'Incredibles 2' Review: Disney and Pixar's Superhero Sequel Soars
By John Boone
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Although arriving 14 years after its predecessor, Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where The Incredibles ended -- literally -- with the Parrs suiting up to take on the Underminer, a mole-like baddie who has declared war on peace and happiness. The Underminer is a minor villain in the movie, though, used to kick the plot into gear.
Superheroics are illegal, you see, and the family's showdown with the Underminer results in collateral damage to the city, despite their intervention -- or, government suits argue, because of it. Thus, they are forced underground again. Until, that is, Bob aka Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter with her base-y twang) are approached by a brother-sister tech duo planning to strap bodycams on supers in order to rebrand 'em and get 'em legalized.
Because Elastigirl is the more cost effective choice, she heads into the field first, leaving an indignant Bob behind to play stay-at-home dad, in over his head juggling Violet's (Sarah Vowell) powers and puberty, Dash (Huck Milner) being Dash, and baby Jack-Jack, who is coming into his many, many powers, that first manifest in a riotous scene in which Jack-Jack battles a raccoon and laugh-out-loud funny every time they pop up after that.
Written and directed once again by Brad Bird, Incredibles 2 packs in a whole lot more, as well: A shadowy villain named Screenslaver who brainwashes the masses via screen time, disapproving of their consumer culture -- get off Twitter and get involved, that sort of thing; a roster of brand new supers fronted by Sophia Bush's Doctor Strange-esque Void, all colorful and quirky; genuinely inventive and eye-popping set pieces -- one memorable sequence sees a thriving Elastigirl chase a train on her Elasticycle -- set to Michael Giacchino's jazzy score.
Pixar has a great track record with sequels -- Cars 2the exception, not the rule -- and this not only matches the quality of a Finding Dory, but is up there with Toy Story 2 and 3 as one of the studio's best sequels -- not just a great animated film but a standout superhero movie amid a nonstop blitz of superhero movies. (Also, the antithesis of anything dark and gritty.) Despite a third act twist you see coming waaaay before it's revealed -- an over explain-y bit of backstory that we've seen before -- Incredibles 2 flies high, tender in all the right places, thrilling in the right places and Edna in all the right places.