In the past 14 years I’ve accomplished many things – as one does when growing up. I graduated elementary school, suffered through the awkward stage of middle school, embraced my inner nerd in high school, survived the SATs, the college decision process and three full years at Fairfield University. It is during this time that I patiently awaited the release of the Incredibles 2. For anyone who remembers the first Incredibles movie, it ends on a cliff-hanger and fans everywhere were anxiously waiting to see what would happen next to our family of heroes. Alas, the second half of their story waited over a decade to be told. Despite the agonizingly long wait for this release, “Incredibles 2” was nothing short of “super.”
Now, before going any further I will disclose that the rest of this review will contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.
The movie started exactly where the original Incredibles leaves off – post Dash’s (Huck Milner) track meet, when the Underminer (John Ratzenburger) creates destruction throughout the city and steals money from surrounding banks and town halls. The Incredibles spring into action and accomplish … nothing. As the police department is quick to point out, they didn’t stop the city from being destroyed and they lost the Underminer (who successfully stole money from the city). This only intensifies the long-standing tension between the government and Supers. Also, don’t get too attached to the Underminer, as this was his only appearance throughout the entirety of the film, we don’t learn what happens to him or where he goes, which still bothers me.
The Incredibles and Lucius/Frozone (Samuel Jackson) come into contact with a hero-obsessed man who has dedicated his entire life to figuring out a way in which superheroes can be legalized once more. This seamlessly shows how the general public can take a stand against authority to fight for a cause that they believe is just and fair. This man who hopes to prove the government wrong goes by the name of Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), and together he and his techy sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), joined together to lead a telecommunications company. Maybe it was my recent obsession with crime shows and murder mysteries, but it wasn’t too tricky to quickly figure out that Evelyn was the villain in the movie – but we’ll get to that later.
Winston makes a deal with Frozone, Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig Nelson) and Helen/ Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) to resurface slowly, in the hopes of easing the public back into the positive perception of superheroes. They decide to start with Elastigirl due to her prestigious and clean fight record – yay female empowerment! While she travels to fight crime under the careful watch of Winston and Evelyn, Mr. Incredible is left to stay home with his three kids. Points for female/male stereotypical role reversal, Disney.
Mr. incredible’s experience as a stay-at-home dad is hysterical. Though this span of time is a bit stretched out, every scene is worth the watch. He soon realizes that raising a teenage daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell), struggling with her first crush, a younger son, Dash, who is shockingly worse at doing his math homework than I am and baby, Jack Jack (Eli Fucile), who discovers all 17 of his powers. Seventeen powers was a bit overkill, I’m personally not a fan of the demon monster baby or the extremely oversized Hulk-like Jack Jack. I think 7 or 8 powers would have been fine and would have got the message across all the same.
Nevertheless, while Elastigirl is saving the world under the sibling duo, she notices a common trend where people are being hypnotized through technology screens, through a villain who calls themselves Screenslaver. Remember when I said that Evelyn was tech savvy? Like I said, it wasn’t too hard to put the pieces together, so if you’re looking for a good mystery, then a PG Disney movie is probably not your speed.
However, some of the fight scenes the Elastigirl undergoes while trying to defeat Screenslaver are pretty intense. As a 20-year-old, rising senior who had to close my eyes while watching these scenes, I started wondering if this movie was meant for children, or whether it was in fact targeted for the millennial generation. If you were thinking of taking young ones to see the “Incredibles 2”, I wouldn’t suggest it. I kept hearing the Voldemort-like voice of Screenslaver in my head hours after seeing the film. If you’re a classic Disney fan, who enjoys the romanticism and love-story aspects of their films, then you might be disappointed in “Incredibles 2”; however, if you’re more of a Marvel Disney fan, then you might find that you enjoy this sequel more-so than the first movie.
Apparently Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible and Frozone were petrified as well, since the three kids were the ones who eventually save the day – Jack Jack specifically. This point I really appreciated. It showed that kids aren’t powerless, but quite the opposite, which is a concept that is really important in today’s climate. Kids have the power to save the planet and reconstruct society, and the Incredibles enforces this important concept.
We can’t forget that this is in fact a Disney movie, so in typical Disney fashion, it has a happy ending. However, there is one line at the end that stands as the sole reason as to why I decided to go so in-depth with this review, and ultimately why I delivered so many spoilers. When Evelyn was being arrested, Violet made a comment about how she was rich and probably wouldn’t receive much more than a “slap on the wrist.” **SNAPS FOR DISNEY** By showing that good triumphs over evil, yet also pointing out that the punishment for those of a higher socioeconomic status is oftentimes unfair, was beautifully weaved into the film and shows the drive that Disney has to create works that influence people to stand up to society and fight for everyone’s ability to be “incredible.
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