Movie Review: Incredibles 2
14 years is a long time between films and I would wait that length again and again if it meant I continued to get more films based on the Incredibles. Incredibles 2 is the rare sequel that improves upon the first in every way. The topics broached, the animation, the action, the humor, the family dynamic, even the end credits, they all come together for an even stronger film.
The Incredibles to me is one the best superhero films out there. It takes familiar characters and situations and improves upon them all with a nice little twist on fandom. A not so veiled spin on the Fantastic Four, the Pixar film out marvel’s Marvel. The family dynamic, the situations, the powers, it’s all just so good. So, I was nervous going in to this sequel and walking out I immediately bought tickets to see it again.
The movie is beyond self-aware packing in so much with a lot to say. That’s what happens when you wait 14 years to talk I guess. While sequels tend to suffer when they go bigger, this is the rare case when bigger is better.
The film picks up from the end of the original and goes from there. It riffs on Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War while also taking on politicians, gender roles, media and technology, and more. There’s a lot to take in and it’s a film you can spend hours discussing after. What’s better is, like other Pixar films, you can go in and just enjoy it.
The opening of the film is where the first signs of improvement come in with animation that just looks better. The lighting, the action, it’s an opening statement that the film is taking advantage of what’s been learned between the two and has no problems using the latest technology.
What’s interesting though is that the politics of the film are up front and center. The basics of the story is that superheroes are still outlawed but there’s a plan to turn that legislation over and Elastigirl is put out there to show superheroes can do great things. Mr. Incredible isn’t digging that as much as he wants to get out there and be a hero too. Instead, he has to take care of the kids. And that leads to jealousy as his wife is supporting the family. The fragility of men, woman empowerment, gender roles, these are all very important aspects of the film and all of it is dealt with intelligently. The film some how seems to address both the women can kick-ass crowd in Elastigirl as well as white working class America in Mr. Incredible.
Our use of technology is also addressed in the villain Screenslaver who uses screens to enslave individuals. But, at times it’s technology that helps save the day too. It’s an interesting dynamic and there’s hours of thought to be decompressed and dissected.
There’s also an introduction to the superhero world as a whole. New characters are introduced and every one seems to riff on existing ones with a dose of humor about it all. Usually when we see so much introduced it falls flat but here every character has a use and a moment that makes their inclusion more than welcomed.
The film brings a massive amount of humor along with the action with that mostly focused on Jack-Jack who’s coming in to his powers. The moments are great and the character is a driver in many ways of the shaken up family dynamic. What should Mr. Incredible tell his wife? Can he handle being the main caregiver? Again, a lot to dissect.
The film is just… incredible. The music, the end credits, this is just a fantastic film and one that I want to watch again and again. We’ll hopefully get more and hopefully it’ll be sooner than 14 years but if whatever comes next is this good, I’m more than happy to wait.
Overall Rating: 10