Worth the wait? Why yes, yes it was.
Unlike the ‘Marvels’ of the cinema world, Pixar have prided themselves on originality and only in exceptional cases such as Toy Story; have they relinquished themselves to continuing sagas. Flashback to 2004 when the first case of superhero fever hit due to ‘The Incredibles’ and it was a sure bet that Pixar would have capitalised on the success. Unlucky for them they didn’t; lucky for them the charm is still ever present amongst viewers. 14 long and transformative years later, returning writer / director Brad Bird had the task of pairing an old school movie with a new found society; did he succeed in his mission? Affirmative.
The film picks up from the cliffhanger that ended it’s predecessor; cleverly done to show how time can standstill within an animated world and we can drop back into it when we want. The Underminer is wreaking havoc after robbing multiple banks and the Parr family are doing anything to stop him. For once, the bad guy gets away and the good guys leave behind a massive trail of destruction. As a result, officials state that they should have let the bad guy win as insurance covers them for loss, not for destruction. Basically – money talks. We start to see a theme that appears through the film; the integration of modernised cultural think pieces. Don’t we see this behaviour nowadays?
After being shunned, a helping hand reaches the family from billionaire entrepreneur Winston Deavour (Bob Odenkirk) and his slightly less enthusiastic yet committed sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener). For their own personal vendetta, they plan to legalise superheros and launch them on top once again. How do they do this? By spinning the media of course because if it wasn’t filmed, did it even happen? The starting star they pick is Elastigirl; their reasoning being that she is more cost effective but subminally, we all know by modern day standards it is because she is a strong ass woman.
The role reversal is played out brilliantly with Mr Incredible apprehensively taking a back seat and learning the ‘single dad’ life as his children go through their personal transformations. Violet encounters some boy drama and learns the importance of freedom of speech. Dash is still Dash, not much character progression with him but he is a good catalyst for the humour hidden within the lines. The most fun in the movie comes from baby Jack-Jack as he and everyone else get to grips with his new forming powers. From duplication to combustion to transparency, there is a lot to work with yet the feature doesn’t seem overwhelming. We don’t see their life as abnormal because the supernatural paired with the mundane is married beautifully by Bird. It’s how families are and this is why we can relate so heavily; because everyone thinks their family is weird don’t they?
As the storyline progress, we meet new superheroes that yet again defy expectations. An OAP, a masculine woman and a few others that typically just don’t look like heroes; but they are. All acting as additions to the plot; It’s nice to see some different powers in the mix but interest in them is minimal. The villain is a lunatic named Screenslaver, who hyptonizes his victims to fall for his command using the one thing everyone is addicted to – screens. Safe to say, we are all slaves to the screen. There is a twist which is predictable and anti-climatic, but you’re enjoying yourself so much that you don’t actually care.
My favourite thing about this film is the way it defies societal expectations. For an animated, superhero film with young children as the demographic, it’s bloody brillant! It teaches messages you want them to understand. Women can be the breadwinner and still be a mum; men can be stay at home dads; we need to detach ourselves from the screen and enjoy what’s around us etc. Bird makes it look so easy and has effortlessly transitioned between scenes of drama, scenes of comedy and scenes of quietness where life decisions are contemplated. With the voice cast also re-lighting the fire; it make’s watching the Parr family that bit more enjoyable.
As 9 year old Natasha, I wasn’t that fond of kid’s movies; I ended up watching stuff like Titanic and The Mask instead. However, The Incredibles caught the glimmer in my eye and has stayed there for quite a while. As 23 year old Natasha, I’m still not fond of seeing any animated or children’s movies at the cinema, but did I go to watch this on my own? You bet I did. The glimmer in my eye re-sparked and it was like the Incredibles never went away. There is just something about this franchise which make’s it what it is. What is it? I do not know. All I do know is that you should re-live your childhood for 2 hours and see how happy it makes you.
4 out of 5 blueberry stuffed Jack Jacks