If there’s one sequel audiences have been clamoring for years, it’s one for 2004’s The Incredibles. Regarded as one of Pixar’s best films, it was met with high praise for its animation, story, and cast of memorable superheroes; it also happened to come out before the current, golden age of film superheroes. Fast forward 14 years (and the release of a behemoth of superhero movies) and the Incredibles are back in action. With a wait this long and anticipation growing with every passing year, the expectations for director Brad Bird and company to deliver another memorable animated film about everyone’s favorite superhero family were astronomically high. Thankfully however, Incredibles 2 meets expectations and is almost on par with its predecessor, becoming one of the best sequels, both animated and superhero, to come out in recent memory.
Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet — taking care of the problems of his three children.
Beginning right where The Incredibles left off, Incredibles 2 follows the Incredibles family dealing with everyday family issues and a world still not accepting of superheroes. Things change when an individual named Winston Deaver (voiced by Bob Odenkirk), owner of a telecommunications company and fan of superheroes, recruits Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) to create a PR campaign to help bring superheroes back into the light. With Elastigirl back in action, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) is left to watch the family, where juggling three superpowered kids becomes a never-ending chore.
If there’s one inconsistency with Pixar, it’s how some of their sequels/continuations feel more like cash-grabs than stories worth revisiting. However, director Brad Bird returns to familiar ground with the Incredibles family and builds on them and the world they inhabit and breathes in little by little, as the potential for this series expands with timeless results and smart storytelling. The plot and thematics of Incredibles 2 are a continuation of The Incredibles, which works perfectly fine, as opposed to being another bigger action superhero sequel most of these types of sequels succumb to, since this is a family movie. Bigger doesn’t always mean better as long as the story, humor, and animation (in this case) are all on point, which is exactly what Incredibles 2 brings to the table, which helps make it one of Pixar’s stronger movies in recent years. While The Incredibles focused mostly on Mr. Incredible, Incredibles 2 focuses mainly on Elastigirl and baby Jack-Jack discovering his powers, making both the highlights of the movie.
Thanks to a smart script, Incredibles 2’s humor is as consistent as it was the first go-around. The movie’s funniest moments involve Mr. Incredible helping his kids with their daily tasks, watching baby Jack-Jack wander off by himself and use his powers that result in gut-punching laughs, or the brief encounters with the scene-stealing fashion designer Edna Mode (voiced by Brad Bird). The animation and art direction is as good as ever in Incredibles 2, where the attention to detail in the retro-yet-modern world of Incredibles is impeccable. Composer Michael Giacchino returns to score the movie and helps add on to the movie’s unforgettable theme music (a highlight in The Incredibles). If there is anything negative to say about Incredibles 2, it’s that the movie’s villain, Screenslaver, is not as memorable as Syndrome from The Incredibles. While Screenslaver is fitting for the movie’s plot, the villain just doesn’t reach the bar set so high by Syndrome.
After years of anticipation, Incredibles 2 was certainly worth the wait. Almost every bit as good and entertaining as The Incredibles, Incredibles 2 is a great, satisfying companion piece to the original. If you’re looking for a superlative summer offering at the cinema, you won’t find many things as super as Incredibles 2.