Movie Review: Incredibles 2
By Bethany Brubeck
This long-awaited sequel to the iconic Pixar film The Incredibles has been fourteen years in the making, leaving fans of all ages excited for the action. Director and writer Brad Bird did not disappoint; key elements that made the first film a family favorite are not only still present during Incredibles 2, but are improved upon. The extreme level of detail in the animation alone is enough to captivate the viewer, and the action-packed plot line will keep both children and parents entertained. Though the movie has a PG rating, it’s anything but childish and will keep even the most mature audiences on the edge of their seats.
With the members of the Parr family still hiding their identities as “Supers,” the movie picks up exactly where the previous installment left off: the family leaving Dash’s (Huckleberry Milner) track meet when mole-like villain The Underminer attacks the city from beneath the streets. Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) quickly spring into action to stop him, despite superhero action still being illegal. This makes for an opening sequence just exciting enough to keep you wanting more.
Though they do stop the villain from destroying City Hall, the family faces the consequences of the destruction that was caused by this fight. The Parrs lose the support of Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) that they relied on, leaving them without jobs or a place to live. Seemingly in the nick of time, optimistic telecommunications tycoon Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his quick-witted, tech-savvy sister and business partner, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), offer Helen the opportunity of a lifetime: to redeem “Supers” all around the world and renounce the Super Relocation Program by proving that superheroes bring more good than bad. Incredibles 2 focuses on Elastigirl moving away from her family to reach her full potential as a superhero, while Bob reluctantly assumes the duties of stay-at-home dad–despite his jealousy of his wife’s action-packed new gig.
Elastigirl’s action-packed rescue mission scenes are broken up with scenes of Bob helping Dash with his math homework, helping Violet (Sarah Vowell) with boy troubles, and trying to get a handle on baby Jack-Jack as his typically infantile antics are amplified by his newly manifesting superpowers. Bob retains the same negative attitude as in the first film about having to shelf his superhero identity, but he comes to the realization that he can now take on the role of a “superdad.” These scenes are the most endearing in the film, shedding a new, more gentle light on Bob’s character as he pours himself into being the best parent he can be. The first Incredibles movie had a heavy focus on the importance and strength of family, which is only enhanced by the development in Bob’s relationship with his children.
Winston and Evelyn’s company DEVTECH aims to internationally legalize superheroism using Elastigirl to prove that superheroes can save the day without causing mass destruction. She completes her first mission successfully although the culprit, introduced as Screenslaver (Bill Wise), remains at large. The antagonist of the film, whose identity remains a mystery, uses hypnotism to control and manipulate anyone who has the misfortune of staring into a hijacked screen. This advanced technology can claim anyone as victim and can’t be directly stopped, so it poses a worthy challenge to Elastigirl. As an interesting twist of events develops in the case against Screenslaver, Bob enlists the help of fan-favorite Edna Mode (voiced by Brad Bird) to design a supersuit to keep Jack-Jack’s powers under control.
In the spirit of the first Incredibles installment, the Parrs can’t stand being apart and reunite to perfectly resolve the action and tension that built up throughout the film.
Overall, the highlight of the movie is the reversal of the typical roles assigned to characters in fiction: Helen takes center stage as the strong and powerful hero, while Bob takes a step out of the spotlight to perform the stereotypical “motherly” duties around the house. This along with the further development of Violet and Dash’s characters offer a unique take on a superhero movie, showing characters in their most human forms. The cunning and wit of each one of the characters matches that of the first film and is further accentuated by the new perspectives that are fostered throughout the sequel. Overall, Incredibles 2 is sure to live up to fans’ expectations–maybe even leaving them hoping for a third installment.