May 12, 2019
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Grade: 62/100

Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell

What it's about. The long-awaited sequel to the hit Disney/Pixar animated feature The Incredibles (2004). The story features the Parr Family of superheroes, which consists of strongman dad Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), stretchy mom Helen (v/b Holly Hunter), force field generator teen daughter Violet (v/b Sarah Vowell), and speedy grade-school son Dash (v/b Huck Milner).

Also returning is black superhero Lucius (v/b Samuel L. Jackson), who can project immense sheets of ice, and Edna (v/b Brad Bird), a confident midget celebrated for her superhero costumes.

A new addition to the family is baby Jack-Jack (v/b Eli Fucile), who soon develops a cluster of superhero abilities. Better not deny him a cookie, or he will temporarily turn into a demon. Among many other things.

The plot has superheroes banned, so the Parrs live undercover. But they wish to come out in the open to resume saving the world. On their side, purportedly, are the brother and sister team of Winston (v/b Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn (v/b Catherine Keener). Winston is a naive marketer, while Evelyn is more cynical, and highly skilled in technology.

Naturally, a villain emerges, whom the family must fight together to overcome. Subplots include the unemployed Bob taking care of the children while Helen works, and Violet attempting to secure a date with a clueless middle schooler Tony (Michael Bird).

How others will see it. The Incredibles 2 had a huge budget of 200M, but was an immense worldwide success with a 1.2B box office gross. It was well received by critics, and was nominated for Best Animated Film by the triple play of the Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTA.

The film has three scenes of intense screen flashing that triggered seizures in epileptics. When I rented the movie from Microsoft, a warning preceded streaming.

At, it has a high user vote total of 200K. The user rating of 7.7 is also high, and shows a modest decline in advancing age of the viewer, from 8.1 under 18 to 7.6 over 45.

Given the favorable user ratings, the user reviews were far more negative than anticipated. This film has a lot of haters. There was the usual slew of complaints that the sequel was not as good as the original. Some complained that the film was sexist since it pandered to the hoary cinematic memes that men can't raise children without women, and women are smarter than men.

How I felt about it. Because it is a family movie, I can accept that all the cartoon violence culminates in not a single injury or fatality. A giant drill can penetrate and traverse city streets, and no one gets hurt. A baby can fight a raccoon without a scratch.

It also is surprising that these superheroes can do such amazing things defending humanity, yet are banned. It is as if villains are uninterested in wreaking havoc unless superheroes are around to stop them. That is not life as I know it, in which villains try to get away with as much mischief as they can.

But if one compares the Incredibles franchise with the Marvel franchise, the former comes off better. This is partly because the superhero genre is better animated than with a mix of CGI and overpaid actors. It is also because a sense of humor goes a long way in a genre where the premises are preposterous to begin with.

It is true that Incredibles 2 is not as good as The Incredibles. But it comes close, and is certainly entertaining. Evelyn sudden descent from ally to villain lacks plausible motivation, but is such a staple of such films (e.g. Zootopia) that we are simply waiting for the moment when her evil finally surfaces.

It is no surprise that the Parr Family has a new arrival with superpowers. Who didn't see that coming? But the variety and oddity of the powers does demonstrate originality. I just wonder how long until Violet realizes that Tony is a complete wuss.