‘Incredibles 2’ takes off right after the last scene of first film ‘The Incredibles’ outside the sports arena as the Parr family suit up to take on The Underminer. It’s been 14 years since the first movie but ‘Incredibles 2’ not only maintains the energy and verve of these characters, but brings it to another level.
Despite the Parr family’s rescue of the city from Syndrome in ‘The Incredibles’, supers (people with superpowers) are still illegal and must remain in hiding. As Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and their children Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack take on The Underminer, their heroic deeds are not taken kindly by the people in power.
Forced back into hiding, the Parr family find themselves being offered a chance to change the policies that forces their family and every other supers from going underground. In a twist, as seen on the trailers, the offer is for Elastigirl to take lead in swaying public favor for the supers while Mr. Incredible stays home to take care of the kids.
With the characters firmly established in ‘The Incredibles’, director Brad Bird now has free reign to really delve deeper into the whole family and tackle huge themes within his gender-role switching narrative. In one big swoop, he creates resonances with contemporary society and issues by creating connections between the supers that need to hide with discrimination, and bigotry that’s happening in the world today. The gender role switch of Elastigirl becoming the breadwinner of the family and Mr. Incredible taking over as house husband has all the the trappings of an interesting look at toxic masculinity and women empowerment.
But in one-hour and 58-minute running time, ‘Incredibles 2’ is awe-inspiring in its portrayal of superheroics showing off Bird’s incredible and dynamic vision in how he sets up the action sequences with Elastigirl at the lead. It’s fast-paced and thrilling, with a mysterious new villain whose rationale for villainy begs for deeper discussions.
But for every exciting action setup within the film, there is a generous serving of heart in Mr. Incredible’s discovery of the demands of being a parent. Violet is a teenager and with her newfound sense of self and security from her adventures in ‘The Incredibles,’ she is now acting out like a teenager would.
Deep at the heart of ‘Incredibles 2’ is a story of an extraordinary family who must balance the mundane and everyday challenges of regular folk with the fantastical and awe-inspiring situations they find themselves in because of what they can do.
Loaded with great dialogue, hilarious moments, thrilling action, and heartwarming scenes, ‘Incredibles 2’ is a dense work of superhero fiction that goes deep into today’s issues and explores the true meaning of heroism. Putting the crime fighting work of Elastigirl side-by-side with Mr. Incredible’s discovery of the joys and heartaches of parenting, the film shows the intense connection of the two worlds.
‘Incredibles 2’ is a magnificent work of art that is unafraid to be as real and as heavy as the world is fantastical and larger-than-life. Even with its retro-60s inspired production design and music, the film is very fresh and very now, and never misses a beat.
It’s been a 14-year wait for this sequel, and it delivers by superhero leaps and bounds.