Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Incredibles 2

Look on almost any list of the best super-hero movies and you are more likely than not to find Pixar's 2004 film The Incredibles. Taking the basic structure of hero family first introduced in The Fantastic Four and updating it with a variety of smart characters and great visuals, the film remains the only good Fantastic Four film we've seen to date. Despite other Pixar franchises like Cars and Toy Story earning multiple sequels, in the middle of the super-hero movie boom The Incredibles has remained dormant. That is, until now.

Picking up immeadiately following the events of the first film, The Incredibles 2 opens with the family fighting off the Underminer (John Ratzenberger) and dealing with the fallout from their illegal actions to save the day. It seems that the world still isn't ready for super-heroes to return, but an eccentric billionaire (Bob Odenkirk) and his tech-savvy sister (Catherine Keener) have a plan.

The Incredibles 2 is great fun. However, if the movie has a weakness its how much of a retread it is of the original as we get most of the movie focused on a single member of the family's heroics and wait until the end before bringing the entire Parr family together in costume.

This time around it's Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) who takes center stage. Believing that her less reckless form of crime-fighting is the best option to rehabilitate heroes and their image, the billionaire brother and sister put their money into focusing on Elastigirl's heroics and playing off her celebrity to win public support back to the supers' side. The result is some great action featuring the matriarch of the Parr family. There's a moment in the film when Elastigirl goes on the hunt for the villainous Screenslaver (Bill Wise) through the shadowy streets of the city that features some of the best visuals we've seen in any Pixar movie to date.

That of course leaves Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) home with the kids. This provides its own entertainment as Bob struggles to help Dash (Huck Milner) with his schoolwork, help Violet (Sarah Vowell) with boy trouble, and deal with all of Jack-Jack's powers, all while wishing he was the one out fighting crime instead of his wife. The last also provides for the return of Edna Mode (voiced by writer/director Brad Bird). While I wouldn't necessarily trade these sequences for more action, in the end I would have preferred to see the entire family together for more of the film the second time around. It may not quite measure up to the original, but there's still plenty of fun to be had with a sequel that was worth the wait.

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