Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 review by Guy S. Malone, Researcher

First, we have to mention the Pixar short, Bao, that preceded Incredibles 2.  It's the story of a Chinese mother coping with becoming an empty nester.  A tearjerker for parents and a giggler for kids; we are convinced it's going to win awards.  Everyone in the theater loved it, except Guy S. Malone, Researcher.  Needless to say, we think GSM,R needs to get out of the dungeon more, or stay in it more, we're not sure which.

The original Incredibles was released in 2004 to critical acclaim, huge box office, and awards recognition--it was nominated for four Oscars and won two, including "Best Animated Feature Film."  In other words, it produced the kind of results that would normally have inspired Hollywood to drop a dozen sequels, prequels, and spinoffs by now.  But here we are, a decade-and-a-half later, finally getting Incredibles 2.  It's a mystery of the faith.  Fortunately for us, the sequel is nearly as good as the first, and though the plot may lack originality, it more than makes up for that in striking at the heart of the zeitgeist.

Fourteen years later, and superheroes are still illegal, but writer-director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, Ratatouille) is about to change that, thanks to his imagination, a terrific cast of voice actors, some, erm, incredible, eye-popping animation, and a very cool jazz soundtrack.  He has brought back the Parr family: Bob "Mr. Incredible" (voiced by Craig. T. Nelson), Helen "Elastigirl" (Holly Hunter), and their kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huckleberry Milner), and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), and, yes, the Parrs' best friend, Lucius "Frozone" Best (Samuel L. Jackson).  Incredibles favorite Edna Mode (Brad Bird himself) returns, but her part is disappointingly small.

The reason our superheroes are not allowed to use their powers is, a la The Avengers, their crime-busting tends to wreak a lot of collateral damage on the town.  As they eke out a living in a seedy motor court, their ennui is broken when the Deavor siblings Winston (Bob Odenkirk), salesman extraordinaire, and Evelyn (Catherine Keener), tech whiz, approach them with a proposition.  Great admirers of the Incredibles, the Deavors want to give them the opportunity to redeem themselves and all superheroes--specifically, they want to give Helen the opportunity.  When Bob protests, Winston points out that Mr. Incredible  is particularly destructive of municipal property; besides, as Evelyn points out: Girl Power.

So it is, Bob is to stay home with a sulking Violet and her boy problems, Dash and the challenges of learning new math ("Who can change math?" Bob grumps), and Jack-Jack, just as he begins to display an array of powers that would be the envy of an entire Avengers team.  The crime-busting is left to Helen, powered by a super motorcycle and a bodycam to record her derring-do.  A new, mysterious supervillain, "Screenslaver" and one or two plot twists challenge even the flexibility of Elastigirl.  Family, friends, foes, and a few new superheroes with impressive (some, hilarious) gifts join in on another riotous adventure, leading to a "Marvel"-ous conclusion.

Incredibles 2 is certain to be one of the enduring hits of the year.  As we expect from Disney, it is family-friendly.  Bird is a gifted storyteller; he realistically portrays family love and devotion, even as they drive each other a little nuts, especially as each deals with the double-edged sword of super powers.  He also supplies ample self-aware humor that will appeal to adults.  The animation is mesmerizing: Helen's first motorcycle chase delivers the exhilaration of a roller coaster, and other scenes bring almost overwhelming kaleidoscopic effects.  As is the case with all Bird films, Incredibles 2 is a treat for senses; perhaps our favorite aspect is returning collaborator Michael Giacchino's score, which both complements and enhances the film.
8.0 out of 10 on both Entertainment and Artistic Scales.


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