Review: The Incredibles 2

While I was debating over whether or not it would be okay to review The Incredibles 2 in a princess blog post, I remembered that Violet was in the concept drawing for Disney's canceled "Princess Academy" short (riding a Fantasia centaur no less), so I figured that basically makes her a Disney Princess. Plus, I don't go to the movies very often, so I'll take any excuse I can get. Disney sequels are usually released direct to DVD with minimal effort and quality, but Pixar is different. They have formed a reputation for making sequels that are just as good or superior to the originals. Toy Story 3 was one of my personal favorites, featuring Jodi Benson as Barbie. Like Toy StoryThe Incredibles 2 managed to bring back all of their original voice talent. They might be fourteen years older, but they still sound great. Thanks to the magic of animation, they look as beautiful and youthful as ever.

The Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first movie left off. Superheroes are still illegal, and the Parr family have just stopped a massive attack on the city caused by the villainous Underminer, who turns out not to be the villain for most of this film. When former superhero fanboy Winston Deavor, voiced by Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk, catches sight of them, he hires Elastigirl to support his campaign to make superheroes legal again, leaving a jealous Bob to stay home and take care of the kids. Baby Jack-Jack finally reveals his numerous wild and uncontrollable powers that were foreshadowed in the short "Jack-Jack Attack." Violet suffers from the negative effects of civilian memory erasure when her crush, Tony, has his mind wiped, which is a common trope among superhero stories such as the "Dance of Deception" short story from the Magic at Midnight anthology as well as NBC's Heroes. Dash didn't get much of a subplot in this movie despite being just as present overall as the rest of the Parr family.

The post Frozen era of Disney began a new trend that they've used in just about every movie since then called "Guess the villain." Before Frozen, the villain was always the one in the black cape with the evil cackle and awesomely catchy song. Now, it's usually a character you meet fairly early in the movie who doesn't get revealed as the mastermind behind all the protagonists' troubles until much later. It's almost like today's era of Disney movies invites the audience to play a "Whodunnit" mystery game. The Incredibles 2 followed in these footsteps with mixed results. In this case, though, the original movie used the same technique fourteen years earlier, long before Disney started doing it themselves. did think Syndrome made a better villain than the mysterious Screen Slaver who hypnotized people using projections.

Whatever The Incredibles 2 did well was done incredibly well (pun intended). The level of action and suspense during the climax kept me on the edge of my seat more than any movie I've seen in quite a while. The pacing was perfect. There was never a dull moment. It was extremely entertaining to see Bob struggle with all the normal challenges of fatherhood along with some less normal ones like having a baby who can warp to other dimensions. It was hilarious when he tried to deny his jealousy over Helen being chosen to represent superheroes in Winston's campaign and his exhaustion over having to take care of the kids on his own. Of course, it was all done in good taste because it proved how much he loved his wife by not wanting to make her worry about him. Helen also had a lot of internal struggle between wanting to be a good role model for her children by not breaking the law while also wanting to change it so they could grow up in a world where their superpowers would be accepted. Also, the short before the movie was one of the best Pixar shorts I've seen. It had the whole theater teary-eyed by the end.

If you're looking for an engaging and fun time at the movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat, look no further than Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles 2. Even though the movie followed Disney's typical story structure, it did so in an innovative, fun, and exciting way. The characters' struggles were realistic and relatable while still suspenseful and supernatural at the same time. The fourteen-year wait for this movie was absolutely worth it.


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