14 years ago, when Incredibles (2004) was released it was in no way a unique story. Powers were all derivatives of the Marvel universe, some of which had been used many times in multiple films and TV shows. But the film still clicked because the treatment was unique and the animation was flawless. Set in a world where Superheroes are illegal, Incredibles (2004) gave us heroes who lived in hiding. Centred around a family of 5 (including the baby, Jack-Jack), who is moving ever-so-often because of Dad aka Mr Incredible who can't seem to keep his powers hidden for long. Incredibles 2 gives us back the same adorable family but this time there is an added bonus (will come to that in a bit).
The film ended with our 'Super' family coming out of hiding and defeating the villain. Its been 14 years since that day but the best part is, we did not miss even a day. Incredibles 2 starts on the very same day the first film finished. The city is under attack by the under-miner and the Incredibles come out to save the city all decked up in the red and black costumes. They do save most of the city but get caught for disturbing the normal order of things. There is a hilarious dialogue where a government official tells Mr Incredible that the bank being robbed was 'Insured' and if he had done 'Nothing' everything would be fine. OK, no more spoilers. Let me just say that Incredibles 2 has a good story much like the first.
The film is filled with humour once again and captures a typical middle-class family extremely well. To call a family of super-heroes typical is a stretch I know, but other than the powers, everything else is normal. The way conversations pan out, the subtle difference of opinion between Dad and Mom, kids fighting around, the baby shouting, happy doing his own thing. Mind you, each of the characters has depth as well. Mr Incredible is visibly distraught when his wife is chosen ahead of him as the face of the super-hero movement. He has a massive male ego, as big as his arms I guess. Elastigirl is the quintessential mom, who has changed her life after getting married, leaving everything for the family. She is not used to the attention and the limelight but loves having it.
All these things bring depth to the overall story and the audience can relate to the characters so much better. This is a huge plus for Incredibles 2.
The animation is top notch, but I think I am insulting Pixar just by saying this. Even though animation played a huge part in something like Coco, here Pixar just needed to do enough. The animation is never used to create emphasis in the story, so it plays a supporting role. Background score is nice and breezy. Never over-the-top to get audiences to react for meaningless stunts because there were enough highlights to get genuine reactions. Incredibles 2 also pays homage to classic superheroes as well, especially Batman with things similar to Batphone and Batmobile. There is a retro feel to the film and yet director Brad Bird manages to mix new-age contemporary technology seamlessly.
The biggest highlight of the film is undoubtedly Jack-Jack. He is adorable in every scene and massively entertaining. He is the bonus feature I was talking about.
There is a scene where Jack-Jack fights a racoon. For me, that scene is why I love cinema so much.
It is one of the finest scenes of all time and I can watch it on repeat mode. Jack-Jack has incredible powers but, with loads of innocence, only a baby can possess. The combination is delightful and works brilliantly.
Making Jack-Jack one of the central characters means that other characters get less screen time. Especially Violet, who barely gets much to do in this film. Dash too has less screen time but he does justice to every scene. Edna makes another delightful appearance, voiced hilariously by director Brad Bird himself. I think both Edana and Jack-Jack can get a mini-series of their own. As for the film, I would have liked to see a bit more of Dash and Violet, which is maybe the only flaw in an otherwise fantastic film.
Overall, the film is a sure shot winner and a definite crowd pleaser. Kids and adults will love the film. It is funny, charming, visually stunning, and wildly entertaining. Oh, and it has Jack-Jack fighting a racoon. Now, did I mention that already? People who have seen Incredibles (2004), go for it, and people who have not, go for it! Parents, do take your kids for this one, they will love it for sure.