In 2004, Writer/Director Brad Bird’s familial spin on the superhero genre struck a chord with many people. The Incredibles was a phenomenon, winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature while making a killing at the box office, it established itself as an animated classic. Since then, fans have been clamouring for a sequel continuing the adventures of the Parr family and in hope of finding answers to the questions; how did Violet’s date go? What’s going to happen with Jack-Jack? And how did the Incredibles fight with the Underminer turn out? Now, 14 years later, we have our answers in Incredibles 2.
Despite the 14-year gap in between the films’ release, Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first left off, with the Parr family battling “The Underminer”. The destruction of the city, however, is used by politicians as a means to make being a superhero illegal, which leave the Parr family to try and resume a normal, mundane life. Bob a.k.a Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) wants to fight against the illegality of the situation, but Helen a.k.a Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) wants for her family to remain safe. However, when the ice-powered Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) comes to the couple to tell them, that the heads of DEVTECH, brother/sister duo Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener), want to positively shift the public image of superheroes and want to use Elastigirl as their poster-woman, a role she accepts. This leaves a jealous Mr Incredible having to take care of his kids. This proves to be a job Bob isn’t exactly great at, he’s dealing with Violet (Sarah Vowell) who is upset that concealing secret identity takes precedence over her romantic crush, Dash (Huck Milner) struggling with his homework and the infant Jack-Jack, who’s developing superpowers are uncontrollable.
What makes Incredibles 2 work more than most sequels, is that Brad Bird opted to make the sequel a natural progression of the first one instead of making it “bigger and better” or a full-on nostalgia fest. You can tell it wasn’t a paycheck film, he evidently wanted to explore the Parr’s family dynamics and what place superheroes have in this fictional world further. Much like the first, the CGI family still feels authentic and real; you’re drawn into their troubles and tribulations as well as their banter. The film is also surprisingly timely, featuring some social commentary on how easy it is for the media to manipulate and influence a public perspective on a matter (even if it’s spelt out a bit too much at times).
While it isn’t as emotional as the last film, it is definitely funnier. Jack-Jack’s volatile powers create many moments of amazing visual humour, while the sparsely used fan-favourite Edna Mode (Brad Bird) manages to steal every scene she’s in again. The film’s action sequences are also brilliantly executed and exciting.
While it isn’t the first film, Incredibles 2 isn’t trying to be. It’s an imaginative and insanely hilarious familial superhero comedy with some great set pieces. Lots of fun.