Incredibles 2

Animation Review

Fourteen years ago, Pixar came out with the superhero “The Incredibles,” an animated film about a family that has superpowers when the government forbids them for being different, hides in a suburban environment. The movie won an Oscar, which means the long-awaited most-wanted sequel, released in theaters ten days ago, had a lot to live up to. Even though the trailer looked to irritatingly accept the fact of commercialized feminism (and the strange case of stay-at-home dads), “Incredibles 2” is as fun and colorful as the first.

Showing Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) as a dad who’s playing Mr. Mom while Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) gets asked to do a superhero case, is the kind of permission theme that could easily be overdone. Maria Sherman said in her review, “But fortunately, this familiar work-home role reversal adds to the narrative instead of overwhelming it, while illustrating that being an attentive parent is just as hard, if not more challenging, than saving the city you call home.”

It’s 2018 and superheroes are illegal, but that doesn’t stop Bob and Helen Parr and their lifelong friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) from being selfless heroes who try to stop the Underminer (John Ratzenberger) from robbing the bank and trashing their town. They are successful, everyone is safe, but the police harp on how much demolition was made, so the government shows no hope for vetoing the Superhero Relocation program. Meanwhile, the news shows our superheroes as criminal, destructive bad people, so they feel like one parent should go get a job to earn money. Mr. Incredible says he’ll do that because (obviously) he’s scared to stay at home with his children.

A billionaire brother-sister duo, Winston and Evelyn (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener), then give the notion to solve the Superhero Relocation program because, according to their research, Helen is not as destructive as Bob. Obviously, she ends up fighting crime while performing a few of her motherly duties at the same time.

If Elastigirl wasn’t a successful Super and super mom, nothing would be successful. Sherman noted, “But the “doing it all” aspect of her newfound work life isn’t shoved into the face of viewers; the movie rather successfully avoids superficial “yay women!” cheerleading.” Instead, “Incredibles 2” is surprisingly delicate in its delivery. Elastigirl is allowed to complete her duties she’s assigned, and it doesn’t matter so much if she can have everything. I agree with Sherman when she says, “But for all the jokes about Mr. Incredible’s inability to conquer domesticity—and secondary characters in the movie whose insistence that “it’s a man’s world” borders on obnoxious—Elastigirl’s double-duty role isn’t the conflict here.” When she’s given center-stage and things go bad, she gets things done without expecting a huge crowd. (In fact, she once mistakes a group of her supporters for a protest.)

Any victory is combined through family love, which is the true source of the movie. The children, Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Huck Milner), who’ve been taught the skill to fight for what’s right and defend the family/city/non-superheroes in every way, fight evil through the life lessons Helen has taught them. Even baby Jack Jack (Eli Fucile), who has so many insane powers that we all know about but most of the characters in the film do not, is part of the action.

Sherman noted, “Just like there’s a superhero role reversal, there’s a noteworthy script-flipping for the villain, too.” The already mentioned evil sister Evelyn not only plays a more evil role than expected, but also causes more of the chaos by manipulating the everyday technology where everyone is defenseless. (Sherman said, “For the viewer, this is particularly frightening—Incredibles 2 doesn’t seem too far removed from our current Cambridge Analytica reality.”)

Because the trouble Mr. Incredible makes is so nicely tied to tech, it may be Pixar trying to further another empowerment message – that with a woman succeeding (despite the evil of her actions) as a result of her STEM knowledge. Sherman ended her review by saying, “The movie doesn’t force the role-reversal point, nor does it treat it as bewildering, although the creators will likely enjoy the benefit of viewers applauding them for writing powerful (animated) women.”

My brother and I saw this movie this morning and we both absolutely loved it. It’s probably just as good as the first one, but I believe my brother said the first one is better. If anyone else thinks that, that’s understandable. However, after a long wait for this sequel that everyone was demanding, I think it was a job well done. Definitely go to the theaters to see this, you will love it, I promise you. For a sequel that everyone was demanding for and it took them 14 years to make, we can now all be happy. This is another one of my favorite Pixar movies. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out with a third movie, seeing how well this had done at the box office and with critics.

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