It is safe to say that the long-awaited Incredibles 2 has been a long time coming. 14 years in the making to be exact. It's strange to think that Disney Pixar would have waited so long to return to such a beloved and successful film property. However, upon closer inspection, there may be some genius in Disney's release strategy. This is especially considering Incredibles 2 is coming hot off the heels of the billion dollar superheroic blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. The public's obsession with superhero movies has not gone unnoticed by Disney. This has provided Incredibles 2 with the opportunity to ride off the wings of Marvel's Avengers, quite possibly making both films the highest grossing movies this year.
In short, the sequel to The Incredibles is simply stellar. It has to be said that Incredibles 2 is undeniably the best version of the Fantastic 4 we have ever seen on the silver screen. There is the captivating social dynamic between each of the family members, not to mention the tremendously familiar selection of powers that each member of the team has at their disposal.
The film picks up immediately where the first Incredibles left off, with the superheroic family in pursuit of the "Underminer" voiced humorously by John Ratzenberger. Despite some marvellous heroics, things don't go according to plan. This leaves the Parr family in an extremely awkward predicament, being homeless and without the legal right to use their powers again.
Circumstances change however following the introduction of telecommunications tycoon Winston Deavor, who seems hellbent on publicising the usefulness of superheroes. This provides the perfect opportunity for Helen Parr aka Elastigirl to offer her unique brand of heroism, while Bob stays home to look after the kids.
Both subplots are immensely entertaining, as Elastigirl becomes an advocate for heroism while simultaneously investigating a mysterious villain known as the "Screen Slaver". Meanwhile, Bob negotiates his daughter Violet's emotional adolescence, his son Dash's homework assignments and baby Jack-Jack's manifesting powers.
Each of the characters is extremely well developed, with most of the story revolving around Mr. Incredible's fatherly skills, Elastigirl's return to work and Violet Parr's love life. Dash is unfortunately neglected in this regard, however, he shines brightly with a number of comedic moments.
Director Brad Bird returns to helm the project, in addition to once again lending his vocal talents to the quirky and incomparable Edna Mode. The rest of the film's formidable cast also return from the previous instalment, with the likes of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson once again providing their wonderful vocal talents to Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone respectively. This time around Holly Hunter has more of a starring role, as the film has fun with a stereotypical role reversal that creates a plethora of comedic moments.
The undeniable star of the film comes in the form of the youngest member of the Parr family, the loveable and utterly hilarious Jack-Jack. As the story progresses, the manifestation of his multiple powers creates many of the movie's most memorable moments. It is artful storytelling on the part of Disney Pixar and Brad Bird, with Jack-Jack having little to no dialogue to assist with the creation of his wonderful character.
Overall, the first two acts of the film are completely engrossing, as the film manages to balance elements of espionage with ordinary family life. Pixar once again is able to use their revolutionary animation to captivate the emotions, conjuring elements of gloom and mystery while simultaneously providing just the right amount of levity. In short, the film is guaranteed to make audiences laugh out loud.
In summary, Incredibles 2 is a formidably funny movie that is entertaining as it is riveting. The characters are all fabulous and each has their moment to shine. This is also reflected by the tremendous cast dynamic which provides the film with a fantastic narrative drive. It has to be said that the final act does have a few flaws, with some of the revelations and conflict resolution feeling incredibly convenient and perhaps not that well thought out. These are narrative issues that could have easily been tidied up in the writer's room prior to filming.
However, this is very mild criticism for a movie that is destined to be the best-animated movie of the year. Incredibles 2 is indeed a better film than its predecessor. The movie is so strong in fact, that it is sure to be Pixar's highest grossing film of all time. Incredibles 2 is an absolute must see at your local cinema.