The Incredibles 2 – Film Review by Fran Winston
Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson
In cinemas July 13th
It’s taken 14 years for this sequel to reach our screens and while the voice actors may be older and grizzlier their on screen personas haven’t aged so this story can pick up a mere three months after the original film. This does mean that having some knowledge of the first flick will enhance your enjoyment of this movie so if you haven’t seen it, I would definitely check it out before going.
Basically all the world’s superheroes have been in a kind of a witness protection programme after public opinion had turned against them. Following the events of the first film the government is concerned with the amount of collateral damage caused by the incident, and shuts down the programme, leaving the Parr family, aka The Incredibles, without the financial assistance it afforded.
Without any means to support themselves they jump at an offer from a big corporation to partake in a stunt to restore the public’s faith in heroes. They want Helen, aka Elastigirl (Hunter), to spearhead it leaving Bob, aka Mr Incredible (Nelson), to become a stay at home dad. While he struggles with the day to day mundanity of house husbandry (and a baby that is displaying its powers at the most inappropriate moments), Helen encounters a mysterious super-villain who projects hypnotic images through television screens. When she falls under his control the rest of the family have to come out of hiding to help her and save the day.
Bird took his time making this and it shows. It’s well thought out and the story is a logical continuation of The Incredibles tale. It’s predictable at times but incredibly engaging. It’s great fun and switching the traditional gender roles in the home works really well in the current climate. Seeing the characters so far outside their comfort zones really adds an edge to the tale. What made the first film so good and something that is also evident here is the fact that it is completely character driven. Obviously this is only enhanced by the fantastic actors voicing it. The animation is brilliant (as you would expect) and will delight both younger audience members and grown-ups and it never loses its pace from the moment it blasts off.
I would question the decision to use so many flashing light effects. It will prevent anyone with photosensitive epilepsy from seeing the film and feels a bit unnecessary. Also, it shamelessly sets itself up for a third instalment with many unresolved plot points (director Bird claims this is due to having a year cut off their production schedule meaning they couldn’t follow through on some ideas they had).
Despite these minor quibbles, this is real old fashioned family fun. It’s not as good as the first movie but can more than hold its own in the cinema landscape. Incredible may be overstating it but it is extremely entertaining and the kind of movie that will merit more than one viewing.