I was 8 years old when The Incredibles was first released. It combined superheroes and animation in a big theatrical experience. Brad Bird had a great live action debut with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but then really stumbled with the boring and preachy Tomorrowland. His return to animation totally redeems him, and he created a totally worthy sequel to the original.
The story is split into two plots that converge: Elastigirl gets a new assignment fighting crime in order to bring superheroes back from being outlawed, while her husband, Mr. Incredible has to be the stay at home parent for a change. He has a really hard time adjusting, and Craig T Nelson gets the best acting material, as he has to spiral into a haze of stress and sleep deprivation.
The best aspects of these movies for me are that it pays tribute to the style of silver age comic books, and combines them with real family problems that everyone can relate to. The storylines are not as emotional as many other Pixar films, but they don’t have to be. Having to deal with a superpowered baby, and the comedy that comes from that, is something I can’t say you’d see in something that Marvel puts out. This is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time, and it never feels forced or out of place.
Pixar always is at the top of animation quality, but this is possibly the most visually stunning animated feature I’ve seen. The colour contrast, and creative use of action scenes, make it clear that some things you just cannot do in live action. There is a scene with Elastigirl where she makes extreme use of her powers, that totally blew me away.
The one aspect that this movie falls a bit short of the original, is the villain plot. Syndrome was worthy of a real superhero story, in how good he was. He had a connection to Mr Incredible, and a great backstory, cool gadgets, etc. Without giving anything away, the Screenslaver was a decent villain, but the direction they take with it, is a bit bland. Still, he has an amazing fight scene when first introduced.
The music by Michael Giacchino is just as amazing as the last time, incorporating the jazz element with traditional score. Pretty much every voice actor is great, once again. Craig T Nelson and Holly Hunter are the best, of course. Samuel L Jackson gets more screentime as Frozone, but it still is never enough. I loved hearing Bob Odenkirk in this, as I love him in anything.
While I could never ask anything to be better than the first Incredibles, this is totally a sequel that was worth the wait. It feels like a middle chapter, so I want Incredibles 3 sooner, rather than later. Please Brad Bird!
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