Incredibles 2 (2018)
Director – Brad Bird
Writer – Brad Bird
Starring – Craig Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel Best, Samuel L. Jackson, Huck Milner
Rating – PG
Genre – Animation, Action, Adventure
Metascore – 80/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 93%
Fourteen years ago Pixar created the Parrs. You might know them better as the Incredibles, a family of super-powered individuals. Because they were a family like so many others (besides the powers), they captured audiences and became a favorite within Pixar’s rich canon. Now, after over a decade of waiting, the Incredibles have returned to the big screen, picking up right where they left off. Despite the heart of the family relationships remaining as strong and real as ever, Incredibles 2 doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by its predecessor.
Incredibles 2 begins immediately following the events that ended the first film, and tells the story of the Parr family working together to dispel the negativity held towards superheroes. Director Brad Bird excels at creating action scenes that thrill, keeping you engaged the whole time. Though this is a film for children, every single action sequence had me on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, as heroes used their powers in creative ways to solve problems.
Beneath the hero vs. villain struggle, Incredibles 2 is a story about a family. This is something the first film did excellently, and this movie is just as successful at creating characters that are real to their core. Every interaction between members of the Parr family feels genuine and from a place of love. Children act the way they would in real life, and the Parr parents share the same struggles that normal parents deal with: from helping kids with homework, to helping with teenage heartbreak, and of course, extinguishing their combustible infant. Jack-Jack, the youngest Parr, easily steals every scene he is in with his unique presence. His powers create moments that had me doubled over laughing. These moments spent with the family always brought heart and genuine laughs to the screen, and will be the moments I remember most.
The story told by Bird was fun and compelling; however, there were some story-telling issues. While the story had a few moments that surprised me and definitely some tense action scenes, the twist of the movie was obvious from the beginning, even for a movie created for children. Further, we were introduced to a huge number of supporting characters, some of whom were incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, they were in the film only as plot devices, rather than actual characters. This underuse of characters seems a waste. Finally, while every scene between members of the Parr family provided laughs, movie scenes need to do more, whether that’s alter character dynamics or show growth. Unfortunately, some scenes in this film made me wonder why they were there at all.
Incredibles 2 takes so much of what made the first movie great and continues with it: interesting and genuine family dynamics, fantastic animation and world design, and heartfelt laughs. The film slips in ways that are not foreign to sequels, but Incredibles 2 earns its place among Pixar’s hits.
Author: Josh Johnson