Incredibly Ever After (original title Mr. and Mrs. Incredible) opens with a rather ordinary situation- Flint and his wife have been married for a number of years and have settled comfortably into their village life and have begun to look a bit further down the line as they contemplate finally buying the house they have dreamed of together and perhaps even having a baby. Things don’t always go as planned however as Flint has an issue with his kidneys (impotence is inferred) and his wife is diagnosed with a rather slow heartbeat and the prescription is that the two need excitement in order to conceive and so they look at shaking things up including by trying to have an argument for the first time. While that situation of not having fought before would normally be the most incredible thing about a couple in truth Flint and his wife have another secret- before they came to live in their current village they were once the masked champions of the capital, fighting various users of kung-fu and rescuing cats from trees before meeting and settling down into a quieter life. The world doesn’t always cooperate though as their tiny village is chosen to host a martial arts tournament and the excitement that it brings may be far greater than anyone can guess as a number of people seem to bring their own plots and desires and it may be time for the heroes to step out of retirement…but will it be for naught as time has been catching up to both of them and they aren’t now what they once were and will time collude with a hidden agenda and prove to be a team up the pair can’t overcome?
Incredibly Ever After has the feel of a 50’s or 60’s era comic book story where the authors would play with iconic characters and design a “what if” world for them to get married and grow older in while true comic continuity would never allow the opportunity for this. Almost every aspect of the feature reflects this theme as rather than getting a film in today’s pop culture style of gritty heroes and packing the film with as much realism as the cast and crew can shoehorn in to almost every element, the story instead reflects a spirit that is far more free and upbeat in its nature and at times it feels like it has an almost childlike sense of wonder and naivety as it approaches its leads like some idealized icons from one’s youth (and one can easily think from some of the powers shown this may in fact be the case as the characters might well be based in part off some well known super powered characters). It is largely in this innocent like and rather guileless approach along with a rather bright and bold color palate used to create the visual elements that the film makes its greatest strides and the manner with which it treat its heroes with humor but also respect for the genre creates a striking world view a fair number of major superhero films made in Hollywood in the last couple decades have failed to walk as they look for the darker side of heroes psyches or are played with an ironic bent.
Things aren’t perfect though as the film’s somewhat simple and upbeat approach to its leads also reflects in a sort of whimsy with which other parts of the story are treated and while this may reflect what would be reality with people crossing paths briefly and confrontations appearing out of the blue it generally makes for a less than satisfying narrative in film and it is no different here as the story has moments that clearly are supposed to be major but they just often don’t feel like they are climactic and at times it feels that the script was created as a spur of the moment thing rather than carefully planned to build things to their greatest extent. The film’s other major lull point centers around its humor, some of which seems a bit oddly sexual compared to the innocence the film displays much of the time while other attempts at times don’t make the cultural transition well and a fair number become gags or scenes that last far too long and wear out their welcome.
The cast largely is the films strongest factor as the actors involved almost to the person play the roles they are given, even when incredibly silly, with a seemingly complete absence of cynicism that easily could have crept in at some of the more ridiculous points and the constant treating of the material on the level that it was created and with the respect to that manages to be one of the greatest elements that helps the film cast its spell over the viewer. There really isn’t a point in the film where one gets the feeling that any of the actors are just working for a paycheck and the sense of abandon with which they appear throw themselves into their roles with an earnestness to even the more outlandish parts is a welcome sight in the age where superheroes have largely become either deadly series or sometimes played of sardonically which tends to make one feel the material or audience is actually the butt of the joke. While the feature isn’t going to appeal to everyone as its flaws are strong at times, those who can approach it with a light heart and the ability to laugh at some of the absurdities of superheroes and how they may age and deal with some of marriages ups and downs will find an enjoyable- if maybe not entirely memorable- yarn.