an INCREDIBLES 2 musing
Fourteen years later, the Parr family returns to the big screen in THE INCREDIBLES 2. Picking up where the first movie left off, superheroes are outlawed once again, but Helen joins Devtech endeavor to put supers back in the public’s good graces. Meanwhile, Bob is left to be Mr. Mom at home, as he takes care of Violet, Dash and Jack Jack.
I still remember sitting in the left side of the front section of the theater on opening weekend in November 2004, with my aunt, uncle and cousins at the Krikorian Theatre in Chino Hills. It’s such a vivid memory because of how much I instantaneously loved THE INCREDIBLES. I was 11 at the time (and, being completely honest here, had a huge crush on Violet…), and beginning to appreciate movies not just as entertainment and what they’re about, but what they’re about. I understood and connected to the humanity in the villain and the struggle of the heroes. INCREDIBLES 2 explores those in the same way, and it’s great to see director/writer Brad Bird pull off another stellar movie.
The beauty of this movie is a testament to the talent and imagination of Bird. The action scenes are electrifying, the family dynamics are touching, and the themes of activism and parenting are well explored. Each sequence had me on the edge of my seat, especially the home invasion scene. I felt that danger because it drew from that well of fear in me, from having my secure home breached and seeing friends or anyone become evil just like that. The movie also excels in its pacing, as Bird knows when to let conversations breathe and explore themes within them; the talk between Helen and Evelyn about being an optimist or cynic was so beautifully nuanced.
The movie doesn’t nail everything it goes for — there are a few Chekhov Gun setups which don’t pay off, *SPOILER ALERT* the villain reveal isn’t as effective, but that may just be because we as an audience are so used to superhero movie plotting now, *END SPOILER ALERT* some of the fights abruptly end. Those are just some minor nit picks in an otherwise awesome followup filled with great character moments and extremely clever lines (did you catch that John Lasseter dig? “You can’t just untouch someone!” or whatever that line was…). I was able to watch this simultaneously with the eyes of my 11 year old self and with my current slightly more critical thinking brain, and I couldn’t be happier.
RATING: BEST OF THE BEST
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)