Incredibles 2 Review - Nostalgia And Laughs 23/07/18
Like most families, The Incredibles was a regular fixture in my house growing up. I was 10 when it came out, 11 when the DVD arrived which was plenty young enough to enjoy it, and as I grew up that enjoyment continued. The original’s strength is in the family dynamic - especially those scenes at the dinner table - and the true-to-life struggles of being in one. It presented families as they actually were, with a chaotic, unpredictable air to the frantic dialogue, especially during arguments, that felt close to home, having grown up with 3 siblings.
Incredibles 2 has this in spades.
This time matriarch Helen Parr becomes the face of the superhero resurgence, as she hunts the elusive Screen Slaver. Bob is left at home to deal with his son’s maths homework, his daughter’s first crush, and baby Jack-Jack’s emerging powers (the greatest - and funniest - metaphor for the limitless destructive energy of a baby since, well, I don’t know). As usual, each of our protagonists learns a valuable lesson along the way, but it’s the journey there that makes it worthwhile.
Bob’s middle act is hilarious, and I don’t say that lightly. As he becomes more and more sleep deprived and the demands from his children start mounting higher and higher I found myself hooting and wasn’t able to stop.
Our villain perhaps wasn’t as developed as I would have liked, but contrary to that minor gripe, Screen Slaver has an excellent monologue during a scene reminiscent of the best film noir, and a little of Nolan’s Batman as Helen hunts him down.
The part we discussed most after seeing it was the change in family, and gender, dynamics the film presented us with. Bob taking the role of stay-at-home Dad, while Helen goes out to work was a good reversal on the first film, and the epitome of this comes during a phonecall between the two parents where, through gritted teeth Bob must say that everything’s fine and that he’s delighted his wife is having so much fun. The hilarity, of course, comes from remembering the previous film’ s similar call as Helen handles life at home with ease.
Key to all of this, to the story, to the laughs, to all of it, is the animation and voice-performances that bring these characters to life. The cast is perfect, and Pixar never shy away from a moment to show us just how far animation technology has come in the 14 years since the last film. The subtlety and perfection of the facial animation struck me especially.
Better than the first film?
Does it beat the nostalgia?
Subjective. It did for me.
by Jack Buchanan