A Heroic Return - The Incredibles 2 (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Fourteen years... do you know what we've had in the last fourteen years? Three US Presidents, an entire video game console generation come and go, the iPhone... and now we can say we finally got to see The Incredibles 2. A sequel almost a decade and a half in the making, 2004's The Incredibles told the story of a family of superheroes navigating the trappings of growing up, raising kids, mortgages... and of course existing in a world where superpowers were illegal. The Incredibles ended on a cliffhanger, a cliffhanger that took fourteen years to get back to.
The Incredibles 2 picks up right where The Incredibles left off, a new villain threatens the city with the Parr family suited up to kick some bad guy booty. But with the laws still in place prohibiting super powered heroics, the Parr family pays the price when the city holds them responsible for all the damages caused by their heroics. This whole point is where the main plot of the story comes into play; a pair of wealthy siblings, Winston (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn (Catherine Keener) Deavor hatch a plan to improve the reputation of heroes to force policy change. Initially meeting with both Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) with Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), the Deavors decide to start with Elastigirl.
This shift takes Elastigirl and places her front and center as the hero with Mr. Incredible taking over domestic duties. The Deavors crunched the numbers and between the three heroes, Elastigirl was the least likely to cause costly collateral damage. While initially salty about the Deavor's decision, Mr. Incredible jumps head first into being a stay at home dad while Elastigirl “brings home the bacon” as they say. All this feels like it's going well until a new supervillain, the Screenslaver, appears to challenge Elastigirl in her quest for redeeming heroes.
There's a lot to love here whether you're 5, 15, or 45. The comedy felt balanced, from Jack-Jack trying to beat up a raccoon with his newly discovered powers or Mr. Incredible being not-so-incredible with this “new” math they have his son Dash (Huckleberry Milner) learning. All the while that Elastigirl is doling out a healthy dose of justice, Mr. Incredible deals with trying to get the baby to go to sleep and navigating Violet's (Sarah Vowell) love life.
Scenes involving high octane action sequences were hard hitting and at times didn't feel like a kids movie, seeming almost at home with Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being super, the characters and their day-to-day lives unfolded organically and (aside from laser eyes) felt very real.
Much like the first movie, family plays a major part, culminating in a climax that involves not just the Parr family matriarch, but everyone down to Jack-Jack. The film's villain was incredibly relatable, with Screenslaver's opposition to heroes being rooted in a very real tragedy. Sometimes the best villains aren't the ones who are irredeemable, but rather the ones who see 'tails' when the whole world calls 'heads'.
Full of comedy and doesn't shy away from the action, The Incredibles 2 was well worth the fourteen years it took to get to. Here's hoping that if they do an Incredibles 3 I won't have to wait another fourteen years... by then I'm going to be... old...
Aw man, I just made myself sad.
Please don't make me wait 14 years AGAIN!