Review: The Incredibles 2 (2018)

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Pixar’s first family of superheroes returns to the big screen in a sequel that highlights why Brad Bird truly understands the dynamics of what makes a hero tick.

Right off the bat, The Incredibles is one of those timeless pieces of animation that doesn’t really need a sequel. The original, an ode to 60’s mid modern culture and classic Silver Age comic book heroics is both a loving ode to that bygone time, but also a clever deconstruction of many of the genres’ tropes.Incredibles 2 largely succeeds by flipping that formula on its head. While the original film was largely an examination of the lengths Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) would go through to find his identity outside of being a family man; the sequel finds Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) coping with having to be a hero when she would rather be defined as a wife and mother and seeing Mr. Incredible largely become Mr. Mom.

At the onset of the film, The Incredibles attempt to stop a subterranean villain known as The Underminer from robbing a bank (a clever send-up of The Fantastic Four’s battles against The Mole Man). They succeed in stopping Underminer’s drill, but only at the cost of millions in property damage. The incident brings about the end of the National Supers Agency forcing Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) into retirement. This is when Devtech CEO Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) reach out to The Incredibles and Frozone (Smauel L. Jackson) with his plan to make superheroing legal again with Elastigirl as the face of the movement to legalize supers. But lurking in the shadows as the plan gains traction is a new villain known as The Screenslaver, out to erase the goodwill behind superheroes forever.

Plot aside, the film works because of the family dynamic being highlighted above superheroics subplots. Mr. Incredible struggling to trach his son math while dealing with Violet and boys while Jack-Jack is having growing pains is the film’s heart; Elastigirl’s struggles with being a hero while wanting to be with her family really relate. The film’s light hearted moments with designer Edna Mode playing babysitter to Jack-Jack also shine as does the swinging 60’s inspired production design and jazzy soundtrack by Michael Giacchino.

Overall, The Incredibles 2 is a lot of fun. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of storyline, but the story it tells, it does so very well and in an extremely compelling and rewatchable manner. Highly recommended for fans of the original and Pixar animation.

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