By Khaleel Herbert
Picking up where “The Incredibles” left off in 2004, the Parr Family tangoes with the Underminer and saves the city from utter destruction…sort of. Part of City Hall was damaged by the Underminer’s runaway drill and he got away.
After brash repercussions from the city and the termination of supers once again, the Parrs are forced to live in a motel to contemplate their next move. But their old friend Lucius a.k.a. Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson), wants them to meet up with Winston Deavor (voice of Bob Odenkirk).
Deavor loves supers because his dad loved supers and when they disappeared, it broke his heart. Since then, Deavor and his sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), took over his father’s communications company to get supers back in the limelight. Their first step is recruiting Elastigirl, because unlike Mr. Incredible, she doesn’t make a mess of things when saving the world. Mr. Incredible is now in charge of taking care of the kids in a new home, leant by Deavor.
“Incredibles 2,” like its predecessor, is a great family flick. The animation looks cleaner and there’s a great balance of comic relief and action, especially with Jack-Jack roughing up a raccoon in the backyard. The film also aligns with today’s views of feminism and the MeToo Movement. Elastigirl, unlike the last film, gets the spotlight and recognition female superheroes deserve, similar to last year’s “Wonder Woman.” There’s also the spotlight on parenthood, with Bob trying to make sense of Dash’s new math, Violet’s boy troubles and Jack-Jack’s smorgasbord of powers and baby-needs.
The cast holds most of the same players from the original film including Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Vowell, giving a great balance with newcomers Phil LaMarr, Huck Milner, Bob Odenbirk and Sophia Bush.
The idea of mind control and hypnotism is nothing new in the superhero genre from Spider-Man to Batman and Robin. But Brad Bird puts his own spin on it, with the Screen Slaver as a worthy foe.
Although “Incredibles 2” was worth the 14-year stint, it may have been too long for some Incredibles fans to wait. Disney and Pixar’s scheme was probably to wait until the original audiences grew up so they could make money on nostalgia, just like with the new Star Wars films. If you ask me, they need to follow under the lead of Dreamworks. We didn’t have to wait ten years for another Shrek or Kung Fu Panda movie. Twentieth Century Fox didn’t even wait more than five years to make all the Ice Age sequels.
Part of me still favors the original Incredibles because it was the first superhero story to address the consequences of acting super. Then came “Captain America: Civil War.” Mr. Incredible was sued by a man who wanted to commit suicide and people on the train he saved sued him for injuries they sustained. There was Syndrome’s Stan story where he was Mr. Incredible’s biggest fan but became a formidable bad guy. Also, the scene where Samuel L. Jackson yells for his supersuit is just plain hilarious. Lastly, I don’t approve of the few swear words Evelyn says. I know it’s 2018 but come on!
“Incredibles 2” gets with the times having Elastigirl at the forefront, especially in this vital time of empowering women and young girls, and has its audiences take a closer look at the heroism and extraordinary powers of good parenting. Maybe Pixar should release a Frozone spinoff movie with Samuel L. Jackson. I bet it’ll rake in dollars and set records like Black Panther did earlier this year.
Plus, Pixar’s short film, “Bao,” was emotionally fulfilling and heartwarming. A great look at family values with an Asian-American family.
Studio: Disney (1hr. 58 mins)
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Brad Bird, Phil LaMarr, Kimberly Adair Clark
Director: Brad Bird
Story: A new company recruits Elastigirl to save the world causing Mr. Incredible to stay home and watch the kids.
Final Score: B+