Directed by Brad Bird
Starring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush, and Brad Bird
When this decade began, and Pixar began cranking out sequels left and right, right at the top of everyone’s wish list was a sequel to The Incredibles. When Monsters University and Finding Dory all came along, people would always go, “Yeah, but what about Incredibles 2?” Which is why it’s cute that a certain amount of Incredibles 2 marketing has an apologetic tone, as they apologize for taking so long. Besides, writer/director Brad Bird had his dalliances with live-action films and gave us Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland. Well, now that it’s finally here, the question is, was it worth the wait?
Picking up immediately where the first film left of, the film opens with the Parr family (aka the Incredibles) being…promptly detained by the authorities for their heroics, because superheroes are still outlawed in this universe. The Parr family seems up the creek, until they get an invitation from billionaire brother and sister Winston and Evelyn Deavor. Turns out they’re big superhero fans, and they want to start lobbying to legalize superheroes again. Their strategy: mount a massive PR campaign, and send Elastigirl (aka Helen Parr) back out doing heroics. Our heroes readily accept, with Elastigirl back on the streets, and Mr. Incredible (aka Bob Parr) becoming a stay-at-home dad to look after the kids. While Elastigirl begins contending with a new supervillain called the Screenslaver, who can hypnotize people through any TV screen, Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenges yet: battling his daughter Violet’s teen angst, tutoring his son Dash in math, and helping infant Jack-Jack learn his emerging superpowers. Will they come together to fight as the Incredibles once again?
What I Liked
Wow, Brad Bird really ramps up the action with some truly amazing action set pieces, proving once again that animation is the perfect medium for superhero films. Michael Giacchino once again brings it with another spectacular score, owing much to the classic James Bond scores of the 1960s. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the characters, and once again, Bird nails the family dynamics that made the first film so appealing. Voice acting, again, is top notch. Really, high marks across the board.
What I Didn’t Like
As I’ve lamented with the last crop of animated films I’ve seen, can we please retire the big plot twist of, “Trusted ally is the REAL villain!” because it’s really starting to wear out its welcome. And Winston Deavor is voiced by Bob Odenkirk, and they decided to make the character design a caricature of Odenkirk. I hate it when they make the characters a caricature of the voice actor…I find it distracting and it pulls me out of the film.
Incredibles 2 is a very worthy sequel and a wonderful expanding of the Pixar superhero universe. I enjoyed it quite a bit.