Incredibles 2 (2018)

The Incredibles 2.jpg
Another Incredible Effort

Director: Brad Bird
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Eli Fucile, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Jonathan Banks, Isabella Rossellini

As Pixar have gotten into the habit of releasing sequels to their hit films, it's about time they got around to delivering another outing for the Parr family. Considering The Incredibles was released much before the cinematic boom of the superhero genre, one wonders how the long awaited sequel would fit in a landscape populated by Marvel and DC characters. While it may touch on familiar topics, such as collateral damage and the red tape preventing vigilante heroes from saving the day, it manages to stand apart thanks to the '60s setting, and an animated style which allows for a wonderful visual freedom.

Picking up immediately after the first film's ending, the Parr family embrace their status as a superhero family, even though the law prohibits their brand of vigilantism. They are contacted by wealthy siblings Winston & Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk & Catherine Keener), who wish to change the public's perception of supers, using Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as the leading example. This leaves Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) to look after his family, while a new antagonist appears named the Screenslaver.

Despite the film being worked on for the past few years, it's serendipitous how relevant this feels. With Wonder Woman making waves, and the movements of Times Up and MeToo gaining much recognition, allowing Elastigirl to take the limelight works rather well. Much as the first film had arcs for each member of the Parr family, it was primarily Mr. Incredible's story, and thus the follow-up has enough room for each character, but Elastigirl stands front and centre. It helps that she's such an engaging figure, proving just as capable in the field as her other half, but with less of a tendency to cause such a destructive amount of damage.

This leaves Mr. Incredible to act as a stay at home dad, as he desperately tries to help his children wherever possible, be it with Maths homework, romance, or the unexpected appearance of superpowers. Speaking of which, Jack-Jack is an utter delight, managing to reveal himself as this films secret weapon. He steals each scene he appears in with a wonderful sense of comedy, especially involving a battle with a stray Raccoon, as his powers pop up in the most hilarious of ways. But among all these humorous moments, the sense of family between the Parr's is never lost, and feels as strong as it did when we first encountered the family 14 years ago.

As should be expected from Pixar, the animation is done extremely well. Brad Bird takes his confident vision and brings it to life, thanks to the eye-popping visuals, as well as the sleek fluidity he brings to each scene of action. The result grants a wonderful vision which feels unique, standing out amongst the live action films which populate the majority of the genre. If there's a weak link, it comes in the form of the antagonist, known as The Screenslaver. This character may be responsible for some fantastically animated scenes, but ultimately feels like an afterthought, put in so there's a physical baddie for the heroes to fight against.

More than just a cash-in sequel, Pixar have another hit with Incredibles 2. It feels incredibly timely, while bringing its own gorgeous spin to one of today's most popular genres. It's also utterly hilarious, and the most fun you'll have involving a Raccoon outside of the MCU. If we're lucky enough to get an Incredibles 3, here's hoping we don't have to wait another 14 years for Brad Bird to deliver on that front.