What do The Empire Strikes Back, Godfather 2, and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo all have in common? They are widely regarded as superior to the original film — and in my opinion, Incredibles 2 should be talked about in the same breath as those films… well maybe not Breakin’ 2. Almost 14 years ago, well before Tony Stark built an iron suit in a cave, Disney presented a Pixar film based off a family of Supers that went on to win two Academy Awards (including Best Animated Feature Film) and have people asking “WHERE. IS. MY. SUPER. SUIT?” for years to follow. In just a few short days, the sequel to one of my favorite Pixar films and will have everyone talking about Incredibles 2 will open in theaters across the U.S.
Picking up immediately after the first film ended, we learn how the Parr family works together to try and stop The Underminer. Without getting too deep in spoiler country, it doesn’t go too well, which leads right into reminding the audience a major plot point from the first film that being a Super is still illegal. The main plot the film is tied around the new brother-sister characters Winston Deavor, Bob Odenkirk, and Evelyn Deavor, Catherine Keener, positioning Helen Parr, voiced by returning Holly Hunter, as Elastagirl to help show the world all the good Supers do and not just destroying things much to the chagrin of Mr. Incredible who feels he should be the face of Supers.
As the film goes on, we see the age old role reversal challenge of the dad trying to play the part of homemaker while mom goes off to be the breadwinner. But in this case Bob has to deal with a teenage super daughter Violet and the fallout of her first date, a super boy, Dash, and the challenge of “new math,” and of course Jack-Jack, a baby who has many superpowers — as Bob and an unlucky raccoon find out in one of the funniest scenes of the film.
While Bob is at home playing Mr. Mom and seeking help with Jack-Jack from everyone’s favorite designer Edna Mode, Elastagirl is off showing the world that Supers can do real good while battling the mysterious Screenslaver. When things start to look a bit much for Helen Parr, the Deavor’s bring in Supers from around the world that have been in hiding until Elastagirl stepped back into the spotlight and showed them that sometimes you have to stand up for what is right.
To avoid any spoilers, I will stop with the plot summary and just say I loved this film! I was a huge fan of the original because it did what Brad Bird wanted and felt like a comic book come to life. This installment takes the fun of the first film and turns up Incredibles to 11, with more Supers, more Jack-Jack, and more Frozone, it is hard not to love this film. With almost the entire original voice cast returning (Spencer Fox, the 22-year-old original voice of Dash, no longer sounds like a 10-year-old so Huckleberry “Huck” Milner was brought in to voice middle Parr child), this film works as a seamless continuation of the first film but expands it so much it leaves you wanting more. The expanded cast offers not only more fun but hopefully more stories to come out of the “Incredibles” Universe.
Brad Bird and his crew did a perfect job capturing lightning in a bottle once again. If I had to find one thing negative about this film it would be the technology of making the film. 15 years ago when Pixar was making the first film, the capabilities of creating a mid-century world were limited, but it is amazing the things they can do now with all the advancements in technology. In fact, I found myself looking at background characters, forgetting they are all computer generated, and thinking to myself they looked like they were marionettes that stepped right out of the British science-fiction series Thunderbirds. This is not anything that takes away from the film, just something that triggered long-repressed memories of things that creeped me out as a child watching reruns.
Overall, this film to me is even more fun than the first and will be a huge hit with those of us who saw Incredibles 14 years ago — and even more so with those who have watched it over and over again on DVD/Blu-Ray/Disney Digital.
On a scale from 1 to 10, Incredibles 2 is easily an 11!