courtesy of IMDb
It’s hard to believe the fresh-faced fans who saw “The Incredibles” when it first hit theaters in 2004 are now fully-fledged adults. But believe it or not, it’s really been 14 years since the first film—and as one of the many people who’s waited more than half their life for its sequel, I can honestly say it’s worth the wait.
“Incredibles 2” sees the return of director Brad Bird and picks up right where the first film left off, as our heroes come face-to-face with a dangerous new threat, the Underminer, voiced by Pixar veteran John Ratzenberger. After unsuccessfully thwarting his attempt to rob Metroville Bank, the Incredibles—and supers around the world—are forced to return to civilian life, their alter egos having been deemed more harmful than beneficial by authorities.
Shortly after being temporarily exiled to a dingy motel, Bob and Helen Parr—aka Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter, respectively)—are offered the opportunity to return to the fight. Together with their longtime ally Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), they visit the mysterious Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener), a brother-sister duo who seek to improve public perception of supers and bring them back to the spotlight.
Elastigirl is chosen as the face of the duo’s publicity stunt, fighting crime in the City of New Urbem to help supers regain the public’s trust. While she struggles to take down a deadly foe known as Screenslaver, Bob struggles to adapt to life as a solo parent to three budding supers—Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile).
The film inevitably packs a hard punch. It’s a lot to take in on its first viewing, but fans should expect nothing less. In the Parr family’s extended absence from the big screen, Pixar gave us not one, not two, but three godawful “Cars” movies. Needless to say, seeing that glorious “Incredibles” logo again—this time appropriately bearing two “I’s”—and hearing the unmistakable score of Michael Giacchino was an overwhelming experience.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster from there, but not in the “Toy Story 3” or “Coco” kind of way. “Incredibles 2” spares us from shedding too many tears, instead making the most of its two-hour runtime, which is filled with hilarious gags and heart-pounding action sequences.
For an animated film, “Incredibles 2” really delivers in the action department, putting many live-action superhero films to shame. (I’m looking at you, “Justice League.”) The film’s fight scenes are as thrilling as its predecessors, perpetually leaving audiences genuinely concerned as to whether or not a kid’s movie would be bold enough to kill off one of its heroes. There’s an incomparable excitement created not only by this film’s very existence, but by its content as well, making it well worth your while.
The previous film gave us what some may consider the most laughter-inducing moments in Pixar history—namely, Edna Mode’s pep talk to Elastigirl and Frozone being lectured by “the greatest good he is EVER gonna get,” his wife, Honey (and yes, that is her real name). “Incredibles 2” sees the return of both, though the latter only makes a small cameo revealed in its entirety during one of the trailers, so steer clear of it if you want to truly enjoy the moment.
But the only true flaw with “Incredibles 2” is its predictability. The parallels between this film and its predecessor make it fall just short of being as good—though to come even close is a huge accomplishment—and its plot twists are far from shocking. But at the end of the day, no one is going to see this film for the shock factor that so many blockbuster films try too hard—and often fail miserably—at. “Incredibles 2” delivers everything fans could want and more.
Overall, “Incredibles 2” is one of the best films of the whole year. It has enough heart, humor and heroes to make up for the 14 years of agony we spent waiting for it.
When the end credits started to roll, all I could say was… “That was totally wicked.”
Rating: 4.5/5 stars