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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews The Incredibles 2

June 25th, 2018 by Andrew Comments

The Incredibles 2 (PG)
Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter & Sarah Vowell 
Running time: 1hr 58mins

Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for the kids while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Picking up in the exactly same place the first movie ended, The Incredibles 2 sees the Parr family having a tough time right from the get go, setting up a premise for a movie where their kind – superheroes – aren’t exactly loved.

Approached by a businessman and his inventor sister who wish to appeal an anti-hero law, they intend to make Elastigirl an example superhero by her wearing a camera to show her perspective and show how superheroes are still needed, much to Mr Incredible’s dismay as he is left to become a stay at home parent to their three children.

It’s been 10 years since writer/director Brad Bird brought us the original and most requested-to-have-a-sequel Pixar animation.

The original was a joy which had a great story, action and animation that was fun but at its core had the story of family. It was clever enough to have an emotional strength whilst also being an homage to both the superhero genre as well as a sense of spoofing the likes of the Bond franchise, and it’s taken this long for Brad Bird to admittedly come up with a sequel that he thought on par with the original.

He has for the most part managed to do that, even making a change to the situation of the characters that feels more relevant to today than a decade ago with the sub-plot of Mr Incredible having to figure out being a stay at home father.

A large part of what makes this such a delight is not just a callback to the likes of Michael Keaton in Mr Dad, but that here we see him having to do it with super-kids, and a super-baby in the form of Jack-Jack, who (though we, the audience, know from the first movie) has abilities that his father knows nothing about.

The fact that in the ten years since the original movie was released we have seen the superhero genre blow up on the big screen (It’s literally ten years since Marvel’s cinematic universe began with the first Iron Man movie as well as DC and other comic superhero movie adaptations) should diminish the effect of this movie, and there is a slight lessening of this over the first movie purely because it’s lacking the ‘wow’ factor of the original, but because of the family dynamic, The Incredibles 2 is still easy to get into and enjoy as easily as the first was.

If there’s one area that the movie does fail on though, it’s the main story.

It is sadly the weakest part of the movie, with Elastigirl battling to stop a typical supervillain that is no stronger than most of Marvel’s repertoire, though there is at least an attempt to give them a decent motive with backstory that is believable and easy to understand. It’s just a shame how predictable that villain is, it would have been nice to have a villain as well-developed as any one of the Incredibles, I mean at least the villain in the first movie had the eccentricities of a Bond villain turned up to eleven and played them up wonderfully.

With Pixar movies there is an element that I have always found key to the enjoyment; it has been present going back to Toy Story (with the exception of the disappointing Monsters University) and that element is ingenuity.

Thankfully, this movie continues that trend and has ingenuity throughout that delights.

The one advantage that an animated superhero movie has over the live-action ones such as seen in the Marvel and DC movies, is that there is practically no limit to what you can do with a superpower; here we have a movie that makes full use of having a superhero that can stretch to any shape, introduces a bunch of new potential superheroes and powers (I loved the design and use of new character Void’s powers) and especially takes full advantage of a CGI baby you could not even attempt with live-action concerning Jack-Jack, who steals every scene he’s in, often with hilarity that will bring a smile to everyone’s face – a highlight being a scene with a garbage digging racoon. Oh, and of course, Brad Bird is back as eccentric costume designer Edna – need you more of a selling point?

It’s not a better movie than the first – that was always going to be near impossible to achieve, but it’s as entertaining, engaging and fun, and is a welcome addition to the Pixar brand.

PS Be sure to get to the cinema on time so you don’t miss the as-usual accompanying short Bao: essentially a silent movie, but done with typical Pixar emotion and finesse.

4 out of 5 nerds

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Co-host of the Monday Movie Show, Andrew is a huge movie fan who is into all sorts of things movie related, as well as a fan of all things nerd. In his spare time he likes to work at script writing, that is when he's not spending it on something movie or nerd related!

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