After 14 long years we finally get the sequel to The Incredibles, the best animated superhero film ever made. And boy, does it deliver! Brad Bird, the writer and director of both movies, gives us a nearly perfect sequel and answers the burning question we’ve all been asking since 2004 – what exactly are Jack Jack’s powers? And you will not be disappointed with the revelations. The scenes with Jack Jack and Mr. Incredible are really beautiful and fun. They show a tender side between father and son that are not often explored.
The film picks up minutes after the first one and gives us an epic battle between the combined Incredible family and the Underminder, a villain who uses underground digging equipment to rob and destroy the surface world. The damage is catastrophic and though they stopped him, he made off with the money, and the Incredibles are portrayed by the media as responsible for the carnage instead of being hailed asheroes.
This once again puts the Parr family in hiding and seclusion as they try to figure out how to make their lives work in a world that doesn’t want them. Lucius “Frozone” Best and Edna Mode are back as well and they each get some great scenes to shine, a real treat for the audiences as they have some of the best lines of all.
The film also explores parenthood and the identity struggles parents go through as they raise their children, relate to their spouse and maintain some semblance of work/life balance. Couple that with the endearing connection between Violet and Dash as they go through adolescence with not only having super powers, but trying to determine how to best use their gifts and still be who they are in world that isn’t always kind to those different than the norm.
The film asks some pretty serious questions that keep it relevant and allow for a smart discussion of responsibility and self-reliance. A central theme is the dependence on superheroes to save lives. If we look to super heroes to save us, do we actually have any agency to save ourselves?
A brother and sister duo befriend the Incredibles and bring them into their plan to make supers legal again. Their plan hinges on utilizing Elastigirl as the face of the supers as she saves various world leaders and faces off against Screenslaver, a villain who hypnotizes innocent people through video screens.
The newer supers are also a lot of fun as the dynamic between them, Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible is complex and relatable. The crux of the movie gives matriarch of the family a lot more to do and while some may complain that this is just a role reversal of the first film, I would disagree because there is much more going on in the film to boil it down to just questions of traditional gender roles and identity.
The animation is spectacular, and I’d expect nothing less from Disney/Pixar, and the score by Michael Giacchino maintains the same emotional musical throughline between the films. I find it very fascinating that the film is set in the early 60s (as evidenced by the cars and housing) as it allows for us to romanticize the past and give us some distance to see the themes and moral questions in a somewhat safer tone.
As a superhero fan, I really enjoyed the inventive use of the powers displayed and the creative teamwork shown by the Incredibles. This is a fantastic film that you can enjoy with the whole family, so please make sure to take the time to watch this altogether. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 14 years for the next film!
It’s All Geek To Us