After a 14 year hiatus, the Incredibles franchise is finally back in theaters with a sequel to the 2004 smash hit. It’s mind boggling that it took this long to see Incredibles 2 considering the success of the original and the backing of Disney and Pixar, but for one dumb reason or another this project took way too long to see the light of day. Thankfully, the sequel is now a reality and moviegoers across the world are speaking with their wallets, because it has broken records for animated movies in its first week at the box office.
I finally got to check it out — my viewing was delayed by E3 2018 duties — trust me, I’m embarrassed it took me this long to check in on the Parr’s, but such is life as an indie geek blogger. First and foremost, and this has probably been said many times over about Incredibles 2, but it is well worth the wait. The old adage of “good things come to those who wait” couldn’t ring truer for Brad Bird’s Incredibles sequel, because it is a fantastic film that ultimately benefited from the slow burn approach to its development. 14 years is still a bit too long to wait, but this is a sequel that absolutely doesn’t disappoint, so hopefully you’ve kept your appreciation for the franchise all these years, because it will be rewarded with a viewing of Incredibles 2.
What really worked well for me in this film is its focus on families, in particular those with working parents. Being a member of a working parent household myself really helped this film’s narrative resonate with my own life, which in turn made both its lighter and darker moments much more impactful for me. Watching Mr. Incredible deal with being the main caretaker after his wife, Elastigirl, is tasked with helping to make superheroes legal again, instantly reminded me of my own life and having to watch my kid while my wife goes out and does her own heroic acts by forging a name for herself in her career. It’s not easy to have kids and work, so I could definitely relate to the predicaments Bob found himself in, and definitely laughed many times over as I watched him fail and learn at what it means to be a Father.
On the other hand, watching Elastigirl, a mother of three, leave her brood and become the breadwinner of the family, was also a refreshing portrayal of a female character. Working mothers do not get enough credit for all that they do. I myself didn’t realize the sacrifices they put themselves through until my own wife showed me through her own sacrifices what it takes and what it truly means to be a working mom. They are superheroes, so I loved how Elastigirl portrayed this dynamic as a legit superhero, but the allegory to real working mothers was what resonated with me the most.
Of course Incredibles 2 isn’t just about life with kids and parents who have jobs. The whole superhero aspect is also very interesting and still drives the narrative. The action set pieces that the superhero side of this flick features are amazing to see, and they offer up some of the more creative uses of superpowers ever present on the big screen.
Once again, Elastigirl shined in her role as a hero, and one action scene in particular featuring a runaway mag-train contained some of the coolest uses of a superhero’s powers that I’ve ever seen. She was awesome in this moment, and should give any little girl or grown woman a huge smile for her jaw dropping feats of heroism and badassery.
I can’t go without mentioning the Parr children either. They too provided some great moments, and they really helped show their dad, and hopefully real dads, what it’s like to take care of a family of three children of various age ranges. Violet offered up some tense teen angst moments, while Dash did his best to be the pain-in-the-ass most little boys can be. Jack-Jack on the other hand steals the show, both with his powers and an action sequence he shares with a raccoon. I’m telling you, it just very may well be the best two character brawl ever produced for a superhero movie. It put Batman versus Superman to shame, not that that’s a hard task, but hopefully you get the point. Jack-Jack is awesome, and I can only hope we get to see his progression moving forward.
Incredibles 2 is a great reminder as to why it sucked that we had to wait 14 years to see the next Incredibles film. Its focus on family and the many dynamics that one can face is what makes it so entertaining and emotionally relevant for an animated superhero movie, but it’s awesome action and storytelling in general also add to its awesomeness. One can only hope that if there are plans for another sequel, it won’t take another 14 years to see one, because if you weren’t already an Incredibles superfan, you will be one after seeing Incredibles 2.
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