Movies: Incredibles 2

Voices By: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
Directed by: Brad Bird
Written by: Brad Bird
Disney/Pixar, 2018
PG; 118 minutes
4 stars (out of 5)


A lot of people are loving this movie, and I agree it's pretty cute. But I wasn't as wowed as I expected to be.

I2 picks up right where the first movie left off 14 years ago. The Underminer is attacking, the Parr family must work together (along with Frozone) to neutralize the threat. It doesn't go quite to plan, and superheroes are again slapped with the blame for massive destruction despite their best efforts and intentions.

Then in steps siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor. (It wasn't lost on me that both first names end in a sound to almost make it "endeavor"? Which feels kind of pointless, but whatever. Ha! "Whatever, Deavor.") Anyway, these two run a huge telecomm company, and they want to find a way to make superheroes legal again. Cue nostalgic back story about how their dad had loved supers and not long after superheroes were made illegal, their dad was killed in a break-in. (I also noticed the dad in the flashbacks looked a wee bit like Ed Catmull? Might've been my imagination though.)

The Deavors choose Helen/Elastigirl as the new face of superhero-dom. Which leaves Robert/Mr. Incredible home with the kids. Hilarity ensues, except not really. At least, not for me. Plenty of people around me laughed, but I was only kind of amused.

My chief problem was the way the film leaned so heavily on Jack-Jack. Sure, he's a cute gag (and in some cases a deus ex machina), but I find it funnier in smaller doses like in the first movie. Meanwhile, Violet and Dash had nearly nothing to do.

Also, the "twist" wasn't one. It was heavily telegraphed, so maybe it wasn't meant to be a surprise. I don't know.

All that said, let's talk about the subtext. One of the arguments in the movie is that people do less when superheroes are around because they expect those heroes to save them. It's a message that feels relevant right now. We all mutter about the problems in society, but we don't act because we expect others will do that for us. Which is a bit backward for a film in which we're supposed to be rooting for the supers, but maybe the flip side is that THOSE WITH POWER SHOULD USE IT TO THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY. Rather than, say, selling it to the highest bidder? Just a thought.

On the whole, I enjoyed it. Just not as much as I thought I would. But that probably would have been asking too much. The first Incredibles movie was such an unexpected delight, so different from pretty much anything else out there. Now superhero movies are a dime a dozen, and the 14-year hiatus gives us time to build [potentially unrealistic] expectations.

I2 is a good movie. It's making a ton of money, too. Not that box office has ever been a very good indicator of quality. But I can recommend this one as a fun and entertaining diversion, even if it doesn't reach the higher heights.

1 comment:

Christine Rains said...

We saw this one, and it was fun, but I wasn't wowed either. I agree that it relied too much on Jack-Jack. It gave my son a major headache with the strobe lights as well.