After 14 years, the Parr superfamily finally returns to the big screen together with other beloved characters Edna Mode and Frozone. New heroes, new villains, new and old problems, but still the same badass and wonderfully delightful story we know. Warning: spoilers ahead.
The sequel picks up exactly where the first film left off. And while a time-jump could’ve been the direction it took to match the rather long time it took for Incredibles 2 to arrive in cinemas, doing so would’ve left so many unanswered questions and lengthy expositions the audience will have to catch up on. In the first film, the Parr family did manage to save the city from Syndrome, albeit illegally due to the Super Relocation Program—which was never lifted and was still an implementation in the sequel.
Spoiler alert, they never caught the Underminer. And the damage to the city both him and the Parr family caused from fighting each other resulted to the latter yet again being reprimanded by the government—forcing the supers into hiding, once again. Taking from the formula of the first film, another wealthy man tries to hire the Supers, but this time, its telecommunications tycoon Winston Deavor who aims to rebrand the superheroes for the latter to be legalized again—and he appoints Elastigirl as his main star. Initially reluctant about the sudden role reversals, Helen and Bob are left with no choice but to live out each other’s previous lives—Helen now saves the day, while Bob stays at home with the kids. From this dynamic, the couple was able to grow individually. This also delivers the message that while the movie picks up from 2004, the story is keeping up with the times where roles are no longer gendered and (pun intended) flexible.
Elastigirl’s action scenes were executed beautifully. And this is a testament of how the film’s director, Brad Bird truly knows the physicality of his characters and makes the best of it—regardless of their nature and/or built (there’s Ratatouille and The Iron Giant if you still need convincing). A prime example of this is the fight scene between Elastigirl and the “Screenslaver”. The flashing lights and intensity of the fight would make one forget that this is family movie to start with.
Not to be discounted as a mere animation film for kids, Incredibles 2 lives up to being “super” both in terms of its characters, and its status in pop culture.
For the villain, Incredibles 2 takes from its predecessor (and almost any other Pixar film for that matter) with the sudden betrayal plot twist—which was predictable and underwhelming. Even Edna Mode’s endearment for Jack Jack was more surprising. That being said, the supposed mystery of the villain’s identity does not really drive of the film. Bob’s character development to becoming the hands-on stay-at-home parent he initially didn’t want to be and Helen’s exponentially growing confidence and self-empowerment, not to mention Jack Jack’s amusing (and sometimes nerve wracking) use of his limitless powers, are the primary drivers of the film. Also worth mentioning are the heart-racing action scenes and effects, and the classic family story at its core.
Despite these, some beloved characters could have been afforded more proper screen time like Edna Mode, Frozone, and the newcomer, Voyd. Although, Brad Bird himself did confirm that the release dates of Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 were swapped, deducting him a year of production. This is possibly a reason why some aspects of the film felt rushed, which just simply leaves room for excitement for more to come. Hopefully next time, viewers won’t have to wait 14 long years again. But then again, it’ll probably be worth the wait like this one.