Erik Jimenez/Staff Writer
Fourteen years since it’s release, “The Incredibles” has become an animation classic and a high-point of nostalgia for many of my generation. And as the film title says, it’s incredible.
And that is mostly thanks to the talent of it’s writer/director Brad Bird, who’s other animated features “The Iron Giant” and “Ratatouille” are amongst the best animated films of the 21st century. After being a live action director with the mediocre “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol” and the thoroughly awful “Tomorrowland,” Bird has made his return to animation with the universe that put him on the map.
Taking place literally where the first film ended, The Parr family, composed of father Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), mother Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), son Dash (Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack, secretly operating as superheroes despite heroes being illegal.
In spite of limiting damage from their newest encounters, the authorities become concerned over the level of damage caused by the incident and as a result, the government superhero relocation program that the family is a part of is shut down leaving superheroes all around in a treacherous place.
But thankfully, Bob and Helen, along with family friend Lucius Best a.k.a. Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) are contacted by Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), a superhero fan and owner of telecommunications giant, DEVTECH. Deavor proposes a publicity stunt to regain the general public’s support of supers. However, it requires Helen to openly fight crime in another city under her identity of Elastigirl to regain the public’s trust of superheroes.
While she is away, Bob takes on the task of taking care of the kids. He discovers that Jack-Jack various super powers, but struggles with controlling him as well as Violet’s high school relationship drama and Dash’s struggles at school. Meanwhile, during her mission, Helen confronts the Screenslaver—a mysterious villain who hijacks screens in order to project hypnotic images, brainwash civilians and turn the populace against all supers.
On the animation side of things, 14 years has clearly helped makers at Pixar at creating the “The Incredibles” to look larger and grander than before. While the first film has great animation, there are definitely some shots and scenes that have not aged with grace. That’s not a problem with this film. From the background details, to the lighting and the action scenes, “Incredibles 2” is a step up in every sense of the word.
The voice acting is pretty solid all around. The film had all the previous members of the cast to reprise their roles. They all fit back into their roles so gracefully, the only real way you would realize the time gap between the two movies is if you were to watch them back to back.
Helen Hunt has a sort of lisp that wasn’t present in the first film, while Craig T. Nelson and Sarah Vowell sound somewhat older than the characters they portraying. Odenkirk is entertaining as Deaver as is Catherine Keener who portrays his sister.
While there are some elements that I feel the first film did better, it is simply incredible how the film manages to make viewers feel like a kid again. While the story is not what I’d imagine an “Incredibles 2” to be like after all these years, the film is still satisfying on all levels. It delivers exactly what we would want from this superfamily that all who grew up on it wanted more of.
Now let’s hope it’s not another 14 years till the next one. Half the cast would have to be on oxygen for that.
4 ½ stars out of 5