After 14 years Pixar has finally released Incredibles 2. Brad Bird once again takes on the role of director and writer, picking up the sequel immediately where the first movie left off. Watching the action unfold on screen feels like there were never any years in-between. Thanks to brilliant themes and excellent writing, the Incredibles make a stunning return in one of Pixar’s best films to date.
Incredibles 2 primarily focuses on Elastigirl back in action, with Mr. Incredible staying at home to take care of the kids. The events that play out present a plethora of intriguing and exhilarating sequences throughout the picture. While everyone from the Incredible family gets their fair share of screen time, Elastigirl is the star of the show. In a day and age where we are used to men taking on lead roles in superhero movies, it is sincerely refreshing to see someone else get some limelight. She’s as charming and funny as she is kickass, and the story does a tremendous job fleshing out all the parts of her personality.
Her new role as the lead superhero in the family instills some frustrations within her husband; however, this presents the movie’s most fascinating theme, diving into our general understanding of gender roles in the household. With Elastigirl roaming about the city fighting crime, Mr. Incredible is tasked with the duty of staying home and taking care of the kids. At first he is jealous of her, which in turn feeds into his frustration while taking care of the children. He discovers how difficult it actually is to be a parent and take care of the children; and through trial and tribulation, he learns how to work with each child and be a better dad.
It’s common for Pixar movies to have unique and powerful themes, and Incredibles 2 excels at this. It’s also worth noting that since the events of Incredibles 2 take place in the 60s, Elastigirl’s presence means even more. This was a time where social norms dictated that American families have the women stay home to take care of children and not enter the workforce. The relationship between Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible explores this dynamic, working in favor to help both characters grow. Beyond that of gender roles, Incredibles 2 also does a remarkable job of presenting women as fully capable human beings who do not have to rely on a man to save them. Throughout Incredibles 2, it’s the female characters primarily driving the plot forward and solving a majority of the issues that arise.
The action is also worth applause. Every time there is a fight or some sort of dangerous event, the sequence exudes adrenaline. While everyone gets a chance to show off their powers, the main focus is on Elastigirl; her fight scenes are well choreographed and intense as she zips about. And aside from the action, Incredibles 2 is hilarious. The humor is innocent and goofy, and everyone in the Incredible family will get viewers chuckling. That said, the true star of the pictures’s comedy is Jack-Jack; he is easily the funniest part of the entire film. There are many laugh-out-loud moments to be had as the family continues to discover his numerous powers.
Even after all these years Incredibles 2 is an absolute wonder. While it provides great action and humor, it is able to do so much more compared to today’s superhero movies. Its themes and terrific use of highlighting Elastigirl are great achievements, and worth taking note for future movies of the same ilk. Incredibles 2 captures the same sort of excitement one would find in any major superhero movie today, while infusing its story with emotional and intellectual depth.
Michael Pementel is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago's Creative Writing Program. When he isn't writing for Film Daddy, he writes full time for Metal Injection and New Noise Magazine. He has also written for Alternative Press, Film Inquiry, and The Curator. He's the Social Media Manager for death metal record label Ultimate Massacre Productions. When not writing, he enjoys a hot cup of black coffee, a good book/video game/film, and to cuddle with his fiancée and cat.
Follow Michael on Twitter @pementelm.