Incredibles 2 Review: A sequel that almost passes muster
The film is an almost worthy sequel that will satisfy the expectations of the 90s kids, who loved Incredibles, as well as millennials, who are new to the franchise
The longest gap between film sequels is credited to the Bambi franchise, whose films had a staggering gap of 64 years. The Incredibles sequel which is also produced by Walt Disney Pictures, has taken 14 years to hit the screens, but we’re not complaining, of course. A lot of us who watched the first film as kids are now adults and Incredibles 2, apart from being a fun film in its own right, also works as a lovely trip down memory lane.
In the film, however, not much time has gone by and the events of the sequel happen just three months after the defeat of Syndrome. The superhero work of our unconventional but happy Parr family consisting of Bob, Helen, Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack, has hit a roadblock after Supers (as the superheroes are called), are misunderstood as troublemakers and are forced to return to their secret identities. A super-rich sibling duo Winston and Evelyn Deavor, similar to Ray from Hancock, wants the world to see Supers in a better light and they get in touch with the Parrs to give the latter an image makeover. They kickstart the project with Elastigirl aka Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter) and that means Bob (Craig T Nelson) has to swallow his male ego and be a stay-at-home dad. While he realises how it’s tougher than fighting crime, Helen carries on her superhero work with a bit of PR help, but obviously, there’s got to be a villain. That comes in the form of Screenslaver, whom the family, with the help of a few more Supers, have to defeat.
Cast: Samuel L Jackson, Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
Director: Brad Bird
Though the one-liner might sound simple, the intricacies brought in by director Brad Bird with ample easter eggs and pop culture references make it all worth your while. For instance, Dash (Huck Milner) says, ‘It defines who I am,’ a reference to what Batman says in Batman Begins. In another scene, he is watching Godzilla as well as the classic Jonny Quest on TV. Gazerbeam, whose dead body guides Bob/Mr Incredible in the first part, appears in the sequel in a flashback. But the most satisfying easter egg comes after the climax, when the letters A113 get shown, a reference to the classroom number of animation students at the California Institute of the Arts, many of whom are working now in Pixar. As Pixar admirers have no doubt noted, this is a standard easter egg that appears in all Pixar films.
The villain, though he only has limited screen time, is well fleshed out. Screenslaver puts people watching TV in a trance. He talks about how we’ve fallen prey to consumerism and instead of, for example, travelling, we’re watching travel shows. Pixar does seem to be learning a few tricks of the trade from the Marvel side of Disney. And while we’re on Screenslaver, a word of caution — scenes in which he appears come with a good dose of strong strobe lights which might affect those who have epilepsy.
Incredibles 2 also digs deep into the Parr family, and their sentiments and emotions, without restricting itself to the bigger picture as its predecessor did. So instead of high-flying action, we get scenes of Bob helping his daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) with her love life and Dash with something even tougher, mathematics. Not to mention the scenes where he also tries to come to terms with the numerous superpowers of Jack-Jack. And apart from Samuel L Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone, there’s also Edna Mode — such a fan-favourite that the director himself has voiced her. Throw in a few more quirky Supers, a not-too-heavy dose of feminism, and a supercar named Incredimobile (similar to the Batmobile) and we have the perfect recipe for a fun sequel.
What doesn’t work is the aforementioned lack of action and a simple storyline which takes its own sweet time to unravel. Also, considering the emotional aspects of a family the film talks about, it doesn’t even get close to what a Toy Story or even a Wall E did. But that doesn’t take away the fact that Incredibles 2, though not as good as the original film, is an almost worthy sequel that will satisfy expectations, especially those of the 90s kids, who loved the original. It appears that the film will have a third part, and hopefully, it won’t take another 14 years.