Review: Incredibles 2

The family of superheroes return to action in Incredibles 2. After a battle with the Underminer (John Ratzenberger) leaves a lot of collateral damage, Bob Parr, aka Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson),  Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their kids Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) are informed by their handler Rick Decker (Jonathan Banks) that the Super Relocation program is being shut down and that they will be unable to continue using their superhero personas. However, Mr Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) are contacted by telecommunications tycoon Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), who runs the company DEVTECH with his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener). Winston wants to help spread the word about the good work that superheroes do and recruits Elastigirl to be the primary advocate, leaving Mr. Incredible home to take care of the kids, including discovering Jack-Jack’s blossoming superpowers. As soon as Elastigirl begins her new job, a new hypnotic supervillain known as the Screenslaver arises to spread terror.

Fourteen years after the original, director Brad Bird returns with Incredibles 2. Despite the lengthy gap between entries, the film picks up immediately after the original Incredibles left off. Despite the progress they made after fighting Syndrome, superheroes still find themselves chastised by authorities for the collateral damage that their actions causes. Things looks dire for the Parr family, who find themselves at a rundown motel, looking towards a future being nothing but their secret identities. However, Winston Deavor wants to change this and use Elastigirl as an advocate for all superheroes, using a camera on her new suit to provide evidence of her good deeds. However, once things are looking up, the villainous Screenslaver sets a plan into motion to try and put an end to superheroes once and for all.

It seems that these days that most of the output from Pixar Animation Studios are sequels to their past successes. With there being a fourteen year gap between films, those who saw The Incredibles as kids are probably now adults going into Incredibles 2. With the exception of some plot changes and swapping of character roles, Incredibles 2 is more or less a repeat of the story of the original film. Probably the biggest change from the original is the focus on Elastigirl for most of the superhero action in the film, leaving Mr. Incredible to struggle at being a stay-at-home dad. Most of the original voice cast returns for Incredibles 2, including Brad Bird himself voicing the diminutive fashion designer Edna Mode.

If there is a breakthrough character in Incredibles 2, I would say that it would have to be the baby Jack-Jack, who is quite fun to watch as he plays with his multitude of blossoming superpowers. The film also introduces a number of new superheroes that inhabit this world, including portal-generating fangirl Voyd (Sophia Bush),  the telekinetic Krushauer (Phil LaMarr), electricity-generation Helectrix (Phil LaMarr), and the lava-regurgitating Reflux (Paul Eiding).

Even though Incredibles 2 repeats the basic formula of the original, I thought it was still an entertaining animated superhero film and I would love to see further adventures of Mr. Incredible and his family.