Review of 'Incredibles 2'

incredibles2.jpg Following on from the events of the first film, “Incredibles 2” sees the destruction to the city from the superhero Parr family battle with “The Underminer” leading to their arrest and a ban on all superheros. Now in hiding they are approached by business tycoon Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk), a huge fan, who offers to use his wealth and influence to change public opinions to superheros by having Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter; alter-ego of Helen, the mother) wear a camera so the public can see first hand them saving people. This leaves Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson; the father) at their amazing new home provided by Winston to take care of the children including the baby Jack-Jack as he begins showing his amazing assortment of super powers. The other children are having problems of their own with Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) having exposed her secret identity to an attractive boy at school. It soon becomes clear there is a bad guy at large with the ability to control minds…including those of other superheroes!

A somewhat lack-lustre sequel to the original “Incredibles” film here the humour is quite thin on the ground though the characters are still as lovable as ever. A symptom of part of what is wrong with this film is a the old and rather tired cliché of the fish out of water husband forced to take the role previously occupied by the mother with Bob struggling to take care of the children he seems to only barely know while the mother is uncomfortable being the focus of media attention and being forced into the role of “bread winner”. This all seems a rather old-fashioned take on the family though perhaps the nuclear family is also passé in modern society. Though I am willing to admit that I might be expecting too much in what is a generally light and entertaining film the general tone of the film is surprisingly serious with infrequent bouts of humour to break the tension. It has to be said that the welcome return of the quirky costume designer Edna Mode (voiced by Brad Bird) who Bob calls on to do a bit of baby-sitting does offer a bit of fresh air. Of all the characters, the scene-stealer here is Jack-Jack particularly in the hilarious encounter he has with a raccoon in their backyard. Otherwise, Violet and Dash (voiced by Huck Milner) have changed very little since we last some them so there is nothing new here.

As may be expected, the action is very well done and frenetic which somewhat makes up for the otherwise uninspiring characterisation and lack of a general sense of humour. I expected more so was quite disappointed not to see it here. I only wish the entire film was like the excellent excerpts we saw in the trailer…but, it was not. The story and characters are still enjoyable but they are both sadly let down by the script that seems to have lost some of the heart of the original Incredibles.

The film screening was preceded by the short film “Bao” telling a charming story of a Chinese wife making buns for her husband experiencing a miracle when one of them comes to life that she then raises as her own child. There is a particularly poignant ending to this charming and simple looking short. Very enjoyable.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2018-07-16

Directed by: Brad Bird

Studio: Pixar Animation Studios

Year: 2018

Length: 118 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Brad Bird: