Review: Incredibles 2
In the seventeen years it took for the sequel to the Pixar classic The Incredibles to be released, director Brad Bird has only made three other movies in-between. Ratatouille was an instant classic, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol saw a much-anticipated return to live action directing.
He also directed Tomorrowland, which even I’d forgotten existed. It’s nice to see then, that Bird hadn’t forgotten about The Incredibles as much as I had, with the sequel dropping out of the blue just under a year ago.
A semi-continuation of where The Incredibles left off, the sequel sets out to tell the tale of resurging supers, and Elastigirl’s (Holly Hunter) mission to legalise her kind once more, with the help of Winston Deaver (Bob Odenkirk).
What is instantly recognisable in this movie is its cast. Although not visible, their personalities and voices seep into the performances, often overtaking the intended message of each particular character. This happens greatly with Odenkirk, who tries his best not to channel Saul Goodman, but has no luck doing so.
There’s not a bad performance in sight though. Even with a few cast members struggling to fit into their roles old and new. Samuel L. Jackson seems the most out of his depth, however still gives a resounding performance as the returning fan favourite, Frozone.
Beyond those voice performances though, it’s nice to see that the movie is as visually stunning as I had anticipated. There’s a brilliant, subtle overhaul of the original characters, with the right level of changes to minute details make The Incredibles 2 feel more like a reworking than a sequel.
All of this works so very well thanks to the direction, which is solid the whole way through, delivering a variety of enjoyable action set pieces with Elastigirl and hilarious subplots with Mr. Incredible and Jack Jack.
I’ve always admired Bird’s ability to create family friendly movies that take on some fairly high societal issues, but not clogging the action up with meanings and political insights. On a surface level, The Incredibles 2 is a great, colourful bit of fun that the whole family will enjoy. Beneath that, there are all sorts of depictions of class, creed and everything in between.
As close as we’ll ever get to the idea of a “perfect sequel”, The Incredibles 2 is a movie that will resonate with nostalgic audiences like myself, and also newcomers of the series.
My only concern is that Pixar are now becoming evidently dependant on sequels, with The Incredibles 2 not the first and certainly not the last re-hash of an old gem.