Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Brad Bird
WRITER: Brad Bird
MUSIC: Michael Giacchino
Normally, when a sequel takes as long as “Incredibles 2” has to come out, the film usually can’t live up to expectations set by the audience. Thankfully, the magicians at Pixar and writer and director Brad Bird have crafted a story that is more than worthy of the 2004 original. While “The Incredibles” came out 14 years ago, the movie could be labeled “Part II” of the Incredibles saga as the movie immediately picks up where the last film left off.
The Underminer (John Ratzenberger) has plans to rob a bank, but the Incredibles are there to stop him. Unfortunately, they also cause quite a bit of damage in order to apprehend the suspect. Afterwards, Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) informs the family that the relocation program that he was the head of has been shut down, leaving the Supers of the world to stick to their secret identities permanently.
Thankfully, a man named Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) summons Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) to inform them that he wants the world to legalize Supers once again. He thinks the best way to do this is to use Elastigirl as a sort of mascot because she causes less damage than Mr. Incredible.
While Helen resumes her duties as a Super advocating for the rights for Supers to use their powers, Bob is forced to hang up his Incredible suit for the time being. Instead, he must take care of the rest of the family, which includes Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack Jack. It is an interesting role reversal for the characters and acts as a parallel to the story told in the original film.
It was great to see that Bird didn’t just simply make a family of superheroes that kick butt all the time. He remembered that the family’s personal story is what is at the heart of the movie and once again, they must face the challenges of being who they are and their familial responsibilities. Elastigirl must realize that while she doesn’t like to be away from her family, she did miss her old days as a Super, as is evidenced by her investigation to find the Screenslaver, the main antagonist of the movie.
Mr. Incredible, on the other hand, must deal with helping his son with homework and his daughter’s first crush. Then, of course, there is Jack Jack. At the end of the original film, he displayed some rather unique powers, but the family didn’t see that.
In this movie, Mr. Incredible must deal with these new powers and this is where Jack Jack begins to steal the show. Every scene he is in is funny and adorable and watching Mr. Incredible trying to deal with these developing powers is just as interesting as any of the amazing action scenes featured in the film.
Make no mistake about it, though, the movie definitely doesn’t skip out on the action. Whether it is Elastigirl trying to stop a train or the family having to fight off a bunch of other Supers, this film contains plenty of action that rivals most straightforward action films, including other well known superhero films that have come out since “The Incredibles”. Once again, Pixar succeeds at making a film that has something for everyone in the family.
Unsurprisingly, the movie’s visual style looks… well… incredible! The movie maintains the same art deco style from the original that harkens to the past but somehow makes the film seem timeless. Pixar has perfected their craft over the past two decades and it wouldn’t surprise me if this film will be up for Best Animated Feature at next year’s Academy Awards.
This is one of those rare times where the filmmakers, primarily Bird himself, took the time off between films to craft something truly special. It a sequel that matches the original in almost every way by featuring a great voice cast, amazing action sequences and one incredible story!