Incredibles 2 has, at long last, hit theatres, a staggering fourteen-years after the original took the world by storm. Director Brad Bird returns to helm this much-anticipated Pixar sequel, and features the voice talents of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner and Samuel L. Jackson.
Like most film-goers, my excitement for “Incredibles 2” was through the roof. I adore the original film and I’ve re-watched it countless times since my first viewing in 2004. Everything from the action to the characters and the world-building was instantly compelling for me as a youngster. From just the Disney logo alone and opening moments of the film, I was riddled with a strong feeling of nostalgia and it brought me straight back to my childhood years. This instalment picks up immediately after the events of “The Incredibles” and follows the Parr family as they attempt to regain the public’s trust in superheroes, all the while a new foe begins to emerge.
“Incredibles 2” is something of film-making miracle. It’s utterly rare and outstanding that a sequel to one of the most beloved Pixar classics, a near decade and a half in the making, effortlessly lives up to the hype. It is an action-packed, consistently exciting, well-written, gorgeously crafted and hysterically funny superhero outing, making it the cream of the crop of animated films. The animation is typically stunning and continues to cement Disney’s position as the best in animation. The smallest of details from strands of hair and fabric, creativity, lighting and inventiveness to the animation was mind-boggling perfect. It is bright, exuberant and exactly what I wanted, aesthetic-wise, from an animated summer blockbuster like this.
The action scenes are an evident step-up from the predecessor. They are designed with lavish style, harkening back to the golden-age of superheroes of the 50’s and 60’s, as well as the sleekness of spy movie sequences. The opening action set-piece was full of energy and was intertwined with a great deal of humour, while other standouts are Elastigirl’s downright thrilling missions and a climatic battle on a boat. As crowd-pleasing as ever are the powers on display, making for eye-grabbing, visual-eye candy. Amplifying these sequences is the unforgettable score by the legendary Michael Giacchino, which utilises jazz to an epic scale, and is sure to get to get stuck on your head all over again.
Not only are the visuals, the action and the entertainment at face-value sublime, but like the first, “Incredibles 2” is extremely clever and mature. The dialogue, at times, are very adult and explore thought-provoking themes within the world of this movie. This is what has made Disney and Pixar utterly resonant for audiences, as they possess the ability to operate on multiple levels and are downright intelligent cinema. There is much below the surface and investing B-storylines, such as Bob Parr’s efforts to prove himself to be a great dad and Violet’s teen angst. These plot elements are woven together cohesively to tell an intelligent and neatly composed story, that will genuinely have you on the edge of your seat. There are suspense and thrills but also a brilliant amount of humour, that is sure to bring a smile to every audience member’s face. Whether it’s the humour or the deeper conversations, the voice talents from everyone are marvellous and a great deal of fun.
The only tiny – and I mean tiny – quibble I have is with the villain. Screenslaver is fine, functioning and serves its purpose. It could have been more compelling, it’s no Syndrome from the first movie, but the movie is so unimaginably terrific, that it didn’t affect my enjoyment for a single second. The worst thing about “Incredibles 2” is when it begins to end, for the experience of this two-hour action-adventure romp was so fantastically unique and incomparably entertaining. Fourteen years later and the magic of the original is back, in splendid fashion.
“Incredibles 2” is an outstanding slice of Disney cinema. The action, animation, musical score and spectacle are an absolute joy whilst the humour and the dialogue is very witty and rich with substance. Overall, “Incredibles 2” justifies its existence, and proves to not be a re-hash of the 2004 film. While I don’t want to jump to conclusions immediately, this may very well be superior to that first entry. The story plays out like a great novel and is sure to appeal to children more recently introduced to The Incredibles franchise, as well as those who first watched and loved it many years ago. The characters and their designs are impressive as ever, brought to life with strong believability by a spectacular voice cast. “Incredibles 2” is a massive accomplishment, sensational in every sense of the word and a fantastic viewing experience. Though none of us appreciated the fourteen-year wait, I can now happily say that it was most certainly worth it.
(It is also worth noting that the short-film that played before the main feature “Bao” was excellent, touching and a typically smart and refreshing work of animation for Disney, which also contributed to making this cinema experience one of the best I’ve had in a while.)