It’s been too long, dahlings. Disney-Pixar has finally released the sequel to their 2004 film The Incredibles. If you haven’t seen the original, The Incredibles revolves around a family of Supers with unique powers. There is Bob Parr (Richard T. Nelson) a.k.a Mr. Incredible with his super strength, Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) a.k.a Elastigirl with her super stretch, and their children, angsty teenage daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) who spouts purple force fields, son Dash (Huck Milner) who has super speed, and infant Jack-Jack who we discover in the second film is a poly-morph.
Despite the 14 year gap between films, Incredibles 2 picks up immediately after the first film left off, as the Parr family and Lucius Best a.k.a Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) battle the mole-like villain, The Underminer. The tax-payer-funded damage caused to the city by the Supers calls an end to the Super Relocation program, and the Parr’s are forced back into permanent hiding. Wondering how they will make ends meet (after Bob lost his job at Insuricare in the first film), Helen, Bob and Lucius are contacted by Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), telecommunications tycoon of DEVTECH, and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), who are keen to legalise Supers again. Winston enlists Elastigirl as the public face of the movement, but while Helen is off fighting the mysterious Screen Slaver, a hypnotic hacker villain, Bob is left to look after his three children, struggling particularly with young Jack-Jack whose numerous powers he is discovering at a rapid pace.
Incredibles 2, like the original, is written and directed by Brad Bird, who also voices the film’s sassy, scene-stealing Edna ‘E’ Mode. Incredibles 2 could almost stand alone as its own film, which will very cleverly boost its accessibility to more audiences. While the first film sees the Parr family almost torn apart by the forces of evil, the sequel sees them struggling to adjust to their new roles in life, and it might be better than the original.
Despite being a kid’s film, the humour seems more geared towards the generation of ‘big kids’ who, 14 years later, are back in the theatre seats. This is not to say that children won’t enjoy it, but there’s a maturity to much of the humour that seems more geared towards an older audience. That being said, there’s still enough slapstick comedy and explosions to keep youngsters interested.
Ending in much the same tone as its predecessor, Incredibles 2 leaves room for a third film after the sequel’s inevitable success in the box-office. Hopefully, if a third is made, it will be as well thought out as this one. It’s commendable that this sequel hasn’t become one of those unplanned follow-ups, churned out quickly in order to cash in on a current success. Although it will be cashing in on the success of its predecessor, the creators have taken considerable care and effort with every aspect of the film to ensure it doesn’t upset long time fans.
The attention to detail is astounding, and while the animation style and movements maintain a similar feel to the original, the leaps in graphics over the past decade are evident. It’s fascinating to be able to see the individual fibres woven into Elastigirl’s suit. The lighting, colours and setting emit something so deeply nostalgic that it transports the audience back to some untouched bubble of childhood enjoyment. There is something quite beautiful in the animation that wasn’t present in the original.
The fights are never repetitive or predictable, with enough new powers introduced to keep it interesting and keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The film introduces a bunch of new Supers with weird and wonderful powers, including Screech, a weird giant owl, He-Lectrix with some Zeus-like electric powers, Reflux, who burps lava, Brick, who is super strong, Krushhauer, a telekinetic crushing machine, and Voyd (Sophia Bush) who can generate portals. Elastigirl, however, steals the show, stepping into the spotlight as an inspiring, empowered superhero, while Bob struggles to balance the demands of raising three children whilst being happy for his wife out living his dream.
Without revealing spoilers, the villain is somewhat of a trope, seen enough to be predictable and make the villain arc somewhat unexciting. However, this makes it no less enjoyable, because the focus of the film is on the dynamics of the family unit, not on defeating the ultimate bad guy, and this is where the film (and its original) draw their strength – in the tension and salvation of the family.
It’s a sequel well worth the wait.
I rate this film 9/10.