REVIEW: “Incredibles 2”

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REVIEW: “Incredibles 2”

Jonathan Montague, Staff Writer

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Fourteen years. It has been fourteen years since Pixar’s The Incredibles graced movie screens and captivated audiences. Fourteen years have been spent on developing a sequel to one of Pixar’s most beloved classics and my personal second favorite movie. Did Disney give us a sequel as good as the original? No. However, Incredibles 2 is more than worthy to stand alongside its predecessor as the best Pixar sequel since Toy Story 3.

The film picks up exactly where the last film left off with the Parrs, a.k.a. The Incredibles, fighting The Underminer. However, supers are still illegal, so the Parrs now must fend for themselves without government help. Luckily, telemarketing tycoon and a huge fan of supers, Winston Deavor, witnesses their heroics and hopes to get them back into the limelight by overturning the law. This puts Helen back in the big leagues and leaves Bob as a new stay-at-home dad. Things are further complicated by the machinations of the Screenslaver, whose hypnotic technology threatens innocent people.

The plot of this movie is a lot like the first in that it takes a familiar narrative and just adds superheroes. The original is a mid-life crisis story, whereas this is more akin to Cheaper by the Dozen. The first movie certainly held a few more twists that you did not see coming, but the plot is soundly conceived and the dialogue well-written, so the fun is never compromised. The pacing is pretty good as well with no scenes dragging on too long.

Even though the “superhero element” adds the necessary spectacle and then some, what makes this story so good are the characters. The returning characters are just as loveable as you remember, and you even get to see some added dimensions to some of them. The new characters are all not as good as the ones we know, save for maybe Winston, but they all hold their own and get their moments to shine.

There are also some neat messages and family values to take away. While I thought the villain was somewhat over-telegraphed, she did raise a point that stuck with me and had me thinking it over on the drive home. That is the sign of a good villain and story, predictable or no.

The voice acting was just as good as the original, with Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson stepping back into their roles rather seamlessly (as does director Brad Bird as fan-favorite Edna Mode). Even the replacements for old characters, save for one, sounded indistinguishable from the first movie.

The animation has had a serious upgrade, especially Frozone’s cryokinetics, and looks gorgeous as a result, although the animation of Violet’s eyes was troubling. She appeared to have bags under them in most scenes and it did distract me at times. The action scenes are exciting and show some new and creative uses of their powers, including all of Jack-Jack’s powers. The music is not really updated, but as a devoted fan of the last movie’s score, it sounds just as good here.

Incredibles 2 may not reach the extremely high standards of the first movie, but it is easily on par with most of Pixar’s pantheon and deserves to be seen in the theatre. It’s fun for the whole family and will give the fans exactly what they came for.