The Incredibles 2

A Film Review by Joseph Waukechon The Incredibles 2

Directly after the ending of the first film, the superpowered Parr family is back to their old stances on the issue of whether or not the Captain America: Civil War-esque government can regulate all superheroes. But then, a mysterious and colorful technology tycoon played by Bob Odenkirk reaches out to them with a plan to put them back onto the streets. He administers a guerilla campaign with Elastigirl (Helen Hunt) to broadcast and publicize her new crimefighting escapades to sway public opinion. Meanwhile, father Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) laments his wife being viewed as more useful than he is, while simultaneously struggling with his infant son Jack-Jack’s near-omnipresent bevvy of super abilities. While a glib 2018 reviewer may be tempted to dismiss this sequel with a quote from the 2004 film’s character Syndrome, “Too Late! Fifteen years too late…,” for the first time in my critiquing career I have found a film I could label as perfect.

Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 is a thunderous improvement on a film franchise that didn’t need improvement. This film is just as good as the first, but in different ways. It’s a new story with new themes and a new goal set. It’s an example of a thousand small aspects that deliciously work towards a terrific and satisfying experience. Something they did that I haven’t seen any praise for is the visual style and character design. Personally, I’m not fond of the influx of Disney movies using the same wide-eyed character models to look like all their films take place in one universe. The blocky, line-based, 50s-inspired people that somehow still retained realism was such a unique visual voice and a happy inclusion. I also love that the time period is left ambiguous and Bird repeated the high-percussion tempos and squealing jazz notes from the 2004 original.

When the film was in development, I read that they were not going to acknowledge the evolution of the recent Marvel and DC superhero films, I actually rolled my eyes and expected the film to fall flat. However, seeing it in execution I completely back the idea. This film feels much more like its own universe that lightly echoes the campy and colorful comic books from the sixties.

My favorite aspect of the movie is how it both amplifies the superhero and the family aspect without making the previous film feel less than. On every conscious and unconscious level, this film works beautifully and truly feels like it took over a decade to gestate and deliver.

The summer is sure to be chock full of capes and boots and comic book fare, and if you must see one this summer, I urge you to see Pixar’s greatest sequel yet. It’ll make for a summer that’s truly, if you’ll forgive the cheek, Incredible.

Joseph Waukechon is a Menominee and Chippewa college student, who’s officially enrolled in the Chippewa Tribe. He has always had a deep and laughably emotional love for film.  He enjoys celebrating and rejecting them, but always giving credit where credit is due.