Incredibles 2 is FINALLY in theatres and is directed by Brad Bird, who was also behind the first film as well as a slew of other good animated projects such as The Iron Giant and Ratatouille. The first Incredibles is regarded by many (including myself) as not only one of the best Pixar films produced, but also one of the best superhero films ever made, due to its great animation, exciting action, and unforgettable characters that put each and every one of the live-action Fantastic Four films to absolute shame. With this in mind, a sequel was highly sought after for an extremely long time. Fourteen years later, Pixar finally stopped giving us more Cars and delivered us what we wanted; and in my opinion, it didn’t disappoint.
The film picks up immediately after the first film, with the Incredibles springing into action against the Underminer (voiced by Pixar regular John Ratzenberger) in an epic opening battle. Afterwards however, the family is once again forced into hiding due to the fact that Supers are still considered illegal by the government, forcing the family to live in a motel and still keep their powers under wraps. Things begin to change however when an enthusiastic businessman (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) creates the idea of a movement to get the public and the government behind superheroes once more, and thus, brings Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) in to be front and center for his plan. While that’s going on, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) must face the challenge of watching over his three kids Dash, Violet, and Jack Jack, who is now developing crazy powers of his own. From there, it’s nothing but action, comedy, and heartwarming moments.
While the plot itself isn’t the most interesting admittedly, what makes it work is its execution. The writing for this film, like the previous one, is just so on point that it makes the film a blast to go through from beginning to end. Not only are the jokes even better than the previous film’s, but the emotion is also much stronger as well. Helping that aspect is the magnificent cast of both returning and new characters, who are all a ton of fun to watch and see work off of each other.
All the returning cast members feel right back at home with these characters, and continue to deliver some really good performances, especially with Elastigirl in the leading role. The stuff with Mr. Incredible also gets an honorable mention for actually showing his parent side in this flick, something that the original honestly lacked a bit. On top of that, both Violet and Dash get a lot more to do, and the subplot with the former brought in a lot of this film’s emotional moments. Bob Odenkirk is as charming as ever with his performance, and hearing Brad Bird himself as Edna Mode once again was a delight. However, the absolute standout character of the film is Jack-Jack, as the scenes with him developing his powers make room for some of the funniest and most creative comedy in the movie (especially the scene with him and the raccoon).
As for the animation and action sequences, Incredibles 2 shines yet again. The colors are vibrant, the style of the world is interesting, and the expressions are very well-done. This animation is especially good in the action sequences, which are very energetic, creative, and at times, suspenseful. It also helps that the film isn’t toned down from the previous film, which allows the filmmakers to not hold back any specific details when compared to other superhero flicks (heck, there’s even some legitimate cursing in the movie). On top of all that, Michael Giacchino’s score is once again MAGNIFICENT and definitely one of his best.
However, there is one legitimate problem with the film, and that would be the villain: the Screenslaver. While at first he seems like a pretty decent threat (especially with his creepy design), without giving away too much, there is a point in the film where he once again succumbs to the surprise-villain-reveal cliche that has unfortunately plagued a lot of other Disney films as of late. This is especially a shame considering that Jason Lee’s Syndrome from the first film was one of the best villains in any Disney/Pixar movie. On top of that, the motivation is a bit confusing, and you can honestly see the twist coming from a mile away after a bit. Like I said though, there are still some good scenes with him involved.
Overall, while Incredibles 2 may falter a bit with its villain, the overall product is more than satisfying, and definitely worth the 14 year gap. Is it better than the first, that’s honestly hard to say, but I do think that they’re certainly equal in terms of quality. Hopefully a third film is on the way, because if this film told me anything, it’s that Brad Bird and his team have still got it.
Final Verdict: A