I still remember being five years old and eating some homemade chips from my dad before my family went out to see The Incredibles at the Star City in Birmingham, one of my earliest cinema experiences. There were certainly others before this – The Spongebob Squarepants Movie and A Series Of Unfortunate Events come to mind – but this moment stands out because it was the first time seeing a movie felt like such an event. We went in the evening, all of us were watching the same film, and all of us came out loving it.
Therefore, I was very sceptical of this new film, alongside many others who had waited through over a decade of Cars movies in order to reach this point. The trailers didn’t raise more than a ‘meh’ reaction from me, though the thought of a film good enough to match the original still drew some excitement out of the part of my soul that is still five years old and full of homemade chips. Thankfully, that part of me was sated with Incredibles 2, which expands on the original by providing greater character depth, funnier comedy, and more jaw-dropping setpieces.
Director Brad Bird chose to focus more on the female Parrs this time, and in doing so fulfilled another chlidhood wish of mine in giving the angsty yet grounded Violet more to do. The film opens with her would-be boyfriend Tony having his mind erased after seeing her in costume, and I appreciated that they acknowledged without mocking the effect that her superhero abilities have on her teenage social life. The driving force of the plot, however, was Elastigirl Helen Parr and her stylish comeback at the hands of a corporation keen on legalising superheros once more. Holly Hunter gives a commanding but kind voice performance with her distinctive drawl, and is a fantastic foil to Craig T Nelson’s warm yet cocky Mr Incredible, who dominated the last film.
The heart of Incredibles 2 is undeniably Jack Jack, who even after receiving his own short has not become gimmicky or overstayed his welcome. The scenes with the youngest Parr are arguably the best in the entire film, a moment in which he fights an unsuspecting raccoon with his plethora of powers being a particular standout. These moments with Jack Jack going from a literal monkey demon to being made entirely of fire also show off the smooth and creative animation incredibly effectively, each form giving comedy alongside punchy and cool visuals.
Incredibles 2 may also be the best action film I’ve seen all year. From Elastigirl’s chase on a train to the aforementioned raccoon fight to the over the top finale, the movie is essentially fantastic action sequences glued together with quieter moments of character growth and witty, realistic dialogue, and you never feel bored of either.
I feel like I didn’t need to write a review to get people to see this film, but if you for some reason were thinking of skipping it, I urge you not to.