and the story, it's all moot. I often cite this sequence as an example of truly great action. Yes, it's animated but I think it qualifies. It's a sequence where Dash, a little boy who has the power of super-speed, finally gets to use his powers to fullest extent. At this point, you already know him, you care about him, you relate to him. So in this sequence, you are cheering for him, you fear for him and everything else: the action, the explosions, the chases simply enhances that. It also helps that director Brad Bird adds in little character bits like hesitating before throwing a punch, wide-eyed fear, his shouts of "I'm alive!" and giggling when he finds out he can run on water. That is what a great action sequence should be!