Brad Bird is fantastic at producing animations that are appealing to both kids and adults alike. Ratatouille and The Incredibles are both great kids films that are funny, engaging and adult friendly and Bird successfully continues this trend with his new feature-length: Incredibles 2.
Opening more or less exactly where the first ended, Incredibles 2 has the same tone as the original, but at the same time does its own thing. You can expect a similar sense of humour and action style but the sequel is far more than just a revamp of the first film. The villain is creepier, and the tone feels fresh as it touches on themes of gender roles and the influence that technology holds over our lives in the modern age.
Elastigirl is now the one out fighting crime on her own while Mr Incredible stays at home and looks after their family, something which he has an issue with at first for no reason other than that he is the husband and she is the wife. Throughout the film there are other wee nods to gender roles in society such as an advert for a product that states “so easy, even he can do it”, a throwback to the sexist “so easy even she can do it” adverts of the 50’s and 60’s.
The role of monitors and screens in modern life is an important feature in the plotline with the villain “The Screenslaver” using everyday technology to carry out their evil plans. Particularly relevant in a post Cambridge-Analytica era. It’s not a brand new social topic but it is refreshing to have more than an evil genius who simply holds the world to ransom. Although the villain is still an over the top Bond-esque character, the “Screenslaver” is a bit more realistic, and definitely far creepier, even for adults.
One of the best parts about the film is Jack-Jack. At the end of the original we are introduced to the baby’s superpowers, but he never really manages to take centre stage. However, in the sequel his powers play a far bigger role as they are used to great comic effect. Mr Incredible soon finds out that looking after Jack-Jack is not an easy task. One particularly great scene revolves around the super powered infant having a fight with a racoon in which he reveals his powers. It is an incredibly cute, and funny piece of slapstick comedy.
Incredibles 2 manages to avoid predictability, the action sequences are over the top but they never feel stupidly surreal. The writing is fantastic with a decent plot line even though it follows the standard story arc of most superhero films. Humour wise there is plenty for all ages to enjoy, and it will make you laugh whether you are 8 or 18. Incredibles 2 is easily as good as the first, and there is certainly an argument to be made that it outshines the original.
By Jack Coleman