Review: Incredibles 2

Fourteen years after directing The Incredibles – arguably one of the best superhero movies of all time – Brad Bird is back with Incredibles 2. Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and the rest of the Parr family return to fight crime in a world that forced supers to live underground.

Incredibles 2 picks up right where we last saw the Parr family. After the Super Relocation program is shutdown, the Frozone (voiced by Samuel L Jackson), Mr. Incredible (voice by Craig T Nelson), and Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) are approached by Winston (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (voiced by Catherine Keener). Winston’s idea is to re-brand superheroes and allow the public to see all the good they do, not just the destruction they cause. The plan is to start this new program with Elastigirl since she causes the most damage.

Meanwhile, they’re facing a new threat known as Screenslaver – a villain that uses hypnotic images on screens to get civilians to commit heinous crimes.

The Incredibles was groundbreaking when it debuted in 2004. The film planted its superhero roots before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created and a year before Nolan’s Batman Begins opened in theaters. Fourteen years later, Brad Bird  and his team haven’t missed a beat. Not only is it still a fun superhero movie, this story feels more topical than the first one.

Mr. Incredible’s fight isn’t with Screenslaver or some other comical villain; it’s a struggle with his idea of masculinity. As Elasitgirl goes on secret missions to fight crime(and gets praise for it), he’s the homemaker responsible for taking care of Jack-Jack (voiced by Ell Fucile), helping Dash (Huck Milner) with his homework, and dealing with all of Violet’s ( voiced by Sarah Vowell) teenage angst. Mr. Incredible has to learn to be strong and help his family in a way he’s not use to. As progressive as our country can be, gender swapping who the “provider” is can taboo to some.

The Incredibles continues to be one of the best superhero movies. Even as an animated film, the family dynamic and creative use of powers are a blueprint for how live action superhero teams should work (looking at you X-Men movies). They brilliantly use animation to create action set pieces that are imaginative in ways other movies can’t be. They even found more innovative ways for Frozone to use his powers.

Much like the previous film, it’s an action packed superhero movie that’s as family friendly as superhero movies can get. There’s action, comedy and cartoonish villains – everything fan’s would want from an Incredibles sequel.

The most original use of powers is Voyd (voiced by Sophia Bush). She uses a series of portals to move things and people around. to her advantage Her powers are reminiscent of Blink in Days of Future Past but much more creative.

Every member of the family has a fun moment, including the new supers that are introduces. The best use of powers comes courtesy of Jack-Jack’s run-in with a raccoon. That sequences captures the humor and creativity that makes these movies such a delight.

Sequels are tough but Incredibles 2 is a terrific follow up to the original. Director Brad Bird continues to be one of the best visionary working today. This sequel is just as clever, humorous, and action packed as the first film. I can’t wait to see the Parr’s suit up again.

Grade: A