Every company in the world of entertainment strives for that one smash-hit; a blockbuster film, a number-one selling video game, a project that ascends above standard success and propels them into the spotlight. Behind each of those success-stories comes an overwhelming pressure to follow it up with something just as good if not better.
Finding a company that overcomes that pressure is rare. Finding a company that overcomes that pressure after ending its blockbuster film with a cliffhanger and waits a decade-and-a-half to release the sequel, is inconceivable.
There’s no doubt that Pixar’s Incredibles II will be the talk of the summer. It sucked the oxygen out of 2018’s superhero movie room; a tall task considering Marvel’s Black Panther and Infinity War are pouting together in the corner.
Instead of shying away from a potentially confusing target audience, Pixar embraced the amount of time it took for the sequel to be released and created an all-ages film that dabbles in mature themes while keeping things fun enough for children to enjoy.
The film starts right where The Incredibles left off, with Mr. Incredible and family protecting the city from the evil Underminer. Supers are still illegal and despite the family’s efforts to stop the villain, law enforcement believes they’ve done more harm than good.
All of the family unity built during their battle against Syndrome quickly dissipates as they’re faced with the harsh reality of living as supers in a society where heroes have been outlawed. But a super-obsessed billionaire named Winston Deavor steps in with a plan to make superheroes great again before things get too bad.
Deavor’s plan involves Elastigirl shining a better light on what superheroes can do, minus the property damage. This is where Pixar revisits the marital issues we saw between the power couple in the first movie. While his wife is out fighting crime, living the life he yearns to reoccupy, Mr. Incredible assumes the role of super-dad.
Pixar doesn’t hold back when displaying Mr. Incredible’s jealousy and initial disdain for being left on the bench. It takes gall to attempt a role reversal that shows the very likable face of the franchise having a couple of unlikable moments. This time around, however, Pixar leaves the heavy emotional undertone at the doorstep and opts for fun. Mr. Incredible eventually embraces the dad role, which leads to absolute hilarity among the kids.
Jack-Jack is predictably amazing and his showdown with a raccoon is one of the movie’s best moments. Violet “having adolescence” is relatable for anyone familiar with a 16-year-old and Dash is witty and hilarious.
The movie is visually astonishing, which comes as no surprise. Pixar’s animation is still light-years ahead of the curve and they take full advantage during action-packed scenes that span from helicopter dogfights to Elastigirl chase downs.
The big bad, Screenslaver, is creepy, maniacal, and speaks on societal issues that children won’t be able to follow. He (or she?) doesn’t feel like a children’s movie villain. Elastgirl’s initial fight with Screenslaver has a thriller movie feel and something about seeing the evildoer zapping Mrs. Incredible’s limbs into the consistency of silly putty is somewhat disturbing.
While Incredibles II doesn’t necessarily surpass it’s original, the sequel lived up to the hype; hype that’s been building since the moment The Incredibles ended. It’s hard to say anything bad about a film that we’ve been waiting this long for and Pixar didn’t give us much to complain about. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Photos via IMDB