I was having a roomie day with the little sis roommate three days ago, and we had decided to watch a movie nearly a month after making plans to watch one, because kids, as you grow up, it gets more difficult to make plans with your friends. Slowly you’ll realize that you’re busier and busier because your job doesn’t pay you enough and you need to work more hours or you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder or you’ve met someone new and you want to make the most of this new found relationship. Then all of a sudden you’re in your thirties and if you’re single you still might have time to chill with others, but your friends, they’re all adults with families now. And they’ll soon realize that as they spend so much time trying to keep up with their family, the only friends they’ll have left are their spouses and their kids. Maybe they’ll grab a beer on weeknights with other PTA parents in the future, but this is the last bit of friendship they’ll ever get. Which I mean…this is all appropriate because we went to watch Incredibles 2, a family oriented movie, and whoo-wee was the theater somehow still packed with families. Enjoy your little friends for the next eighteen years, parents.
And outside of the kids blathering or my roommate, in her little L-esque seating position, beating my left arm during tense moments, the movie was amazing.
Now is it better than the first Incredibles? Yes and no. But mainly yes. The only no I can think of is my pair of nostalgia goggles keeping me from saying only yes, but for the “yes” column there are plenty of improvements. The first improvement being the animation. I noticed that the animation, the drawn style of this sequel had changed. And I don’t wanna be that critic that says, It was aesthetically pleasing, but it was aesthetically pleasing. The style felt more appropriate for a superhero movie. The angles and arches to noses the way that jaws were squared out, the shading of the characters, it just all looked better and I enjoyed it more.
The narrative of the movie also improved upon itself because it rounded itself out. Some might say that the narrative was just a reverse of the first Incredibles, but while it was, it was a move that made sense. Rather than Robert having the superhero action and Helen dealing with family issues, their roles are reversed, and it’s interesting to see. Robert taking what he first sees as the sideline and dealing with family matters shows what, at this point, might be considered a played out or cliche perspective: The man who’s used to being the breadwinner has to stop and become a house-husband. But in this you get to understand Robert’s psyche. If he can’t be Mr. Incredible out on the streets, stopping crime, he wants to at least be Mr. Incredible at home. He goes into the role given to him and tries his best to be the best father he can be. And it’s quite admirable as he starts to understand the struggle of maintaining a family.
As for Helen, she gets to shine as the spotlight superheroine in a campaign to re-legalize supers. It was fun to watch her be a solo hero and be a badass. She fights crime efficiently and the way she goes about things is quite different from Robert. And remember kids, before you objectify her or call her “thicc” or a snack, remember that she’s amazing and should be respected. It was great to have her in the driver’s seat for this film because we need more powerful female protagonists out in the media, especially for children’s movies.
The kids, except Dash (probably because he’s the middle child), really get to shine too. Violet is growing into her own, she’s learning about romance, and is coming into adolescence. She has a struggle between being a superhero and her personal life and how those two things affect each other. Jack-Jack gets the most fun though, because we explore his powers. It’s adorable.
This sequel is great at expanding the world that the first Incredibles had set up. Since we entered the world at a time when supers were forced into hiding, it was great to see non-deceased supers outside of the Parr family and Lucius. The fact that there’s supers to represent other countries was a great addition.
If we were to talk problems though, I’d say that the plot for the villain was predictable. About ten to twenty minutes in, I knew who the villain was. And that isn’t me going, aw man I’m a genius, it’s me going, woo…anyone could have predicted this. But despite the villain being too easy to figure out, the themes, the reasoning behind the Screenslaver were interesting. It contributed to a question that most superhero narratives ask at some point, Why should there be superheroes? But that theme also extended into technology too, a topic the first movie kind of discussed too, the convenience of technology in society. But that’s not what I want to talk about. This movie asks if superheroes make things too convenient and take away the independence of average citizens, especially if they’re expecting that, no matter the dire situation, they’ll be saved. And maybe, probably, I haven’t searched enough, but that’s an interesting take on the existence of superheroes. And I wish that it could have been addressed more in the movie, though it shouldn’t really be the place of a narrative to directly answer a theme, it’s best when it explores and allows the audience to think for themselves.
So was this a good movie? Of course. Will I watch it again? In theaters? Maybe depending on who asks me to. At home when it gets on Netflix or Hulu? Yes. On Blu-ray? No. The only discs my money goes to are video games on the PS4. So go see this movie if you’re one of the few folks who haven’t. You’ll have a great time. I leave you with Elastigirl’s theme.