Before Incredibles 2 started playing in the theater, there was a short message from some of the voice actors. Holly Hunter (Helen Parr/Elastigirl), Craig T. Nelson (Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible), and Samuel L. Jackson (Lucius Best/Frozone) thanked everyone for patiently waiting for this sequel these past 14 years. They briefly spoke about how much effort goes into the writing, animation, and other work required to make an animated film. After thanking the audience, Jackson said with a grin that Incredibles 2 was “worth the wait.” And he was right. Incredibles 2 is one of those rare sequels that’s just as good as the original.
Incredibles 2 begins right at the moment that The Incredibles left us, ignoring the passage of time in the real world. That allows the sequel to open with what I loved most about the first one: Watching a strong, but not perfect family using their crazy superpowers to fight evil. Shortly after the opening battle, our heroes meet Winston and Evelyn Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener). The two siblings run a highly successful telecommunications company, and offer Elastigirl the opportunity to put supers back on the public’s good side in order to legalize their heroics again. While Helen is on her missions, Bob is forced to step up as a stay at home dad. Watching Helen trying to capture Screenslaver, a new supervillain, and watching Bob struggle to keep their house in order (especially when their infant son Jack-Jack starts manifesting a wide variety of powers) are both equally entertaining. However, once Screenslaver’s plan starts to unfold, the entire Parr family jumps into some of the best action sequences in any superhero movie, animated or live-action, to date.
While I thought almost every quality of Incredibles 2 was on par with the original, I didn’t think the villain was. Screenslaver is far from a bad antagonist, but seems pretty lacking when compared to one as phenomenal as Syndrome from The Incredibles. Luckily, Incredibles 2 makes up for it by introducing a group of new heroes, each with interesting powers and a few fun moments of their own. The best of the new supers was Voyd (Sophia Bush), whose role in the final battle and interactions with Elastigirl were some of my highlights of the film.
Helen and Bob’s other children, Violet and Dash (Sarah Vowell and Huck Milner) also get some fun action beats, but Dash doesn’t get as much to do story-wise as Violet. That’s a minor complaint though, as Violet’s arc leads to some genuinely heartwarming and hilarious moments.
Like Violet, Samuel L. Jackson’s Frozone has a slightly bigger role this time around. I still think he’s a tad underutilized, but not like Edna Mode (Brad Bird), who is easily the most amazing and least used supporting character in both movies.
But with all said and done, Incredibles 2 is easily one of the best movies this year. It’s smart, fun, and well… Just as incredible as The Incredibles, which is one of my favorite Pixar films, and one of my favorite animated films of all time.
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