“Incredibles 2”: Hilarious and Relatable, “Doesn’t Disappoint in the Slightest”

Andrew Mello, Contributing Writer

Falcon Rating: 3.5/4

In 2004, the original Incredibles came out, a movie about a family of superpowered people initially trying to hide their abilities but then growing closer as a family because of them. Needless to say, the movie was a huge hit, and was instantly cemented into the pop culture scene of millennials. Now, fourteen years later, the sequel is finally here, and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Everything (and everyone) that made the first movie so special is back, and it’s all come together to make a movie a decade coming, but not at all late.

Following the retired superhero family, the Parrs, Incredibles 2 picks up right where its prequel left off—with the city being invaded by a mole-like supervillain, the Underminer. The Parr family is there, just as they were in the first movie, to stop him. During the fight, a massive amount of damage is done to the city of Metroville, and when the dust settles, the Parrs are blamed for everything. This is when billionaire Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) step in to help by using their media conglomerate to focus the cameras on how “supers”—or superheroes—help the city. For this undertaking, the Deavors decide that Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) would be a better fit for the new face of supers. As Mr. Incredible had just lost his job, the money offered to her for the work is too good to pass up.

The reason why the Incredibles movies are so great is because the series doesn’t focus on the superhero angle as much as they focus on the family aspect, a more relatable subject for the audience.

With the family matriarch off at her work, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is given the duty of becoming a stay-at-home dad, guiding his three children through whatever life throws at them. This is the heart of the movie; the family dynamic shines as the real emotional core of the whole movie, and the fistfights aren’t comparable to the intimate moments from parent to child. Watching Bob stay up all night learning his son’s math concepts so he can tutor and help him succeed is one of the most poignant moments in the whole runtime. The reason why the Incredibles movies are so great is because the series doesn’t focus on the superhero angle as much as they focus on the family aspect, a more relatable subject for the audience. If all the superhero aspects were taken out of Incredibles 2, there would still be a strong story about how change affects a family and the sacrifices of parenthood.

Despite all that’s done well here, the most action-prone character, Elastigirl, is upsettingly given the worst scenes in the movie. She receives countless opportunities for the best actions scenes with very creative uses of her powers, but compared to the family fights going on at home they were just not as compelling. Angry outbursts from Violet (Sarah Vowell) have more impact than any runaway trains. The problem of these action scenes stems from the villain: the Screenslaver. Syndrome, the antagonist from the first film was funny and interesting, with a unique look, and most importantly, a reasonable motivation for evil. Here, the villain doesn’t do much but move the plot along from behind the scenes. The ‘twist’ ending at the end of the movie is so forcefully set up that it somewhat sullied the final act.

Despite the weak villain, my attention was still glued to the screen by the amazing 3D animation & world design. The 1950s sci-fi world we see blends exceptionally with the animation style and gives off such a visual personality. In addition to having excellent design, the use of contrasting lighting, color, and focusing techniques all maintain the illusion that these animated people might as well be real. This is helped by what might be the best animation in my recent memory, not just technically but also because of Brad Bird’s direction. However I’d say the most surprising addition to the roster here is the wonderful conducting job by Michael Giacchino, with a jazz-heavy score throughout, which punctuated many punches or escalations with a trumpet wail or saxophone flourish.

If you liked the original, you’ll love this movie. If you have eyes or a sense of fun, you’ll also enjoy it. It’s the same fun adventure that every kid remembers ten years ago. Incredibles 2 works perfectly because it didn’t bother to grow up.