Sunday, December 23, 2018

Movie with Abe: Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2
Directed by Brad Bird
Released June 15, 2018

Every superhero faces a moment in which they are perceived as a threat to society rather than a protective asset. Wearing a mask can make the experience all the more isolating, since those who know the person behind it only in their everyday identity may join the masses in decrying the motives of their alter ego. Having a reliable support system is rare for those who serve as the defenders of their cities and countries, which is why watching a family of super-powered people who, despite their issues, look out each other, is a delightful experience.

Facing public condemnation of their best efforts to stop supervillains, the Incredibles look to an uncertain future with the closure of the Superhero Relocation Program. Telecommunications tycoon Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) approach the team with a plan to rehabilitate their image, positioning Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as the face of the public relations campaign while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) struggles to take care of the children, including the rapidly developing baby Jack-Jack. The emergence of a new villain called Screenslaver threatens all the progress they have made with a vicious plot to rid the world of superheroes for good.

This film serves as a highly anticipated sequel to the 2004 Oscar-winning original, which this reviewer has actually never seen. The experience of viewing this film without the context of the previous installment does not feel daunting, and there’s plenty of character development to be found with more than enough prefacing information to inform those few encountering this franchise for the first time. As daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) deals with the troubles of being a teenager and an uncertain relationship with a boy, her father must contend with being a stay-at-home parent for the first time, making this a fully functional family story to be truly enjoyed by all.

Superheroes and sequels are equally prevalent at the moment, and it’s nice to see a film that delivers on both counts, showcasing the members of the Parr family as most concerned with doing good for those without powers but also trying to find themselves as individuals and as a unit, both with their masks on and off. The trajectory of the film is relatively familiar for animated adventures, but it works well enough here in this fun, engaging film full of action. The inevitable third film is surely in the works, and based on this installment, it’s more than merited.


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