In a lot of cases, a 14-year gap between sequels would be deemed too long a wait. For Incredibles 2, it’s almost seemingly too perfect that because of its extended break it’s wound up feeling more relevant than ever with the superhero genre booming in its current state. Writer/director Brad Bird clearly has something to say about the genre, and with all the chatter surrounding diversity and equality it’s well-timed on Bird’s part that he offers up a role reversal of sorts with the hulking leader taking a backseat to his female counterpart, resulting in a film that’s neatly sly without feeling like it’s pushing an agenda.
Despite there being the aforementioned 14 years since The Incredibles, this zippy sequel picks up right where it left off, with the titular family arrested and subsequently barred from performing any future heroic acts under a new law that bans the actions of superheroes. Unable to entirely function as non-hero entities, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and his wife, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), so named due to her stretching abilities, contemplate an all-too-perfect job opportunity that comes their way courtesy of a savvy CEO (Bob Odenkirk) who proposes a plan to lift the ban on all superheroes.
Knowing Mr. Incredible’s brawn is only likely to cause more damage, our red herring CEO chooses Elastigirl to be the face of his saviour campaign, and her ultimate mission is to take down a new villainous threat, dubbed Screenslaver, who has a plan to hijack certain forms of technology in their bid to wipe out sidelined superheroes. Elastigirl’s new responsibilities leave Mr. Incredible to fend for himself domestically, resulting in a Mr. Mum-type scenario where he has to deal with such problems as his daughter’s potential love life and his youngest, baby Jack Jack, developing powerful abilities beyond expectation; a sequence involving Jack Jack’s tussle with a racoon ranks as one of film’s funniest as it showcases just some of his powers.
Impressively, the two plot points are treated with equal importance, and their ultimate meshing in the suitably spectacular finale feels supremely organic. The action sequences themselves may not appear entirely original due to there being so many carnage-filled scenarios across the superhero genre board, but Bird distinguishes the familiar with a wonderful brush of retro-inspired imagery, as well as a jazz-influenced musical score that feels like a natural cousin to the classic James Bond scores of the 60’s.
Worth the wait in nearly every manner, Incredibles 2 is arguably the strongest sequel from the Pixar crew outside of the Toy Story series. Showcasing a sense of humour and grandeur that proves relevant to both children and adults, this second go-around with the appropriately-titled incredible family is colourful, topical, and a cinematic rarity where every member of the family will find enjoyment in some aspect from what’s transpiring on screen.
About Incredibles 2
In “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
Incredibles 2 is in cinemas now from 14th June 2018.