Incredibles 2 – Cinema Cynic

*WARNING* This article does not contain major spoilers, but does discuss plot points, details, and possible minor spoilers. If that is not cool with you, watch the film and come back. Reader discretion is advised.

Incredibles 2 is the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit of basically the same name. As with the first film, it is directed by Brad Bird and stars the returning cast of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the newcomers Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener and Jonathan Banks. The story of the film focuses on the Parr family, mainly Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), on a journey to show the world that superheroes are capable of good. The antagonist of the film is the anti-technology villain named the Screenslaver, whose power is to hypnotize people through their screens, as the name implies.

Now, onto the film itself. After 14 years of waiting, I could not have been more excited to see this film, and I regret that it took so long to do so. As the theater screen turned red and the iconic theme started blasting, my inner childhood was screaming that Heaven had finally been brought to Earth. Looking back, I should have left the theater at that moment and flown home on Cloud Nine.

Unpopular opinion: I did not like Incredibles 2.

To start out immediately following the events of the first film was a good bit of nostalgia to set the mood, but after that, there was very little of anything else offered to me. The scene of The Incredibles vs. The Underminer was entertaining enough from an action standpoint. It was also accompanied by the score from Michael Giacchino that stays faithful to the first film.

Following this (and you’re going to hear something like this a lot throughout this piece) the superfamily is arrested and blamed for the damage caused by the battle in a very Batman v Superman way. And, by the way, there actually wasn’t a lot of damage caused, which really undermines *wink* the entire plot of the film. Not only that, but the story of the Underminer was just left up in the air, as he escapes and isn’t heard or seen from again.

The family is let go and Helen instructs the whole family to not use their powers and reminds everybody for the 70th time, that, in fact, being superheroes is illegal.

Of course, none of that matters, because she is going to immediately go back on her word and suit up as Elastigirl again. On her first superheroine outing, the audience is introduced to the actual villain of the film, the Screenslaver, whose identity, by the way, should be zapping you in the face about 45 minutes in. I had a problem with just how predictable the entire story was, as did Killian, as we both caught on fairly quickly and gave each other a glace to show that both of us had already figured it out.

This film also suffers from Sucky Villain Syndrome. *wink* An essential part to any “good” villain is a deep, philosophical difference between the protagonist and the antagonist. The Screenslaver hates technology and Elastigirl wants to prove that superheroes are able to help society. See the problem? Both of the character’s goals could possibly be achieved without conflict between them.

Side note: perhaps I forgot about the ending of the first film, but didn’t everyone know that Jack-Jack had powers? Isn’t that how they won in the first film? Maybe that’s a nit-pick, I don’t know.

After some more well-animated and uninteresting adventures, the heroes are brought together to sign the Sokovia Accords, sorry, wrong movie. The heroes are brought together to sign the Something Something Superhero Accords, only to have the shindig ruined by the hypnotizing high jinks of the Screenslaver. Of course, the kids show up and save the rest of the heroes held under the control of the Screenslaver and some of the most UNBELIEVABLE nonsense is about to occur in the final battle.

I feel the need to clarify that, yes, I know at heart it’s a kid’s movie, but holy Jesus.

I won’t go into too much detail, but a certain scene inside of an airplane at the end (and events immediately following it) will never not agitate me. Not only that, but an entire brigade of “superheroes” do absolutely nothing in the end and stand there even more idiotic than me for buying a ticket to this this clusterfrick of a film.

Also, they set it up perfectly for a third installment, so I’m looking forward to that. Best two outta three?

By far, once again, Edna Mode is the best character and I for one will sign my name on the petition to have a spin-off short film dedicated to the night Edna babysat Jack-Jack.

Most of the characters in the film just don’t feel like they are having fun, with the exceptions of Brad Bird as Edna and Bob Odenkirk as Winston Deavor. Some of the voice work sounds phoned in, like they just didn’t want to be there. I even got that feeling from Frozone, and Samuel L. Jackson should never sound unexcited.

The animation in this film was right up there with Pixar standards, the soundtrack was fine, and the voice-acting was amazing once again, so the fact that this film turned out so sub-Parr *wink* was disappointing, to say the least. But shoutout to Huck Milner for his voice performance as Dash. I was surprised to learn that the voice actor for this role was actually different in the first film; I couldn’t tell that the actor was replaced.

In defense of the film, most of the action was really entertaining to watch and well-done. The film was also fairly humorous, but often, unintentionally funny. I would find myself laughing at the absurdity of some moments that were otherwise supposed to be serious or triumphant. I really wanted to like this film, and I understand just how much work goes into an animated film of this caliber, which makes me feel even worse about its outcome.

I loved the first Incredibles, and could not wait for a sequel, but it turns out that my hopes and desires were ill-conceived. I’m sorry to say that this film was, alas, not very incredible. *sad wink* ;(

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