After 14 long years (feels like a lifetime), we finally have Incredibles 2, and my oh my have Pixar delivered a truly incredible movie (puns are the best). Grab your popcorn, get some coffee, and enjoy.
Incredibles 2 kicks off exactly where the first movie left off, where our superhero family face off against the Underminer. After which, the family must return to their mundane daily lives, navigating the complexities of relationships, family, and day-to-day living; a tough transition for the crimefighting family, especially as they are still learning about Jack Jack’s emerging superpowers.
Incredibles 2 switches things up, however, by shifting the focus from Mr. Incredible, AKA Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), to Elastigirl, AKA Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter). Elastigirl becomes the primary antagonist, leaving Bob to assume the role of primary care-taker at home. Bob struggles with his new role, but adapts throughout the movie, and I personally loved seeing his character development.
Helen is sent out to bring ‘supers’ back into a positive limelight, in an effort to relegalise their status. The emphasis on a female protagonist, capable of taking on this massive responsibility, is truly wonderful, and really highlights how much power women actually have. Furthermore, it empowers the female identity, particularly beyond the nostalgia that men are ‘better’ superheroes.
Some may argue that this is nothing more than just keeping up with the current trend to ensure that women are portrayed above men, but I would say that that is a shallow argument. Incredibles 2 does well to position Elastigirl as the ‘superior’ superhero, as she was chosen, out of all other superheroes, to carry out the grand plan. Personally, I loved seeing Helen cast in the spotlight, as I felt her character was restricted in the first installment. Frozone (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) also receives a greater spotlight, displaying how integral he truly is to the Incredible family, and c’mon, who doesn’t like hearing Samuel L. Jackson?
The films score, composed by Michael Giacchino, is fluid, beautiful, and fits perfectly with each scene, truly capturing the mood and atmosphere. As a whole, the film was well-paced, never feeling dragged out or unnecessarily extended. Each detail felt crucial to the overall arc of the story, and fleshed out the characters wonderfully, where we all felt we could relate to them (sans the superpowers, obviously).
Being a Pixar title, I don’t think we need to mention how well animated the film is. It was fantastic to see them keep the same aesthetics as the original, despite the massive advancements we have seen in animation technology. Some sequels tend to feel a little too branched off from the original because of the change in design, but, thankfully, that isn’t the case with Incredibles 2.
What made the Incredibles 2 so great, was that it not only empowered women, or children, but parents as well. I am not a parent as yet, but watching it made me realise just how much work goes into being a good parent. “The greatest superpower anyone can have, is being a parent,” and this might sound like a cliché, but it is a cliché for a reason. The film balances the greatness of being a superhero with the greatness of being a parent in, probably, the most perfect way possible. Watching Elastigirl’s superhero antics was just as enthralling as Bob’s development as a parent.
It goes without saying that Incredibles 2 also incorporates natural humour into the mix, without anything feeling forced. It's refreshing, as most movies these days force comedy into situations, which dampens the experience. The natural wholehearted family humour will leave both kids, and adults alike, in stitches.
The only problem with Incredibles 2 is that it didn’t have that indistinguishable factor that the original had. Perhaps the long-awaited anticipation, or nostalgia, was the cause, but Incredibles 2 didn’t leave me with the same ‘ka-blam’ feeling I had after the original. It's tough to critique the sequel based on this, because it’s difficult to pinpoint what it was lacking. However, it was such an incredible title, I feel you could look at it independently.
Overall, while not as great as the first film, Incredibles 2 definitely deserves its name. It highlights that even being a superhero comes with human problems that we all face day-to-day. It is rare to see a sequel, especially after so long, live up to every expectation of its audience, and Incredibles 2 does just that. Not only does it empower women and children, but it empowers parents just as much. Brad Bird has created another ‘super’ animated feature, rivaling the greatness of its predecessor, and is the second best superhero movie to come out this year, after Black Panther.
Loves games with deep character development and a rich storyline. Also, shooty-shooties. Loathes microtransactions. Likes to use sarcasm and metaphors.
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14 June 2018
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