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Movie Review – Incredibles 2

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An Incredible sequel - fourteen years in the making.

9
Family-fantastic
  • Story 85%
  • Actors Performance 100%
  • Cinematography 100%
  • Sound Track 75%

After fourteen years, Pixar’s Incredible superfamily slams back into action, with timeless themes and grown-up appeal. This time, they must battle to restore the public’s faith in superheroes against a formidable tech-fueled foe with a deadly vendetta. Out of hiding and back in their super skins, Elastagirl (Holly Hunter) takes the media spotlight, while back home, patriarch Bob (Craig T Nelson) learns how to be a super dad. A worthy sequel, Incredibles 2 is packed with action, laughs and even some life-lessons, perfect for the whole family.

Incredibles 2 (2018) Released June 5, 2018 (US) –

Directed by: Brad Bird

Written by: Brad Bird

Actors: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson, Katherine Keener

Year: 2018

MPAA Rating: PG

 

Review by Jade Snyder

No talking cars or fish, certainly no damsels in distress needing rescue (unless you count a dowdy ambassador falling out of a helicopter as distressed damsel material). Incredibles 2 instead makes room for complex adult messages while also packing in lots of comedy and attention-getting action for children.

Though it’s been fourteen fan years, we find the incredible Parr family in precisely the same predicament when we last saw them; a clever way to simultaneously continue the story while thrusting newcomers right into the plot without belaboring it. The botched super mission made a mess of downtown, the bad guy got away with the loot, and the Parrs are on the brink of homelessness. Supers everywhere are getting in big trouble for their superhero stuff. And when practicing superpowers is outlawed, it essentially obliterates their (albeit secret) identities. We can’t help but feel the comical parallels to our own lives as these extraordinary people must succumb to mundane life in the mainstream—marginalized, yet still trying to save the day, one insurance claim at a time. Suppressing one’s individual gifts is the first of many cautionary messages touched on in the film.

Things seem bleak for the Parrs until, just in time, a wealthy media tycoon and his sister launch a campaign leveraging Elastigirl (Hunter) to reverse the law that forces supers to hide their powers. This time, Bob lands a supporting role as Mr.(Super)Mom, where he battles ‘new’ math, boy troubles and bedtime routines. As Edna Mode explains to Bob, “Done properly, parenting is a heroic act. Done properly.” And while the audience of kids may chuckle when bouncy little Jack-Jack bests his father with his incendiary new superpowers, parents everywhere no doubt appreciate the obvious metaphor of the pink demon that emerges when he doesn’t get a cookie. Bird’s finesse in the genre is revealed through the film’s many moments that work flawlessly on both levels.

Meanwhile, Elastagirl’s career is positively peaking. Bob watches exhaustedly from the couch as wifey turns the tide for supers in her own affable style. The media campaign, it seems, is a success. But the whole family soon gets their chance to flex their powers when the new villain begins undermining everything. Along with Frozone (Jackson) and scores of entertaining new supers, they must work together to save the world’s diplomats and restore the public’s faith in Superheroes everywhere.

The film’s meta-narratives aren’t exactly subtle: hiding one’s true self to maintain status quo; the roles of men and women in the home; and the perennial challenges of parenting. These are the backbone of the franchise. But the new supervillain adds a decidedly postmodern and heavy-handed twist. It’s not just about bank heisting bad guys anymore. This time, the mind-controlling Screenslaver levels harsh judgement on a society that has become complacent, even complicit, in our own demise. We’ve traded quality for ease, becoming sheltered and passive consumers. Superheroes keep us weak because we’ve forgotten how to save ourselves. And, while such a message strongly resonates with an audience that likely already feels sheepish about our obsessive screen use, it also causes an anachronistic disconnect that had me scratching my head to place the movie in its otherwise midcentury setting. Timing aside, all this begs some inquiry of who the real villains are according to Brad Bird. But the non-stop action, laughs and Jack-Jack’s laser eyes were the perfect shiny objects to distract my thinking brain, keeping me thoroughly entertained and glued to the screen until the closing credits. Touché, Screenslaver.

 

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