Movie Review: INCREDIBLES 2 (2018)

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INCREDIBLES 2 is the highly anticipated animated sequel that reunites audiences' with their favorite animated superheroes. The film is written and directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) with Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles along with some new, animated faces, voiced by Catherine Keener and Bob Odenkirk. 

It's been 14 years since The Incredibles arrived in theaters and until just recently, quite a few years since I had revised it. Being that I really enjoyed the first film, I was curious to see how the sequel would fair. INCREDIBLES 2 starts off right from where the first film ended, with our superhero family fighting off the Undermine (voiced by John Ratzenberger). After a series of events leads the Parr family to once again hide their secret identities, they receive a covert message from a telecommunications tycoon named Winston Deaver (voiced by Bob Odenkirk). Deaver, along with his sister Evelyn (voiced by Catherine Keener), wants to devise a Super Relocation Program that would show the world how beneficial superheroes can be. When Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter), is offered to be the face of the program, Bob, aka Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), is tasked with staying at home to care for the kids.

I can't begin to express how much I absolutely adored this film. As I mentioned, I was a fan of the original, so a part of me was nervous that my expectations wouldn't be met with the sequel. With that said, I am happy to report that not only were my expectations met, they were surpassed! I would even go as far as to say that the sequel is an overall better film than the original, not just in terms of the story but also the animation. From the get-go, one of the most noticeable aspects of INCREDIBLES 2 is the animation, which is far superior to its predecessor. This is clearly due to the advancement in technology as well as the talent and skills derived from the animators. Even with that said, I still think the animation in the original is pretty fantastic, all things considered. 

There is a lot to love with INCREDIBLES 2 but for me, what I felt was most important was the storyline. When we think of the Incredibles we primarily think of Mr. Incredible as he is a pillar of brute strength which is deftly elevated by his superpowers and charisma. However, in the sequel, the focus of the film is instead on his wife, Elastigirl, allowing her character and persona to really flourish. On the flip side, we get to see Mr. Incredible take on the responsibility of caring for his three children - Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell), Dash (voiced by Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack. What I liked about this narrative swap was that it not only showed that women who have kids can also have a successful career, but that men are just as capable of taking care of the kids and household. Though I don't have kids of my own, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be a full-time parent, so I'm glad that Brad Bird showcased Mr. Incredibles struggles without downplaying them or falling back on the notion that since he's a superhero, this would come easier to him. 

Now, let's talk about the real star of the film, baby Jack-Jack, who I felt a deep, emotional connection with due to how we both handle being told we can't have any more cookies. In the film, we learn that baby Jack-Jack does possess superpowers, it's just that no one was prepared for what those would be. I would be lying if I said that Jack-Jack wasn't the best part of the film, because he definitely is. There is one scene in particular where Jack-Jack comes face-to-face with a racoon that will have you rolling from laughter long after the scene has finished. Even Edna (voiced by Brad Bird), who, let's be honest, is all our spirit animals, get wrapped up in the ferociously cute Jack-Jack. Sometimes films, especially those aimed at children, can go a bit overboard with the cute kid antics, but in the case of INCREDIBLES 2, Brad Bird did a fantastic job of towing the line so that Jack-Jack's comedic moments didn't completely overshadow the rest of the film. 

Overall, INCREDIBLES 2 was everything I could have hoped for and more, easily becoming my favorite Disney film of the year. Once again, Pixar shows how talented they are in formulating a film that can appeal to both parents and kids in terms of humor and real-life scenarios while still managing to play with the audiences' heartstrings. INCREDIBLES 2 is the feel-good movie of the summer and one you will want to take the entire family to when it's released this weekend. 

Shannon M. 

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