It’s been 14 years since the Parr family of The Incredibles burst onto our screens and it’s fair to say that no sequel has been as hotly anticipated as this year’s Incredibles 2.
Picking up immediately after the first movie ends, we find Mr Incredible (Craig T Nelson), Elastigirl (Helen Hunter) and Frozone (Samuel L Jackson) forced to return to their normal lives when a rescue mission goes wrong.
However, when superhero fan Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) contact the family with a plan to win back the public’s approval for the Supers—focussing on Elastigirl—everything changes.
There’s an uncomfortable moment of adjustment for Mr Incredible as he finds himself taking a backseat to an increasingly successful wife, while literally left minding the baby. It’s a backstory that seems a little laboured at times but, given the recent fan-boy reactions to Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who all getting female leads, perhaps we needed to see Bob out of his comfort-zone and Helen beating the men at their own game to get the idea that the world isn’t a 1950s comic book any more.
In fact there are quite a few messages bubbling under the skin-tight lycra here. The villain—Screenslaver—has a lot to say about the nature of modern society and vicarious living via screens and tablets. Think They Live but only with babies who turn into giant, fiery demons. At times all these messages get a little messy. Who should we rely on? The Supers—who we trust because they are born special—or the self-made men and women, who maybe want to do nothing more than wake us from our somnambulist lives?
But, hey, let’s not talk politics. This is Incredibles 2, right? And while the pace is slower and more self-assured then the first film, the drama, the heart, and the sharply-observed humour is all exactly as it should be. The best moments hinge on baby Jack-Jack’s growing powers and the return of the irrepressible Edna Mode, played by The Incredible’s writer and director Brad Bird himself. The Bond-esque music hits just the right tone—balancing thrills, chills, and laughs —and by the time the end credits roll you’re ready to hit play all over again.
Incredibles 2 will be released in multiple formats, including Digital 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD and, physically in 3D, blu-ray, and on DVD. Note that there are strobe effects throughout and additional releases have been modified in an effort to accommodate those who are photosensitive.