Disney•Pixar’s superheroes return for a fun new sequel. See if our critic thinks it’s a worthy follow-up to its incredible predecessor.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Brad Bird, Catherine Keener, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Bob Odenkirk, Huck Milner, Eli Fucile and Sophia Bush with John Ratzenberger
WRITER(S): Brad Bird
DIRECTOR(S): Brad Bird
HERE’S THE STORY: Picking up right where the first film left off 14 (yes, 14) years ago, The Incredibles 2 finds the Parr family – Helen a.k.a. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Bob a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Dash (Huck Milner), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) – adjusting to life since working as superheroes (“supers” for short) are still illegal. Furthering complicating matters is Violet’s growing interest in boys, Dash being Dash and Jack-Jack’s growing unpredictable powers.
But, after a brief entanglement with the villainous Underminder (John Ratzenberger), supers find themselves again at the forefront of the public eye … And not in a good way. This troubles Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), who runs – along with his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) – runs a tech company and has a love of superheroes, despite a personal tragedy that befell he and his sister’s parents. Determined to show the world it needs supers, he devises a plan to have Helen work to show all the good supers can do while Bob, well … He’s just going to have to stay at home and raise the children for now, occasionally calling the help of his good friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) for help.
And while things are going great for Elastigirl once she is called back into action, Bob finds being a full-time parent quite difficult, Violet has her troubles dealing with adolescence and Jack-Jack? Well, let’s just say that his powers might make him an incredible problem for Bob and everyone’s safety.
But once the mysterious ScreenSlaver shows up on the scene to cause havoc for all superheroes, it becomes clear that despite the laws, it’s time once again for the Parr family to become incredible …
WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Fans of the original Incredibles movie, superhero movie fans; Disney•Pixar fans; Holly Hunter fans
WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who don’t like animation or superhero movies; those will make more of the film’s potential pro/anti (depending on what you read into the movie) feminist stance; those who overanalyze aspects of a movie more than necessary
SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? A movie that proves to be just as good (and in some aspects, better and in others, not so much) than the original, The Incredibles 2 delivers the trademark Disney•Pixar magic with a well-crafted mix of humor, action and heart to satisfy audiences of all ages.
Flipping gender roles for Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl proves to work without any of the trappings of stereotypical/traditional comedy tropes; whereas Bob finds himself out of sorts, it’s not because of his gender, it’s because of his role in the world. Likewise, Helen comes into her own while balancing her desire to be a success, strong and still wanting to be a part of her day-to-day family life. The juxtaposition works more to show the demands of being a modern working family and sorting out one’s role in the world, which of course flows well with the story’s overall family dynamic. Likewise, Violet and Dash maintain their child and sibling sensibilities in a way that make all of their interactions work and feel right, especially within the film’s 1960s-style setting.
Family values aside, the thing that keeps the Incredibles 2 moving along well is the genuine connection the viewer will feel with each of the Parr family members and their interactions with each other. Whereas the true villain of the picture is relatively easy to figure out early on in the picture, the action, humor and interplay between the Parrs more than overcomes any story flaws present. Throw in possibly the best performance in the film by writer/director Brad Bird as fan favorite Edna Mole (to say more would ruin much of the fun), a solid turn by Jackson and the introduction of other superheroes – Sophia Bush does a solid job as Elastigirl fan turned superhero herself the Void – and you have just about everything you need for a solid animated, family-friendly yet inspired adventure.
Given that 14 years have passed since the first film’s release, it’s a pretty incredible feat that it all comes together so well.