Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
Director: Brad Bird
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2”–but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again–which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.
If you thought the build up in anticipation for Avengers: Infinity War was intense, imagine waiting 14 years with no movies in between. The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar movie that does not have the word Toy Story in the title, so needless to say I have been very excited for the day that Incredibles 2 would finally grace our screens. So, was the wait worth it? Did it live up to the mountain of hype behind it? While sequels are rarely better than the original, Incredibles 2 stands alone as one of the best Pixar films of all time through its fantastic chemistry and enjoyable story.
The film picks up right where the last one ended, focusing on the Parr family, Bob (voiced by Nelson), Helen (voiced by Hunter), and their children Violet (voiced by Vowell), Dash (voiced by Milner), and Jack-Jack (voiced by Eli Fucile) as they try to navigate the normal world while being gifted with superpowers that they have to hide. After Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk), a billionaire who loves superheroes, proposes a way to get superheroes legalized again, Helen must leave her family to work with Winston and leave Bob to handle the responsibilities of being a stay-at-home father. One of the things I was concerned about when the premise of this film was announced was that it was going to be mostly the same story as the original just with a gender-swapped role reversal. I should have never have doubted Pixar, as they always know what they are doing and how to shift the story away from Bob and Helen and allow it to focus more on the family this time around. Each of the family members heavily contributes to the plot and the inclusion of Jack-Jack as more of a supporting role this time around creates an amazing dynamic that carries this film for the full 118 minutes. Regarding the visuals, I know there has been a 14 year gap between movies, but the upgrade in the graphics is unreal. Every scene is clean and precise with detail, going as far as moving individual hairs on people’s bodies. This is most notable on a new superhero named Voyd (voiced by Sophia Bush) who uses voids to transport people and things from one place to another like the Portal video game series, and I do not believe she would have been successfully animated in the original movie. Needless to say Pixar continues to surpass their own expectations and I cannot wait to see what their next project looks like. One of the areas where the film disappointed however was that the villain was incredibly lackluster. The first film gave us Syndrome, one of the most complex and relatable villains from a Pixar film, and in this film we get the Screenslaver, who honestly is a very run-of-the-mill villain. Their identity is supposed to be a big mystery, but as soon as we are introduced to the character, you know immediately that they are the villain. This is a shame, because outside of that, the other story elements were complex, interesting and well thought out.
Overall, Incredibles 2 has been more than what I have been waiting all this time for. With Pixar’s obsession with the Cars franchise, I was worried we would never see Incredibles 2 hit our screens, yet here we are finally seeing what we all deserve to see. If Pixar makes another one on top of this movie, I will absolutely be there on opening night, but if this is the last time we see the Parr family on the big screen, then this was the proper way to send them off.
Overall Score: 8.5/10