Incredibles 2 Review: In what may be considered as the longest cliffhanger in Pixar history, we finally get to see what happens after the Parr family encounters the Underminer right before the credits rolled in Brad Bird’s 2004 animated film, “The Incredibles”. Taking the helm once again, it took Bird 14 years to bring back this iconic superhero family. But with a hiatus that long, and the fact that we are now treading on a different kind of superhero territory brought by the MCU and DCEU, does “The Incredibles” still have what it takes to be super?

“The Incredibles 2” reintroduces us to the Parr family, moments after they encounter the Underminer at the end of “The Incredibles”. Bob (Craig T. Nelson), Helen (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Powell), and Dash (Huck Milner) spring right into action as their superhero alter egos, to keep the Underminer from robbing the Metroville Bank. However, despite the optimism of the first movie’s ending, it turns out that things didn’t go as they hoped. In fact, the Parrs may actually be in a worse situation this time –they live in a motel, Violet’s having some boy trouble, Jack-Jack is manifesting uncontrollable powers, and yep – “Supers” are still illegal.

Incredibles 2 Trailer

 

Enter the telco tycoon Winston Deavor who is also a huge superhero fan. But unlike Syndrome’s obsessive fandom, Winston believes that the world actually needs superheroes, and that if public perception is what made them illegal, then it’s also what will help bring them back. Together with his crafty sister Evelyn, they propose a PR stunt that puts the spotlight on Helen aka Elastigirl to show the heroic acts of Supers from their own perspective. But for Helen to go full-time, Bob has to take over babysitting duties. Helen sums it up perfectly – to help her family she has to leave it, and to fix the law she has to break it.

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Incredibles 2 Review

The superhero genre has become a tough territory to penetrate, especially with the saturation brought by Marvel and DC films getting released one after another. On the surface, it may seem hard for “Incredibles 2” to find its place among the barrage of superhero films this year (“Avengers: Infiinity War” and “Deadpool 2” are difficult acts to follow), but it turns out that this film is actually on its own unique niche. Yes, it is a movie with superheroes, but much more than their super powers or their secret identities, what makes “Incredibles 2” fun to watch is the dynamics between the members of this unlikely family. Elastigirl going around as a vigilante at night in order to provide for her family, isn’t something that you usually see in a superhero film. Mr. Incredible on the other hand is being a different kind of hero by being a super-dad to a pubescent Violet, a Math – stumped Dash, and a hyperactive Jack-Jack. As Edna Mode (voiced by Brad Bird himself) has said, “done properly, parenting is a heroic act….done properly.”

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From being a side character, Jack – Jack has now become one of the highlights of “Incredibles 2”. Many of the adorable and funny moments of the film involve him playing around with his powers, serving both as comic relief and looking cute enough for merchandise potential.

Just like Jack-Jack, the whole family didn’t seem to have grown a year older in the movie and I believe for a good reason – nostalgia. “Incredibles 2” works because it knocks into our longing to see this superhero family again on screen, presenting to us both familiar and new elements. For one, the plot is parallel to that of the first movie, only this time it’s Elastigirl who is the breadwinner. We even get to hear Frozone’s wife again who, despite not having a full minute of screentime, is one of the most memorable from the first “Incredibles” film.

But “Incredibles 2” appeals not only to fans that have seen its predecessor in 2004. This movie is also modern enough for young audiences to appreciate. The better, photorealistic animation is evident. And despite being set in the 60’s (I know!), the villain, Screenslaver is actually relatable to audiences today, like a jab at how we’ve all become “slaves” to the screens we carry all around. It’s ironic if you think about how we’re watching the movie through a large screen, but that adds more to its brilliance. “Incredibles 2” is brimming with social commentary subtexts – like the use of publicity stunts to manipulate audience perception and the proliferation of fake news. On a lighter note, it also shows that being a family is not defined by what society established as proper or normal – whatever the gender roles, quirks, or superpowers yours has.

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So, was “Incredibles 2” worth the wait? 14 years for a sequel may not be the longest by Hollywood standards, but I say that brewing “Incredibles 2” for more than a decade is rewarding. It’s not just good, it’s super!

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