The Incredibles 2
Out Now On-Demand
Sequel to Disney/Pixar's 2004 box office crushing CGI action-adventure. Oscar-winning writer-director Brad Bird returns, alongside fellow Academy Award-winner Holly Hunter (voicing Elastigirl). Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.
It's a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again.
Action, Adventure, Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction
Rating: PG Violence & coarse language
If Incredibles 2 hadn’t been 14 years late in the making, and there wasn’t a superhero movie coming out every other month, it’d could easily have been The Road Warrior of the Pixar stable. I’d be lying if genre fatigue hasn’t scrubbed a little freshness off the franchise.
Having said that, this sequel, even when it somehow begins to unfavourably echo Speed 2: Cruise Control towards the end, is muscular, breathtakingly kinetic and visually smashing, boosted by an eye-popping richness in colour and texture that could only come from years of refined digital craft. Despite reservations, I walked out of the theatre feeling like I’d just watched the year’s most exhilarating action movie.
Where the strikingly prescient The Incredibles took on the toxic fanboy, Incredibles 2 is very much of the Now, its slightly distended narrative preoccupied with gender politics, globalism and consumerism. In a switching of roles, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) parks his breadwinner duties to play an increasingly harried Mr. Mom, while fan favourite Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is thrust into the spotlight, becoming the face of a movement to overturn the outlawed, disreputable status of superheroes.
There are definitely beats that slip into naggingly stock zone—the spectre of Carpenter’s They Live looms unusually large over the villain’s masterplan. But Incredibles 2 hits enough exuberant peaks to overlook those quibbles. Anything involving Elastigirl on a bike and Jack-Jack discovering the destructive range of his polymorphic powers is dynamite, but I’m comfortable saying all of Brad Bird’s dexterous action sequences blow his live-action peers out of the water.
Los Angeles Times
NZ Herald (Dominic Corry)
14 years too late?
Entertaining but sadly not a classic
Back in 2004, before the dawn of the MCU, Pixar changed the game for the superhero genre with The Incredibles, a brilliant action-packed adventure and family comedy-drama with more heart, humanity and intelligence than any other movie of its type. Pixar have produced many amazing animated features, and The Incredibles is my favourite of the bunch. It's been 14 years since the original's theatrical release, and with Brad Bird returning as writer and director, how could I not be excited for the long-awaited sequel.
Does Incredibles 2 live up to its title? Not quite. That said, it's far from a disappointment and one of the year's most entertaining movies. Like every other Disney Pixar film in recent years, the animation is top-tier. The action sequences are exciting, crafted better than most live-action blockbusters. Fantastic voice performances from Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl.
Brad Bird's script is smart and mature. The family interactions were really well-handled. While Elastigirl is out saving the city, Bob is the stay-home dad, dealing with Violet's teenage angst, helping Dash complete his confusing maths homework, and taking care of Jack-Jack, the most dangerous and destructive member of the Parr family.
A lesser writer might have taken a sillier approach to Bob's struggle and played this aspect of the plot entirely for laughs. Bird does a great job at balancing the comedy and drama. I loved Jack-Jack. He has some of the best moments in the movie, but I didn't like Dash and particularly Violet as much. Their characters were brattier than they were in the original.
My biggest complaint with Incredibles 2 is the villain, Screenslaver, a non-character that has a very weak set-up. Syndrome was a great, fleshed-out machiavellian villain. A character that poked fun at the "toxic fanboy". He wasn't a powerful force that snaps his fingers and wipes out half the universe's population. Syndrome was just a fraud that would get his ass handed to him if it wasn't for his tech. His motivation made more sense to me than Screenslaver's did.
Not a perfect movie like the first Incredibles (I wasn't expecting it to be) but still a satisfying follow-up. I had more fun watching this than almost every other superhero movie that's come out this year (Infinity War is still the best).