*This is a spoiler-free review*
Oh man it’s been long time. I never expected to see this film after almost 14 years of waiting. Similarly, to other people my age, this is very important film in my journey to becoming an adult. I watched the first film when I was child and now I’m watching the sequel as an adult. Nostalgia is definitely a factor in my review of this film, even if I do not want it to influence my writing. However, I do believe nostalgia for its predecessor will not cause you to immediately love this film but will make myself, along with the thousands of other Incredibles fans be more critical. As for this review I seek to find answers to questions such as; Was the movie good? Was it worth the wait? How does it compare to its predecessor and other Pixar works?
Before I began with the review I must say the Pixar Short titled Bao was a sweet and tender short, which managed to explore themes of growing up, family and letting go in 5 minutes. Truly one of the best shorts produced by Pixar.
Incredibles 2 is directed by Brad Bird and it stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson. This film’s narrative discusses the legal legitimacy of Supers, like Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, and the possible restoration of the Superheroes. Even after saving the day in the climax of the previous film, our heroes still find themselves on the opposite side of the law and public perception. This film picks up immediately where the last left off, with Mr. Incredible and his family fighting against Underminer. I feel this was for the best for having a time lapse would have made for disconnect between both films, which something Brad Bird surely did not want to disrupt.
The tone of Incredibles 2 feels akin to the first as once the film begins, it feels as if no time has passed at all. This proves impressive considering the time gap between both productions. Additionally, the audience gets to witness the fall-out of that event. This, along with other plot threats demonstrate how the writing staff understands consequences and themes of realism. Typically, within animation, realism is not usually portrayed, thus opting for a more slapstick approach. For example, if you can recount the truck driving scene from Finding Dory, that scene makes no effort in establishing a sense of suspense of realism which in my opinion hinders the film. However, Incredibles 2 deviate from this genre norm, which works to create a more compelling narrative and believable diesis.
One way of creating a compelling narrative and believable diesis is having characters that feel real. The Parr family feels like a actual, normal family despite the fact that all have superpowers. Like every other suburban family, they face mundane family issues, like helping with math homework or buying the wrong sized battery. The Parr family and their chemistry prove to be the best aspect about the film. The Parr family flourishes on screen with almost every character getting their moment in the spotlight. The strongest performances come from Holly Hunter as Elastigirl and Eli Fucile as Jack Jack. Holly Hunter absolutely knocks it out of the park as the film’s main focal point as she plays the sharp witted and caring Elastigirl. Perhaps the most compelling part about her characterization is her adamancy about breaking into a man’s world (that is, the world of superheroes). Not only is part of her character development but is driving force of the film. Whereas, the previous film focused more on Bob Parr, this is very much a Helen Parr story. However, it is an undeniable fact that Jack Jack completely steals the show in every scene that he is in. His array powers allow the writers to invent many hilarious and entertaining sequences. His character has similar traits to Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Once thing I was fearful the film might do is have Jack Jack, seemingly unlimited power set, be a convenient plot device to solve any problems our heroes might have. However, this was not the case throughout the film.
I feel as if I do not have to review the animation because once again Pixar proves to be the leader in Hollywood animation. The characters feel like the have weight to them during action scenes. Additionally, Jack Jack and Elastigirl each have new inventive ways of using power in the film. Every shot is well populated with colourful scenery, which is pleasing to eye. Truly a gorgeous movie to behold from the minds at Pixar.
Being a sequel of a much beloved original, there will be overly critical people of the film. However, here I am outlining, what I believe, to be a legitimate concern with the film. The film only falls short of its predecessor in the villain’s characterization. The film lacks a complex character like Syndrome to really combat the notion of supers and the real world. However, I cannot go further on that point for it would involve spoilers for the film.
This movie has the makings of one of the best Pixar films, even superhero films for that matter. Was the wait worth it? I think so. Apart from Toy Story 3, this is the only film to recapture the same magic as its predecessor after such a long time between productions. Overall, this film provides great entertainment value in its rich action, emotion, and subtle comedy. Fantastic musical score and animation complement the entertainment significance, for Incredibles fans and the casual viewer.
Rating – 8.5/10
Incredibles 2 flies into theatres on June 15, 2018