Review: The Incredibles 2

There is a lot of nostalgia around the original Incredibles film and not without reason. The film managed to capture a sense of superhero stories with a story that understood the history of the genre without feeling the need to treat it with reverence. Arguably it demonstrated that the best approach for a superhero film was to create its own cast of heroes (a theory refuted by the MCU). Yet it was also very much a Pixar film which meant clever artful animation telling character and emotion driven stories with an appeal across ages.

At the time Pixar eschewed sequels (with the exception of Toy Story) and despite the implications of the end of the film, a second Incredibles movie seemed unlikely. Time moves on and Disney-Pixar is keen to capitalise on the IP it owns. Could a sequel possibly manage that same balance of action and character?

Absolutely. Starting almost at the same point as the last film ends. The Parr family are still juggling the demands of a young family (work, baby, school) with the pressure to use their powers for good in a world where superheroes are still illegal. The good news is that there is popular (and financial) pressure to decriminalise superheroes and Elastigirl is exactly the hero who could be the public face of a move to win people over.

As with the original film there is a right-leaning individualism that suits the superhero genre well. Some of the stay-at-home-dad jokes feel like they are from an older decade but they serve to point out how physical and psychologically exhausting childcare is (although more so when your baby can move through additional dimensions).

The underlying super villain plot is genuinely exciting (although not hard to work out the twist). As other have pointed out, there is a reliance on some strong flashing light sequences that while artfully done, probably should have had a warning.

Clever and warm and character driven, The Incredibles 2 still manages to be one of the best superhero films in what is now a crowded category. At the same time it is a family driven drama full of compassion and humanity. I really loved it. I’m going to watch many times 🙂


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