Incredibles 2 review: Pixar delivers arguably their funniest film yet, 14 years after the debut of the original.
Incredibles 2 review by Awais Irfan.
Following on from, arguably, one of their best films to date – certainly in their recent slate of releases – in Coco, Pixar are releasing the second of their 2018 projects, the long-awaited sequel to The Incredibles: Incredibles 2. 14 years since the original, was it worth the wait?
Picking up in the immediate moments following where the first film left off back in 2004, the city has found itself under attack from The Underminer and the Parr family, along with the help of Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), step up to save the day once again. However, with superheroes still illegal and frowned upon by the government, things don’t quite end well for our eponymous family. But when tech genius (Bob Odenkirk) approaches them with a plan to bring supers back into the light, Helen (Holly Hunter) suits up as Elastigirl in a bid to try to make heroes legal again whilst Bob (Craig T. Nelson) stays at home and plays Dad. But this proves to be a lot harder than he first imagined when a whole slew of problems arise, from Violet (Sarah Vowell)’s boy troubles to Dash (Huck Milner)’s math problems and, most tasking of all, the discovery that Jack-Jack also has powers.
Of course, the first Incredibles film remains one of Pixar’s best achievements to date – to many, the crowning glory of their filmography thus far (one that includes works like the Toy Story Trilogy, Wall-E etc). It’s an iconic film and one of the best-animated features ever made; with a sequel arriving 14 years later, the one film fans were clamouring to see a follow-up to most, Incredibles 2 comes with a lot of expectations to meet and a high bar to reach set by its predecessor. Thankfully, it’s an absolute blast to watch; this film is, mind the expression, INCREDIBLE! For starters, it captures the tone and heart of the first film superbly; it picks up immediately after the original and it transports us back into that world, feeling as if we never left in the first place. The characters, the tone, the camaraderie is all exactly the same as it was back in 2004 and it’s great; the only difference this time, the animation is better and the story is progressing further. Of course, as is the case with any Pixar film, the visuals are remarkable; this is Pixar’s best-looking film to date. The animation is so detailed and the depth and colour is unequivocal; particularly, the use of lighting within the animation work here is mind-bogglingly impressive and adds so much to the aesthetic and nuance of the film.
The first Incredibles film worked so well because of the characters and the message of family at its core; our eponymous team are as great as ever, full of bickering and upsets and issues and everything you’d expect from any family. It’s this sense of normality within them that makes them so relatable; Bob acting as the stay-at-home-dad whilst Helen is out saving the day is a nice twist on what we’d usually get and it makes for some very fun encounters and scenes. Which leads me on to my next point: Incredibles 2 is, by far, Pixar’s funniest film to date. This was hilarious; the comedy is genuinely gut-busting at times and consistently laugh-out-loud funny. Everyone gets their time to shine, but Jack Jack is easily the star of the show – taking the belly share of the comedy and the film’s most enjoyable scenes and moments. The new additions to the myriad of characters are also great and everyone adds a lot to the story and dynamic; however, where the film perhaps falls short is in its antagonist. The story starts out taking Screenslaver in an interesting direction but they quickly become a very predictable, one-dimensional, run of the mill superhero big bad – not quite the formidable foe these heroes deserve, certainly not up to the level of Syndrome.
In the end, Incredibles 2 is a blast from start to finish. The action is visceral, intense and enthralling – some of the finest action sequences to ever occur in a superhero film; the comedy is hilarious; the heart and camaraderie of the original is very much present too. What I most loved about this sequel, however, was that it felt like the original in tone and style yet never took the story on a familiar path and never once felt like a re-tread; Brad Bird has transported us back to moments after the original ended and it feels like we never left, despite the near decade and a half wait. Incredibles 2 is one of those rare sequels that matches, if not surpasses, its already-iconic predecessor. It continues Pixar’s hot-streak as it’s yet another one of their best films following Coco earlier this year which was also one of their best films to date too; simply put, Incredibles 2 really is quite incredible and most definitely worth the 14 year wait.
Incredibles 2 review by Awais Irfan, June 2018.
Incredibles 2 was reviewed at the 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival.