There’s been a spate of belated sequels with the most recent being the 35 year gap between Blade Runner and its follow up. For The Incredibles it’s been a 14 year wait during which most youngsters seeing Incredibles 2 will not have been born when the first film was released.
Incredibles 2 picks up immediately from the ending of the first film and what ensues is the family involved in a frenzied fight to thwart the villainous Miner and his huge hydraulic drill in its attempt to rob a bank. So whilst Mr & Mrs Incredible aka Elastigirl go into battle their super power wielding kids are left holding the baby Jak-Jak. Much to the frustration of their daughter Violet who begrudges the enforced stereotype role of a mum being put on her. It’s a subtext of director Brad Bird’s script that parenting is of equal responsibility and women do an amazing job as a mother.
As superheroes are still outlawed the parents soon find themselves s courted by the CEO of a telecoms company with his sister the brains behind the company’s innovative devices (another typically male role usurped). The CEO and his sister are keen to see superheroes reinstated to fight crime and to this end he persuades them to have body worn camera stitched into their costumes made by the fabulous Anna Wintour pastiche Edna voiced by director Bird whose scenes are all too brief this time round as are Samuel L Jackson’s Frozone. It’s an attempt to record their derring-do and in turn world opinion in their favour. But it’s Elastigirl they really want and so Mr Incredible is relegated in his eyes to house husband and looking after the kids. It’s here that he soon comes to realise that parenting is as difficult as being a superhero except without the adrenalin rush. ‘Parenting is heroic work’ is the all too obvious conclusion he comes too.
If the perceived hum-drum household duties and parenting duties that are balanced by Elastigirl’s battle with Incredibles 2 villain ScreenSlaver who controls all with hypnotic eye blistering visuals which enslaves others to do his bidding. It’s ironic that for a villain who hypnotizes by visuals is in a film which will also have audiences equally bewitched also with its stunning visuals. There’s a brief moment where Screenslaver rails against the world telling them that instead of talking to each other they watch talk shows where w,as the cinema audience, sit in silence doing exactly the same (unless of course you have the misfortune of sitting next to someone who insists on texting throughout the film.)
Between Incredibles and Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird made two live action films, the excellent Mission Impossible 4 and the box office bomb ‘Tomorrowland’ which lost a fortune. Incredibles 2 sees him back to animation and back to form with thrilling set pieces and the introduction of the fabulous baby Jak-Jak unaware of his superpowers in some brilliant sequences notable a great set piece as he battles a raccoon in the garden.
Pixar’s films are of almost uniformly high quality that its little wonder that they’re laden with awards and for once the sequels are usually as good as the originals (we’ll overlook Cars 1 -3!) with the Toy Story franchise being that most rare of things: the brilliant trilogy. However at over two hours Bird still hasn’t managed to pare down his own scripts as seen with Tomorrowland and Incredibles 2 could benefit from being slightly tighter but for a sequel Incredibles 2 in incredible too.
Here’s the trailer…….