What am I talking about this time: Dinsey/Pixar’s Incredibles 2
Writer & Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson
Overall Review: 4.5 out of 5 Baby Laser Eyes
Is it worth $8.84? (Av. Ticket price for 2018): Yes. Yes, it is.
Spoiler Free Review:
After 14 years, someone finally found the remote and hit the pause button again so we could return to the world of Metroville. The movie picks up right where we left our beloved Superhero family, ready to take on the criminal underground, literally, as they go after the Underminer. Just like the previous installment, we get a good mix of family-life drama, crime-fighting action sequences, and brilliant comedy bits. Intercut these and you have a fun, fast-paced ride everyone in the family can enjoy.
I unabashedly love the first movie, The Incredibles. It was brilliant. Not just “brilliant for an animated movie” kind of brilliant, but really and truly, brilliant. It stands the test of time and repeated showings, like when you have to watch it non-stop on repeat for three months straight because your 4 year old just discovered it and won’t stop whining until you hit play over and over again and again and again.
So when the second installment came out, you bet your buttery popcorn fingers I was going to embrace it as an alternative to re-watching the first. I was dually excited and apprehensive. I hoped it would be good, no, that’s underselling it, I needed it to be good. Please, please, please, be good.
It is good. Better than good, it’s fun, and funny and I owe Brad Bird a beer, the good kind.
After taking on the Underminer, our Incredibles family is taken in by the police. After all, superhero-ing is still illegal. But, wait, what’s that…a savior in the form of a rich white man? Winston and his sister Evelyn (also white) concoct an overly complicated plan to bring forth a new Age of Superheroes. In essence, they act as PR managers focused on rebranding Supers on a global scale in order to allow them to come out of hiding. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it works.
Elastigirl is chosen to be the ambassador to set the plan in motion. And she killllllls it. I mean, let’s be honest, you knew she would, she has always been the better, smarter superhero in the family. The sequence with the motorcycle is, hands down, one of the most fun and innovative chase scenes I’ve seen. Yes, it’s animated, but still, it’s action-packed and tense. Back at home, Mr. Incredible does his fish-out-water father routine, flubs his first few attempts, and then steps up his parenting game. He’s pulling it off. Well, he is mostly pulling it off. He’s got a handle on everything but the “dad of a teenage girl” part, nobody can master that bit. Nobody. Animated or not.
The family bits are my favorite, which is not to say I don’t enjoy the superhero sequences, but really, just watch Jack Jack discovering his superpowers. As with any baby, there’s a huge mess, a raccoon fight (what, this didn’t happen to your baby?), and utter loss of control. I imagine Bird must’ve been recalling toddler toilet training moments while writing this scene. As with the first franchise you find yourself rooting for more Edna, and her new sidekick, Jack Jack. Just enjoy, it’s a scene I wish were longer, but I get we have to catch some baddies at some point. On with the show.
We go back and forth between the superhero PR stunts, the superdad duties, finding the villainous mastermind–Screenslaver, fixing the family, mind control, it all works. Without the intercut scenes between superhero life and family, the movie would be lackluster and just like any other superhero franchise movie. Action sequence, funny line, set-up sequence, more action and one-liners, catch the baddy, lose the baddy, catch the baddy for real this time. Done.
Eventually, we stop all the jumping around and focus down as everyone arrives on Winston’s Yacht, the final set-piece for the movie. Side note: the famous A113 shows up on the side of the Yacht on the toy, but I didn’t notice if it was also in the movie. All the superheroes they’ve been gathering throughout the movie are present, along with all the government types Elastigirl saved along the way. Suddenly, Screenslaver hypnotizes everyone. Mr. Incredible dashes off to save the day, the kids dash off to save Mr. Incredible, throw in some Uncle Frozone, and the Incredimobile and eventually you get to the non-stop action sequence that takes us through to the end of the movie. The villainy twist isn’t a surprise, at all, but that’s fine, you don’t always need a “he was dead the whole time” moment. It was the sister the whole time. The superheroes save the world scene. Ta-da. The final battle between Evelyn (aka Screenslaver) and Elastigirl on a rising and falling plane is ridiculously fun, and the family work as a team (sorta) to save the boat from destroying the city. They win. The day is saved, heroes are welcomed back to society (I think), and most importantly, Violet’s relationship with the boy is saved, to the disdain of every father, ever. Now, about the Underminer…where did he end up? I3?
Oh yeah, one last thing, the short at the beginning, Bao, is a little twisted and a lot amazing.
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