A familiar plot given an invigorating boost proves Pixar’s magic is alive and well
Crispy animation and voice acting makes for some of the best superheroing you will ever see.
Family matters, and the Incredibles never forget that
Wait… It’s over already?
14 years ago, I stepped into the cinema to watch The Incredibles as a child, and came out a superhero fan.
At a time when superhero movies were terrible, (remember Catwoman? I wish I didn’t) or targeted to a more mature audience, The Incredibles was a breath of fresh air–an animated movie thoroughly enjoyable for kids, yet intricately crafted for adults.
Incredibles 2, however, will not be the superhero movie of the year. A cursory glance at the top grossing movies of the past ten years tells you how ingrained heroes and villains have been in Hollywood. This year not only had brilliant movies, but important ones like Black Panther. As such, the plot seems a little rehashed – superheroes rejected by society? Civil War, anybody?
However, nothing beats good old-fashioned execution, and Incredibles 2 polishes the formula to an I.
Brad Bird’s direction and writing nary misses a beat, as Elastigirl takes the well-deserved spotlight in a society tired of heroes, while Mr Incredible is left to fend for himself against the most terrifying of monsters – children. The Underminer is the first villain to appear in the story, but he isn’t the last. All this makes for fantastic action and a healthy dollop of humour, yet has that additional layer that Pixar movies are famous for. The plot won’t win first prize at the “Sixth Sense Award”, but it succeeded in bringing out my 10-year-old self, the one cheering on the Power Rangers and their inevitable victory.
Of course, the voice actors make or break the characters. The main cast is back on their A-game, as Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Frozone (Nick Fury) reprise their roles from The Incredibles. Huck Milner takes over Spencer Fox as Dash, and does well relaying Dash’s enthusiasm. Of course, Brad Bird himself makes a triumphant return as Edna Mode, in an appearance both unexpected and hilarious.
The movie might not be as technical a masterpiece as, say, The Good Dinosaur, but it is amazing nonetheless. The city looks alive, the water looks real, and the waffle made me hungry. As with all Pixar movies, the clean animation and well directed sequences are a treat. Live action superhero movies tend to turn into CG fiestas, and it’s refreshing to be able to watch superheroes do their jobs without constant camera shakes and bad lighting.
The score by Michael Giacchino is superb, a love letter to old animated cartoons filled with triumphant trumpets and quirky swells. Special mention to the realisation of the characters’ theme songs!
All in all, Incredibles 2 allays fears that all sequels are inferior. The movie never feels burdened by expectations, nor unnecessary callbacks and cameos that every single comic book movie seems to have these days. It is very simply a story that wants to be lovingly perused, a homage to an era when cartoons and comics were, first and foremost, fun.
Even then, its message is clear and concise – heroes bring people together. The Incredibles are back, and the family stands tall and proud even in 2018.
Incredibles 2 is out on the 14th of June and deserves to be the next $2 billion movie.