The Incredibles 2 Review

The Incredibles 2 movie posterSynopsis
Helen Parr (Holly Hunter (voice)) is chosen by siblings Winston (Bob Odenkirk (voice)) and Evelyn (Catherine Keener (voice)) Deavor to help legalize heroes again. With Helen at her new job Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson (voice)), must stay home to take care of their kids.

Review
Back in 2004, the superhero craze had barely just begun. Spider-Man 2 had just hit theaters, Ang Lee’s Hulk was in theaters the year before, the X-Men franchise was just two films in and we were one summer away from the Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Among these familiar heroes, Pixar jumped into the superhero fray themselves with their own, original family of heroes in The Incredibles. What we got was one of the best movies in Pixar’s library and a film that made the movie put as much weight on the characters being a family and dealing with familial problems as it did in the characters being heroes. It has been a long, fourteen year wait but the Parr family is finally back.

At the head of the Parr family is Bob, aka Mr. Incredible. The first film was about him dealing with trying to bring back the β€œglory days” and going through a mid-life crisis. In this one, the return of supers is just over the horizon. However, it’s his wife, Elastigirl, that gets to be one to don her superhero suit while Bob becomes a stay-at-home dad. Watching him struggle to balance between being happy for his wife and being jealous of her feels too real. My favorite part about the previous film was how accurate it portrayed the Parr family. Here was this family of superheroes who could do incredible things (pun intended) and yet they were arguing with each other, annoying each other, and supporting each other, just like a regular family. This film once again nailed those familial dynamics, bringing to screen one of the most accurate portrayal of family I have seen in film, animated or otherwise.

One of the best supporting characters from The Incredibles is Samuel L. Jackson’s Frozone. He gets an expanded part and much more integral role this time around and you won’t see me complaining! Besides seeing more Frozone, many more supers are introduced as well. The powers introduced are pretty unique and were fun to see interact with each other. Screenslaver, the villain of the picture, was good. If compared to the villain of the last film, Syndrome, I think I liked Syndrome better as a villain. However, Screenslaver felt fleshed out and had believable motivations behind their actions.

Of course I can’t talk about an animated film without bringing up the animation itself. The animation of the first didn’t feel as impressive compared to Pixar’s other films around that time and I feel the same way again about this film. While it’s great to see how animation has improved in the fourteen years between the two films, the animation didn’t wow me like other recent films.

I thought The Incredibles 2 was GOOD πŸ™‚ Once again, Pixar brings one of the most real portrayal of a family in cinema. While the animation wasn’t mind-blowing, the story and characters more than make up for it. Was it worth the fourteen year wait to get a sequel to The Incredibles at last? Absolutely.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Brad Bird – Director / Writer
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Craig T. Nelson – Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice)
Holly Hunter – Helen Parr / Elastigirl (voice)
Sarah Vowell – Violet Parr (voice)
Huck Milner – Dashiell Parr (Dash) (voice)
Eli Fucile – Jack-Jack Parr (voice)
Samuel L. Jackson – Lucius Best / Frozone (voice)
Bob Odenkirk – Winston Deavor (voice)
Catherine Keener – Evelyn Deavor (voice)
Brad Bird – Edna Mode (voice)
Michael Bird – Tony Rydinger (voice)
Sophie Bush – Voyd (voice)
Phil LaMarr – Krushauer / Helectrix (voice)
Paul Eiding – Reflux (voice)
Bill Wise – Screenslaver / Pizza Guy (voice)

Movie Quote of the Week – 1/16/15

Answer to MWL 1/14/15: Edna Mode (Brad Bird (voice)) – The Incredibles

Edna: I used to design for gods. But perhaps you come with a challenge, eh? I was surprised to get your call.
Mr. Incredible: E, I just need a patch job.
Edna: Hmm. This is megamesh. Outmoded, but very sturdy. And you’ve torn right through it! What have you been doing, Robert? Moonlighting hero work?
Mr. Incredible: Must have happened a long time ago.
Edna: I see. This is a hobo suit, darling. You can’t be seen in this. I won’t allow it! Fifteen years ago, maybe, but now?
Mr. Incredible: What do you mean? You designed it.
Edna: I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.

 

The following people answered correctly:

The Love Pirate (Love Pirate’s Ship’s Log)
Jackie
That Moment In (That Moment In) (I don’t know which one of you guys this was…)

The Incredibles Review

The Incredibles movie posterSynopsis
Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) was once the superhero Mr. Incredible and is having trouble settling down into an ordinary life with his wife Helen (Holly Hunter) and children, Dash (Spencer Fox), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Jack Jack (Eli Fucile, Maeve Andrews). When an opportunity comes along that allows Bob to put on the suit again, he takes it. But when a mistake from his past catches up to him, his entire family must suit up to help him.

Review
Without a doubt, Pixar tells some of the best stories about family and friendship out there. Pixar once again outdid themselves with The Incredibles. They crafted a narrative that can be appreciated by all age levels and has something for everyone. It’s not very often a studio known for movies geared towards a younger audience can successfully create a story centered around a midlife crisis, but Pixar managed to pull it off.

First thing I noticed was the fantastic music. It was very jazzy, a genre you don’t see very often in movies nowadays, and reminiscent of spy movies like James Bond or Mission Impossible. When done right, the music can add a whole other dynamic to a movie, and Michael Giacchino’s score is a perfect fit. It complements the feel of the film appropriately and raises the film to a whole new level.

Pixar did excellent job casting the voices of the characters. Craig T. Nelson fills the voice of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible perfectly. The same goes for Holly Hunter as Helen/Elastigirl. Probably my favorite casting though is Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone, one of the few superheroes Bob keeps in contact with after retiring his mask. A close second is director Brad Bird as Edna Mode, a superhero costume designer. He brings a certain energy to the character that the animation can’t portray. Sarah Vowell Violet Parr is the only one I don’t care for. Her voice is very gratey and sometime downright annoying.

As I mentioned before, the story is phenomenal. The Incredibles has a much more mature tone than previous Pixar films. It still has an appeal to the younger audience, but the focus of the story is on Bob and his relationship with his family, particularly his wife. There are many one-liners that younger viewers may not catch that are specifically focused towards the older audience. It’s easy to understand Bob’s desire to return to the β€œglory days” and relive his youth once more. And there is something amusing about watching a superhero go through a midlife crisis.

I wasn’t blown away by the animation, but that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t look good. There are a wide range of environments, from the city to a jungle island and several places in between, and they are vibrant and each have a distinct feel. It looks great, but compared to Pixar’s other films, such as Toy Story or Finding Nemo, it just isn’t anything over spectacular. However, I was impressed with the effects on the superhero suits. They had a nice texture that looked like real fabric, almost like velvet. Also, the character models are very exaggerated. I like it because each character is unique, but and the same time I don’t because they seem overemphasized, drawing too much attention to their caricatured features.

No matter how old you are, there is something in The Incredibles for you. A superhero going through a midlife crisis makes for some wonderful story moments and the Parr family dynamic feels organic and real. Although the animation may be too exaggerated for my liking, the excellent voice cast and jazz score, along with the incredible story, propel The Incredibles to heights rarely seen in a more mature animated feature.

Rating
5/5