It was incredible.
BQB here with a review of the long awaited sequel to “The Incredibles.”
Wow. How quickly fourteen years go by. When I saw the original film in 2004, I was young, full of hopes and dreams and now, all these years later I realize that being the humble proprietor of a blog that’s only read by 3.5 people is the best my life will ever get.
SPOILER ALERT – before the film, the cast, i.e. Craig T. Nelson (Mr. Incredible), Holly Hunter (Elastigirl) and Samuel L. Jackson (Frozone) come out to apologize for taking so long to make a sequel, and then in a fun way, explain how long it takes to make an animated movie, from coming up with a story idea, refining it, drawing it out on paper, getting it into computerized animation, etc. It’s all so complicated you are amazed animated movies, or really, any movies, get made at all.
As it turns out, 14 years was worth the wait. This is a rare sequel that is good as the original, and perhaps even surpasses it in some ways.
The story picks up right after the end of the last film. Superheroes continue to be hated by the public and the government, thought of as jerks who just get in the way and cause more damage to the city while fighting villains that the world would be better off just letting the villains take whatever they want.
However, Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) don’t share this view. Wealthy telecom company owners, this brother-sister duo believe that superheroes are the future and are willing to put up their money and public communication skills on the line to rehabilitate public perception of superheroes, all in the hope of changing anti-super hero laws.
SIDENOTE: I’ve always felt that the anti-hero laws of this world reflect the real world. All too often, we bitch at people who are trying to solve problems because it’s easier than, say, actually rolling up our sleeves and trying to solve the problems ourselves.
Back to the review. The Deavors become the Incredible family’s benefactor, putting them up in swanky digs and funding missions for Elastigirl. That’s right. It’s Mr. Incredible’s turn to stay home and play Mr. Mom, helping super fast son Dash with his homework, invisible girl Violet with her teenage angst, and, to hilarious effect, corralling baby Jack-Jack, whose budding super powers have no bounds as the little guy is all emotion with no ability to control himself.
Meanwhile, Elastigirl dazzles in a particularly awesome scene with a special motorcycle that can separate apart as she needs it to. Remember, she’s like a big rubber band, so as the action happens, her butt can be twenty feet away and the back half of the bike will detach and stick with her butt as needed. Sounds silly, yet awesome on the big screen and kudos to the writer who thought of that.
There are many great action scenes like this, showing that Disney knows super heroes, Pixar knows animation, so more animated super hero flicks might definitely pan out. As I recall, Disney’s other animated super hero flick, “Big Hero 6,” was further proof of this phenomenon.
It all culminates in taking on “The Screenslaver,” the villain who is able to control the minds of anyone who watches one of his hacked screens, with an underlying message that perhaps we could all use a little less screen time.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Lesson? Take your time with sequels, Hollywood. Resist the cash grab urge. I know you’re in a money making business but put sequels on the back burner while you work other projects, and then when those sequels have simmered enough, move them to the front burner where they can satisfy our appetites with gourmet precision rather than fast-food speed. The extra time taken here paid off big time.
Not to keep knocking “Star Wars” but keep in mind that absence makes the heart grow fonder and maybe even makes the movie maker’s mind sharper. Maybe 14 years is a long time but a sequel, say, once every 5 years is like getting together with an old, long lost friend, whereas a sequel once a year is like that house guest who sets up shop in your living room and refuses to leave. Sure, it was fun for a week but now you’d like to be able to watch your TV and sit on your couch in peace.
Other lesson – more animated super hero movies or, barring that, more animated any kind of adventure movies. Live action hero movies are great, but animated films can really stretch boundaries and give adults something to actually enjoy while captivating the kids.