Review: “The Incredibles 2” It’s All About Jack-Jack!

    Honestly, I’ve been waiting a long time for this sequel. I have to tell you, for me, it’s all about Jack-Jack. For years, I’ve wanted to know more about all the characters from the original but the most important question, was Jack-Jack going to get his moment to shine?  He absolutely does, along with the rest of the iconic characters with a great plot, loads of humor and a new villain to beat!

At the end of the first movie, the Incredibles, Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen Parr / Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet Parr (Sarah Vowell), Dashiell ‘Dash’ Parr (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack Parr (Eli Fucile) have as a family defeated the villain and started fighting crime again, the kids helping. Even Mr. Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) joins in. But the laws haven’t changed and when the Incredibles fail to stop the bad guy and destroy city property along the way, the end of the superhero identity program ends and they are left to figure out the next step from a cheap motel. Frozone is approached by an entrepreneur Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) who has a plan. Along with his sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), he wants to get superheroes legal again.

They recruit Elastigirl as their first spokesperson, demographics showing that she has less destructive tendencies and will be the best choice to change public perception. The plan is to have a super fight crime with a tiny camera so viewers can be part of the crime fighting, seeing what challenges the hero faces. It leaves Bob at home, taking care of the kids, Violet having romance issues, math challenged Dash, and Jack-Jack, soon demonstrating his array of powers. The plan is a success but Helen soon faces a new villain, whose identity eludes her and if she can’t take down Screensaver, her whole family and the plan to legalize superheroes will be destroyed.

This movie was a rousing success for me. Part of that is the way the plot brings Elastigirl to the spotlight. In this film, the roles are reversed and that makes for an intriguing dynamic. Bob (Mr Incredible) has to deal with being on the sidelines, figuring out all the family stuff that Helen’s always managed so effortlessly. Now, he gets to find out how not easy it all is. In the meantime, Helen is out meeting other heroes, saving people, and making it look good but she ends up having to figure out who the bad guy is much like Bob did in the first film and it isn’t as easy without her family by her side.

The humor is another reason this film does well. There are jokes that will appeal to the whole family. The dynamic between the parents is hilarious, especially Bob’s turn as stay at home Dad, with which the newer generation can empathize. The teenagers will understand Violet’s frustrations with boys and her younger siblings, especially her embarrassments, while the rest of us will laugh at some of those same moments. Dash trying to learn math will make every parent wince a bit in sympathy. Jack-Jack has some of the best moments of humor as we get to see all the ways his powers expand and his time with “Aunty Edna” Edna Mode (E) (Brad Bird) will get chuckles from everyone. I personally love Frozone and his ‘smoothness’ as he jumps in to help his friends.

The real reason this film works so well, though, are the talents, the actors and animators. Despite the time that has passed, the writers captured the essence of the characters and created a story in keeping with the fun of the first movie and developed themes begun in that story. In addition, the voice actors feel like they never left their roles behind. Craig T. Nelson was as good this time around as the last, the perfect Mr. Incredible, strong but a loving dad. Holly Hunter did a phenomenal job as Elastigirl, getting her moment to show that she is as strong a hero as the men in her life. Samuel L. Jackson is smooth as Frozone but more importantly, is not only the best friend but kicks serious butt as an animated character. Edna’s character is awesome, humorous and a problem solver for the family. Finally, the actors playing the kids give them life. Sarah Vowell as Violet is awkward but pulls it together for her family. Huck Milner as Dash is wild but is reliable when needed. Eli Fucile as Jack-Jack is exactly what the family needs, in all the good ways. Phil LeMarr, a  notable voice actor, did a great job with the characters he voiced and there is not one missed beat with any of the characters.

There are a couple flaws. One other viewers have pointed out. There are a couple scenes that include flashing and lights that might cause those with epilepsy some issues. So be warned going in to watch the movie. The creators also changed or forgot the ending to the first film in that they are treading ground initially explored at the end of the first movie. Now, it does make the plot work and gives a smoother flow into the rest of the story but it did nag at me, almost as much as the predictability of the villain. While there is some attempt to hide who the person is, it was not difficult to figure out. However, most children seeing the film will find it a surprise and their parents will still enjoy the show.

I loved this movie, though. I think any fan of the original is going to fall in love with this one as well. It has a ton of to love, laughs for both adults and children. It has animation and action to keep you on the edge of your seat. It has a plot that develops the themes from the original about the roles of husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. It delves into how family dynamics work. This movie is perfect for the whole family. It is Incredible.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Super Suits

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