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At best Incredibles 2 is a crowd pleaser. At worse, it reminds you why, until Disney forced Pixar’s hand, they didn’t really do a lot of sequels.
|Screenplay By||Brad Bird|
|Genre(s)||Action, Animation, Family|
|Good If You Like||Superhero Families
Women Playing The Major Roles of the Film
Films Without Much Of a Political Statement
|Elastigirl/ Helen||Holly Hunter|
|Mr. Incredible/ Bob||Craig T. Nelson|
|Frozone/ Lucius||Samuel L. Jackson|
It has been 14 to 15 years and superheroes have been illegal for, frankly, they cause more damage than they prevent. Leading to many countries not even calling for them to be used in secret, and that includes Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, and Frozone. However, one man, Winston Deavor, an advocate for supers and a lover of them, like his father, wishes to undo all that with a campaign. One which will have Elastigirl front and center and, at first, it goes quite well. She stops multiple situations caused by the “Screenslaver” and it seems supers are going to be back in action.
That is, until she realizes the person she caught was under the Screenslaver’s control. Thus forcing the investigation to continue. And, while all this happens, Bob is trying to raise the kids, handle Jack-Jack’s 17 different power manifestations, and deal with the fact it isn’t him playing the hero. A serious hit to his ego.
But, after a certain point, it becomes clear the Screenslaver is too much for one hero and so multiple heroes get involved. Though, whether they may make it in time, never mind cause the type of damage to maybe make them legal, but put on some kind of retainer, you have to watch to find out.
Jack-Jack vs. A Raccoon
There aren’t really a lot of fights or action scenes which are memorable if you’re someone who likes watching things of the action genre. However, there is a rather comical fight between Jack-Jack and a Raccoon which comes from Jack-Jack’s love of television. To break it down, he sees an old Black and white movie with the villain having a black mask over his eyes. While this happens, he sees a raccoon stealing from the trash and after phasing through a door, a fight ensues.
I’m talking a fight like Peter Griffin vs. the Chicken. The type of thing which, if a third movie were to come about, or a short, I could imagine that being featured for it belongs as part of The Incredibles lexicon.
Bob Experiencing The Life of Stay At Home Moms
Bob trying to manage a teenager dealing with dating, a kid who struggles in math and is all over the place, alongside a baby is admirable. Yet, it isn’t lost on the audience that this flip in traditional gender roles gets to both him and Helen in the beginning. Helen has guilt about leaving things in Bob’s hands and Bob? Well, he is immensely jealous to not be front and center and doing something outside the home. Heck, the only things missing from Bob’s struggles with being a homemaker is feelings of isolation and having to clean.
But, both eventually adapt to the idea of sharing any and all parental duties. Be it Helen trusting Bob with the kids and getting to be a hero, or Bob figuring out the math, learning how to help Violet with her crush, and also figure out ways to keep Jack-Jack calm. At least until Edna hooks him up with a nifty gadget.
The Argument For Overreliance on Supers and Living Vicariously
When it comes to Pixar/Disney, their villains have the iconic nature of the DC universe, yet are usually one and done like Marvel. However, one thing that has increasingly made Pixar an excellent balancer in all this is they make their villains say something. They represent something bigger than simply being a reason heroes need to show up.
In the case of the Screenslaver, as the name implies, they take control by using the fact people are addicted to looking at a screen. That living vicariously is something they hate and they take advantage of it. And, in relation to supers, they dislike them due to overreliance.
Now, it isn’t made clear how they feel about everyday heroes like firemen, but reliance on third parties to save you, to live vicariously through, and all that? Big no-no and while the message isn’t strong, it can open dialog depending on the family.
Edna Mode – Fashion Designer & Babysitter
Edna doesn’t play a huge role but, as with the first movie, she is a scene stealer. Particularly in her second appearance, after babysitting Jack-Jack and she has him trained. I’m talking to the point that, for a woman who doesn’t really do kids, you’d think she would have raised a dozen. And when I’m telling you watching Jack-Jack mimic her is the funniest bit in the movie, please believe me!
On The Fence
It’s Kind of Predictable
More than likely you’ll figure out who the villain is and there won’t be much in the way of surprises here. But this movie is made for both new and old fans so expecting it to be overly complex would be silly.
While Enjoyable, It Feels More Like A Cash Grab Than A Triumphant Return
Sequels are very complicated things. The best capitalize off of plots not brought to a solution or just being a crowd pleaser. In the case of Incredibles 2, while you do have to admire Bob experiencing a gender role flip and what Jack-Jack brings to the table, at best this is a crowd pleaser. One which doesn’t really push the story forward much, outside of the supers being illegal thing, but considering the huge gap in time it has been, there isn’t this big triumphant return feeling. It’s like the movie was just released 2 – 3 years ago and a pre-planned sequel has come out to strike while the iron is hot.
Thus giving you something which is enjoyable, yeah, but doesn’t necessarily feel like the kind of sequel which improves on the first. It just exists for the sake of keeping a valuable property alive and current.
There is nothing revolutionary here, if it wins an Oscar, much less gets nominated, it is simply because Disney has campaigning on lock, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. The thing you have to take into account with summer blockbusters nowadays is that they are meant to be people pleasers and there is nothing wrong with that. Not every movie, whether aimed at kids, teens, or adults, needs to have deeper themes and meaning. And while Incredibles 2 does pursue some of that, it is never to the point of being political or producing a message to take seriously.
So why, with a lot of underhanded compliments, is this rated positive? Well, because, despite feeling this was more of a cash grab than anything, it still was a very entertaining movie. One which didn’t push me to check my phone for how much time was left and had me engaged throughout. Now, I wouldn’t say the sequel felt necessary nor would a second sequel but for something to watch by yourself, on a date, or with kids, Incredibles 2 makes a good one and done movie.