Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Holly Hunter, Craig T Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L Jackson
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Seveno Rating: 7/10
So, somehow, its been 14 years since The Incredibles was released, and I’m not 100% sure where all the time has gone, but I was very very excited about this film. The Incredibles came out when I was only seven years old, and the release of this film was a really lovely way for me to go back to my childhood, and revisit the characters and the storyline that I already loved.
While 14 years has passed in our world, Incredibles 2 kicks off right where The Incredibles ended, at Dash’s race as the Parrs attempt to defeat The Underminer. However, things don’t go all that well, as superheroes are still illegal, in spite of the fact that the Parrs have embraced their powers and want to help save the world. The face off against The Underminer results in Helen/Elastigirl (Hunter), Bob/Mr Incredible (Nelson), and of course Lucius/Frozone (Jackson) being approached by a pair of siblings who believe in the good that superheroes can do, and want to start a campaign to make them legal again. They chose Elastigirl as the face of the campaign, so while she travels across the country, battling Screenslaver, Bob stays at home to look after the family, and deal with Jack Jack’s developing powers.
All your favourites are back – including Edna Mode and of course Frozone’s wife (although I firmly believe her cameo could’ve been a bit bigger, as she is such an iconic part of the first film), and the plot has everything you’d want from a reboot of a childhood classic. The badguys are evil and their plans are convoluted, the superheroes are brave and face danger to save the world, and you have the comedy that comes from the Parr family trying to navigate one another, their powers, and real life.
But, Disney/Pixar have definitely catered this film to appear to the adult version of the kids who saw the original film all those years ago. It has a distinctly political and feminist message, with Elastgirl taking centre-stage and saving the day, while Mr Incredible stays home to read to Jack Jack, help Dash with his homework, and try to help Violet in her dating life. Not only is this refreshing, but it is also brilliantly funny. Having a strong female superhero as the central character in a children’s film is so important for inspiring young generations, but also in showing older generations how much progress has been made in cinema over the last decade or so. Looking back on my childhood, I can’t think of many Disney films with a physically strong female character, aside from Mulan, and it is beyond reassuring to see production companies trying to rectify this and create films that are good, entertaining, and funny, but that also take a stand and improve representation in the media.
Also, for older audience members, its really nice to have film accurately portray a more realistic family. Okay, so the Parrs are superheroes, but as a family they face exactly the same issues as every other family, and Helen and Bob have the same discussions and arguments as many other couples do. Bob putting aside his ego and his reputation as a superhero, as well as his superhero instincts, to let his wife have the spotlight and do what she’s always wanted to do, is so meaningful and uplifting.
This film is so fun, the plot holds up and is entertaining for children and adults alike. But beyond that, this film is important in trying to break down the barriers women face in films, and improving diversity. Yes, it still has a long way to go, and I’m not saying its perfect, but it tries. And I think the message it relays to audiences is one that is so important: A woman can do everything a man can do. And actually, sometimes, men may need to step aside to allow women to shine.