14 goddamn years. That’s how long we’ve all waited for this film. I saw the first Incredibles in theaters when I was 10 years old and it’s always been one of my favorite films from Pixar, combining superheroes with family drama and an homage to 60s spy films. The ending to that film was the perfect set up for the sequel. And for 14 years, we’ve waited while Cars got two sequels and spin-offs in this time frame. Now, it’s finally here. So how is it? Well, let’s find out. This is Incredibles 2.
The Parr family saves the day from the Underminer, but since superheroes are still illegal and there’s collateral damage, they’re not viewed favorably. Then, a wealthy tycoon named Winston Deavor offers Bob and Helen Parr a chance to change the law and makes supers legal again with Elastigirl leading the way. While Helen is off doing hero work, Bob is left to look after the kids at home. Meanwhile, a new foe rises to turn the public against supers. I was one of those people who thought there was going to be a time-skip and was disappointed when I found out there wasn’t one. But I quickly got over it and viewed the film as is. Something I noticed about this film is that while it is a family movie, it feels like it was made for an older audience. There’s scenes where characters just talk, but it never feels boring. That’s because it was written and directed by Brad Bird, who also made The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and the first Incredibles. All great films and you can add Incredibles 2 to that list.
All of our favorite heroes are back and so is most of the original cast. Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson return as Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible), Helen Parr (Elastigirl), and Lucius Best (Frozone) respectively. While Violet and Jack-Jack still have the same voice actors, Dash has a new one because his original voice actor went through puberty. All of the voice actors in this movie, both old and new, were great. The first Incredibles shined a light on Mr. Incredible, this one shines a light on Elastigirl as she’s chosen to lead a campaign to make supers legal and she was a total badass. It’s cool to see how there are people who idolized Elastigirl. There are certain people out there who complained about this being a “feminist agenda.” Don’t listen to those people. They’re reading too much into the film and just want to complain for the sake of complaining. With Elastigirl taking care of heroics, that leaves Mr. Incredible in charge of looking after the kids. This could’ve easily gone down the “incompetent idiot dad” trope that you see in a lot of sitcoms, but they’ve cleverly subverted that trope by showing Bob as someone who isn’t perfect, but is willing to put in the work to be a dad, whether it’d be learning math so that he could help Dash with his homework or dealing with Jack-Jack’s developing powers. Speaking of Jack-Jack, that little baby stole the entire movie. He’s the most OP character in this universe and he’s barely a year old. I’m pretty sure Jack-Jack can beat Thanos. Frozone is one cool dude, no pun intended. It’s Samuel L. friggin’ Jackson. Winston Deavor is an enthusiastic rich guy and superhero fanboy who wants to bring superheroes back and the other superheroes were cool and unique as well.
But now we have to talk about the weakest part of the film, the villain. Remember Syndrome from the first Incredibles? Remember how funny and intimidating he was and how he was the perfect allegory for toxic fandom? Well, in Incredibles 2, we get the Screenslaver, a villain who can hypnotize people with screens. Sounds like potential for a great idea, right? Well, they fucked up because this villain is not memorable nor captivating at all. And guess what? It’s another twist villain and it’s pretty obvious who it was. It was Winston’s sister Evelyn who builds the tech for her brother’s company. I’m not giving away anything surprising there. And her motivation is kinda dumb: keeping supers illegal by making them look bad and sabotaging Winston’s campaign. Disney’s reliance on twist villains for their more recent animated films has only made their villains less interesting since we already figured out the twist before it unravels. Oh, and speaking of hypnosis, there are a couple of scenes with constant flashing lights that aren’t friendly to people who are epileptic. And some of these scenes go on for several seconds. If you’re susceptible to seizures, I’d wait until this movie is out on digital and Blu-Ray.
14 years is a long time and it makes a difference. The animation is A1 and a massive step-up from the first movie. You can actually see the little fabrics in the clothing, hair flows more realistically, and stuff like Frozone’s ice has see improvements. With the improved technology, the action is also really good. The beginning scene where the Parrs go up against the Underminer and every action scene involving Elastigirl (especially when she’s trying to stop a runaway monorail). The humor works as well as the first, hell, I’d say it’s even funnier. There’s two scenes that had me dying: one was when Jack-Jack was fighting a raccoon and the other involves Violet shooting water out of her nose. Those scenes killed me.
I give Incredibles 2 a 9/10. Great animation, voice acting, action, humor, etc. It was definitely worth the wait. This film picks up right where the first one left off and aside from the villain, not a single beat felt off. Hats off to Brad Bird, the case and crew, and Pixar for delivering. If they decide to make an Incredibles 3, I’d be down for it. The next Pixar film after this is Toy Story 4, which I’ll check out, but I’m not too excited for. I dunno. The third one was the perfect conclusion for that story. We’ll see where they go.