Despite apathy toward what some see as a deluge of superhero films coming out of Hollywood, most eyes couldn’t help but notice the posters and trailers for the long-awaited sequel to writer/director Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”: “The Incredibles 2.”
The first Incredibles movie has been a hallmark of American childhood since its release in 2004. Because of its success, expectations for Bird’s next addition to “The Incredibles” saga were very high. With our fond memories on the line, we piled into theaters to see just where on earth Pixar could take our favorite superhero family.
Audiences all over the world let out a sigh of relief and quickly exhaled those sighs of relief as they were presented with a touching, and often exhilarating, animated ride that ensured them that “The Incredibles 2” was worth the 14-year wait.
“The Incredibles 2” picks up right where the first film left off and explores the questions left hanging around the Incredible family, the attitude of society toward superheroes like themselves and the more fundamental question of what heroism consists of.
“The Incredibles 2” is a feat of animation that combines the invigorating world of superheroes and villains with the relatable daily trials of family life. Mrs. Incredible, voiced by Holly Hunter, is approached by a wealthy man who sympathizes with former superheroes. When he asks her to be the front of a campaign aimed at helping heroes gain a more positive public image, she must stop being a full time mom and rediscover what it means for her to be a hero; in turn, her husband, Mr. Incredible, voiced by Craig Nelson, must stop being a hero and rediscover what it means to be a dad to his three children.
Utilizing a creative narrative that forces the character primarily cast as “the hero” to be the head of the household and vice-versa, “The Incredibles 2” addresses the true meaning of heroism through a comparison between the efforts of a struggling, overtired and confused dad with a more typical form of heroism portrayed in Mrs. Incredible’s role.
In Bird’s story, heroism is dedication and the willingness to put others before oneself. Therefore, loving and caring for one’s family is just as heroic as saving a train full of people from certain catastrophe.
The villain known as The Screenslaver, voiced by Katherine Keener, is certainly a weak part of the film. She lacks compelling motivation and acts in a predictable manner.
Despite some weak moments in the film’s pacing when some rather nonessential characters are introduced in the middle of the second act, “The Incredibles 2” manages to develop its heroes and display enthralling action so skillfully that the story remains entertaining and interesting throughout the runtime of the film.
Needless to say, Pixar’s animation on display is nothing short of visual perfection. With improved elements of lighting, depth and detail surpassing the previous installment due to technological advancements, Bird is allowed to helm action sequences that better explore the abilities of our heroes as well as leave the audience in a state of temporary awe.
Even with its few notable flaws, “The Incredibles 2” is one of the rare sequels that is clearly made with dedication to developing and exploring the depth of the ideas and characters beloved by so many from the first film.
In the end, there is no better way to describe “The Incredibles 2” than to state simply that Pixar has done it again.