Awwwwww yeah, son. Kindly keep your kids at home, parents. I want to enjoy this movie without the consistent screaming and crying. I’ve been waiting fourteen years for this. I’m seeing it how I want to see it, y’all!
As a kid, I loved this movie. No, it wasn’t my favorite Pixar film, but I enjoyed it more than a little bit, as I assume most kids did. Great writing, memorable characters, great comedy, everything that Pixar is famous for. And like everyone, I was hoping for a sequel to happen much sooner. But how many people agreed that they actually wanted to see them be a little older? I mean, fourteen years. It feels odd that they wouldn’t age up the characters. I, and a few others that are like-minded, wanted to see Violet going to college, Dash in high school, and Jack-Jack as a little kid, as well as the parents in their twilight years. But I guess in retrospect, it only makes sense to keep them as they were. Their powers were specifically tailored to their… demographic, I guess? Babies are wild cards and can change moods and attitudes in a second, hence Jack-Jack’s many abilities, young kids like Dash are full of energy and are always running around, and teenagers can get defensive and sometimes only want to be invisible from the world, hence Violet’s powers. So however many sequels that we get of The Incredibles in the future, we shouldn’t expect them to be portrayed as older. Maybe the voice actors will be switched out, but unless we follow different characters entirely, not gonna happen.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Craig T. Nelson (BOOK CLUB  and GOLD ), Holly Hunter (THE BIG SICK  and BATMAN V SUPERMAN ), Sarah Vowell (THE INCREDIBLES ), Huck Milner (feature film debut; congrats, young man), and Sophia Bush (MARSHALL ). In support, we have Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers INFINITY WAR  and ULTRON , KONG: SKULL ISLAND , MISS PEREGRINE , and upcoming films LIFE ITSELF  and THE LAST FULL MEASURE ), Catherine Keener (NOSTALGIA , GET OUT , BEGIN AGAIN , and upcoming films SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO  and THE CROODS 2 ), Bob Odinkirk (THE POST  and THE DISASTER ARTIST ), Phil LaMarr (a ton of voice work on cartoons), and John Ratzenberger (COCO , FINDING DORY , INSIDE OUT , and the upcoming video game KINGDOM HEARTS III ).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing, we have Brad Bird, known for TOMORROWLAND (2015). Composing the score is Michael Giacchino, known for COCO, DOCTOR STRANGE (2016), JURASSIC WORLD (2015), and upcoming films JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (2018) and BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (2018). Finally, the editor is Stephen Schaffer, known for THE GOOD DINOSAUR (2015).
Overall, you bet your sweet bippy that I’m looking forward to this. The plot is pretty well-hidden, other than the simple, “wife is the bread-winner and dad has to be Mr. Mom.” I’m calling it, whoever that spokesman is that wants to sign Elastigirl up as their front-and-center for shifting the pubic image of Supers will end up being the main villain, and this masked person taking over the TVs will just be either a lackey or a troubled anti-hero. Let’s see what I get right and wrong.
This is my honest opinion of: INCREDIBLES II
Set right after the events of the first movie, the Incredibles manage to continue to be the center of controversy as their efforts in saving the day still manage to hurt their public image, and supers are still illegal. Being forced into hiding once more, they are given a chance to bring a better image to all supers by the super enthusiastic (voiced by Bob Odenkirk), and his tech-savvy sister (voiced by Catherine Keener) to bring that positive image to the public. Well, specifically, Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter), who is believed to save the day with less destruction, unlike Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson). So while Helen is out saving the day, Bob is stuck playing Mr. Mom and has to deal with Violet’s (voiced by Sarah Vowell) anger for accidentally having her supposed date’s memory, Dash’s (voiced by Huck Milner) new age methods of mathematics, and Jack-Jack’s (voiced by Eli Fucile) resurgence of many different powers.
It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s good… but it’s got some problems.
Specifically, it has one problem that I could not stand. This problem was so huge to me that I would have forgiven how predictable it was, or how some character actions were stupid. I would have forgiven all of that. But… nope. I can’t.
Bob Parr is probably the least likable protagonist that Pixar has ever created. Yeah, I said it! I did not like how his character was written. Time to explain. So basically, Bob is home taking care of the kids while Elastigirl is off saving the day, saving face for all supers. Okay, big, macho, Mr. Incredible playing Mr. Mom, that’s grounds for some comedy, right? Here’s the problem, he complains SO MUCH about it. Look, some initial frustrations, like the “changing of math” when helping Dash, that can be understood. But there’s far too many moments where he’s being jealous and frustrated that he’s not being a superhero.
Let me ask you something: does that sound familiar at all? Bob… is frustrated… that he’s not… being… a superhero. HELLO!!! That was the whole set-up of the original movie! Bob was so desperate to be a superhero and fight crime that he literally sat in his car listening to his police radio for potential crimes to fight. But the difference between that movie and this one is that his frustrations aren’t so heavily focused on. Before it overstays its welcome, he’s given that invitation from Mirage and goes to the island where Syndrome is. From that point on, it’s an afterthought. But in this movie, that’s the majority of his character on screen. It’s seriously like he would rather be a superhero than be a father to his kids. The movie seems like it’s about to side-step this moment when he wakes up in the middle of the night to learn Dash’s new math, indicating that he’s decided to adapt and accept his new role in the house. But not long after, he loses his marbles again. There’s another moment toward the end of the movie where he comments something like, “I just want to be a good dad,” or something to that effect, but this line legit made me angry because he’s barely demonstrated that love at all in this movie. So not only do the creators of this film recycle a character flaw from the first movie, but they made it worse by being his primary conflict, and that was beyond infuriating to me.
Thankfully, the rest of the movie fares a whole lot better.
Character-wise, Dash is sort of just there to be Dash, but Violet seems like she’s becoming more adult-like, Elastigirl is certainly a competent protagonist, and the villain is easy to understand and can even be seen as not entirely wrong as far as beliefs regarding superheroes are concerned. Jack-Jack is far and away the best part of this movie. His fight scene with the raccoon is probably one of the most hilarious in superhero history and comes close to going too far once or twice, but it never gets to that point, so it’s just freakin’ funny. My favorite bit, and it’s only a second long, is when Bob is reading Jack-Jack a book to lull him to sleep, but makes himself fall asleep instead, so Jack-Jack kind of lightly slaps Bob to wake up and keep reading. Oh my god, one of the greatest highlights of the movie is Jack-Jack’s weird relationship with Edna (voiced by Brad Bird) as she makes a suit for him to counteract all of his powers. She becomes almost obsessed with him and it’s so funny because she starts off being pretty put off by Jack-Jack. Loved it.
And there were some other really cool stuff, like Elastigirl’s motorcycle that’s able to snap in half to complement her stretching powers, making for an incredibly awesome chase scene. I also enjoyed how other heroes finally make appearances other than the Parrs and and Frozone, some older, and some younger. That was pretty cool, as well as being able to see them in action.
Overall, this was something of a disappointment to me, but it’s still a good movie. It recycles a few too many plot points for my taste and is predictable, but it still has mostly good characters, has plenty of imagination and creativity, making for some great scenes, and Jack-Jack alone is worth the prices of admission. So as a recommendation, I say go see it. Maybe others won’t take in the same problems I have, but if you’re a fan of the original film, you’ll like this, flaws and all.
My honest rating for INCREDIBLES II: 4/5
Next week’s reviews: