The first Incredibles was a phenomenal joy ride. Back in 2004, superhero movies weren’t as popular as they are today. And animated movies were on the rise. So when you combine the two, you’ve got gold in your hands. The Incredibles managed to be the Fantastic Four movie (Thanks Honest Trailers!) that we needed and deserved. It’s only logical that even well after a decade, fans were still clamoring for a sequel.
Incredibles 2, as disappointing as it may be to drop the ‘the’, is an absolute blast! The film starts follows directly from the ending of the first one. The Incredibles have finally come to a realization that they must work together as a family to defeat the Underminer. And they sort of do, but the collateral destruction caused from the fight makes a lot of people concerned. And yes, it might remind you of Captain America: Civil War a tad bit too much. But the movie takes it upon itself to comment on the whole ‘superhero legality’ issue, and this story angle certainly makes the film feel more modern.
The whole movie revolves around the fact that superheroes have been made illegal. And it all falls on Elastigirl’s shoulders to make things right. Meeting with eccentric business tycoon Winston Deavor, they hatch up a plan to show the world the action from their perspective. This leaves Mr. Increble in the backseat, so to speak, for babysitting. And this is where the film, even for a limited amount of time, comes off as ‘slow’.
The film cuts between the frenetic action of Elastigirl’s main plot and Mr. Incredible’s family problems. You can certainly see how both these plots work together to give a consistent ‘serious but also fun’ tone. Just like the first film, expect lots of laughs and action, but also some heart.
Speaking of heart, I’ve gotta talk about Jack-Jack. After 14 years of wait, we finally get to see the baby using superpowers! And those are no ordinary powers. Jack-Jack is perhaps the most powerful member of the family, in that his abilities are seemingly random. And with 14 years of wait, comes 14 new powersets! Not to mention that all of these provide for some really funny gags in the film.
Dash and Violet are pretty similar to the way they were in the previous movie. Although to be fair the story does take place just 3 months after it. Of all the characters in the film, Dash is probably the most underused. It’s still fun to see his antics, but they’re a tad bit too predictable. Violet, on the other hand, is a delight! They manage to weave in a nice subplot from the first movie and expand upon it. This makes way for some nice character development while still keeping us entertained. Much appreciated.
Coming to the alpha Incredibles themselves, Elastigirl steals the show here. If the first movie was Mr. Incredible’s movie, this one is his wife’s. We get to see some incredible (pardon the pun) use of her stretchy powers, as well as some subtle commentary on certain topics. Holly Hunter, who is the voice of the character, is definitely to be praised. Similarly, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is also a joy to watch on screen. Him struggling to keep up with his children makes up for some pretty great scenes. Even though they don’t really add to the on-going plot that much.
Samuel L. Jackson’s return as Frozone is also much appreciated. On top of that, he has a much bigger role here than in the previous movie. Returning favorites like Edna are also great. It instantly reminds us of how we fell in love with the characters last time.
Although with all these positives there’s bound to be some stuff that doesn’t stick as strongly. The film’s antagonist is good, but certainly not on par with the first film’s Syndrome. And the long-running whodunnit plot thread regarding Elastigirl can be solved by eagle-eyed viewers from a mile away. However, much like Marvel’s previous films, this one is more focused on the heroes. And that isn’t a bad thing.
Incredibles 2 was well worth the wait. Brad Bird continues to surprise us with his directorial skills, and we do hope we see more of his work in the future (Ratatouille is a personal favorite). The sequel manages to make us fall in love with these characters all over again, and we wouldn’t hold out our breath for a third film. Just… don’t make us wait another decade for it. But then again, who knows if it might turn out to be…incredible. (Sorry last pun)