The Incredibles 2

One of the greatest works of cinematic art of the early 21st century was The Incredibles. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but only slight. I never get round to ranking films but if I did it would be right up there in a top 5.

So, as with a lot of fans of that first film I guess, I went to see Incredibles 2 with some trepidation. It’s taken 14 years to make a sequel. Would it play it safe and essentially re-play the first film? Worst case scenario – would it ruin the perfection of that first movie with some crass plot and character development?

Well, all I can say is it is a worthy successor – and that’s a pretty big compliment.

We pick up where the first film left off. So our beloved family of Bob/Mr Incredible (Craig T Nelson), Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack is as was we left them. Supers are illegal. Helen is flattered by a smooth-talking mega-rich salesman and persuaded to get back into Super mode to fight bad guys. Bob becomes a stay-at-home dad doing the supposedly easy stuff of guiding Violet through teen-age heartbreak, teaching Dash maths and minding Jack-Jack. What could be simpler?

Save to say that things get complicated for both Bob and Helen. The plot rushes along satisfactorily. Frozone (Samuel L Jackson) is along to help and a bunch of creatively imagined new Supers also join the cast.

One of the funniest elements of The Incredibles was the Pixar short of Jack-Jack’s babysitter discovering to her horror something of the baby’s multiple powers – you know, the usual things babies do like laser beam eyes, ‘monsterisation’, immolation, disappearance to the 4th dimension – stuff like that.

Jack-Jack and his out of control powers take centre stage in The Incredibles 2. Two encounters had me laughing out loud – his battle with a racoon and his meeting with the wonderful scene-stealing designer and inventor Edna E Mode (voiced brilliantly by director Brad Bird) who reappears from the first film (if all too briefly). It’s worth reading the wikipedia article on Edna and the sheer creative genius behind her character.

Edna E Mode

The wit, imagination and heart of The Incredibles all continue into the sequel. The animation is bold and stylish, as is the retro 1960s modernist look. Under the surface, there are pokes at capitalism’s ‘more is better’, the superficiality of modern marketing, gender roles in marriage, teenage angst and the human struggle of good against evil / darkness against light.

But most of all it is just great fun.

And that’s a significant achievement.

2 thoughts on “The Incredibles 2

  1. Hi Patrick, glad to see you’re getting some good quality viewing in before term starts!

    I agree wholeheartedly, Incredibles 2 is a delight to see. My favourite laugh out loud moment is when Violet chokes on her water at the restaurant and the water comes streaming out of her nose, we’ve all been there!

    But, I have to mention the beautiful and moving short animation Bao which Pixar produced for the release of Incredibles 2. It is an emotional look at a family as they journey through the different stages of child development: from complete dependence and trust on the parents at infancy, to the quest for an autonomous life, followed by a realisation the family does not need to restrict your life, it can be a source of great blessing. It got me thinking about our walk with the Lord and how it must grieve him when we don’t place that trusting, dependent hand in His. How He waits patiently for us to come of our own will and take our place at His table and begin to discover the blessing of being included in His family.

    I’m so glad we arrived early and didn’t miss this wonderful short film!

    Linda (IBI)

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