fri 21/09/2018

Incredibles 2 review - worship these superheroes | reviews, news & interviews

Incredibles 2 review - worship these superheroes

Incredibles 2 review - worship these superheroes

Brad Bird's long awaited follow-up to his cult kids' film pulls out all the stops

As bodacious as ever: Elastigirl in 'Incredibles 2'

Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite stretchiness… Time has been kind to Elastigirl, the superhero mom voiced by Holly Hunter and dreamed up by Brad Bird. Fourteen years have passed since The Incredibles seduced adult critics and children alike, but it might as well be yesterday for Elastigirl. She’s as bodacious as ever, nary a wrinkle on her animated face nor a sag to her ample posterior. And Elastigirl is still eager to fully extend herself and catch the bad guys.

If only superheroes weren’t outlawed for causing chaos ("Politicians don’t understand people who do good just because it’s right"). The Incredible family has to suppress its powers, fit in with everyday society and leave it to the police and the insurance industry to pick up the pieces. Luckily their new patrons, the Deveares, want them back in action and have the means to help them. Inventor/scientist Evelyn Deveare (sultry voice work by Catherine Keener) creates the gadgets while her mega-rich brother Winston has the funds.The Incredibles 2The family are transplanted from a cheap motel to Winston’s lavish high-tech mansion. The Deveares are convinced that putting cameras in superhero costumes will make the world see for itself how invaluable they are. They believe that the best front person for this PR exercise is Elastigirl, kitted out with a new supercharged motorbike, which leaves Mr Incredible home to mind the kids.

Slapstick sitcom chaos ensues. Baby Jack-Jack won’t sleep and spontaneously combusts anything in his path while Dash’s "New Maths" homework is incomprehensible to his none-too-bright dad. Viola’s high school crush forgets he asked her out because his memory was erased when he accidentally discovered her super identity. Now she’s in adolescent despair. Family harmony is restored when Mr Incredible discovers that "done properly, parenting is heroic" - although he can’t help being jealous that Elastigirl gets all the adrenalised fun of stopping runaway trains and the subsequent media acclaim.Incredibles 2Brad Bird is the master of both inventive action sequences and absurdist domestic comedy. It’s as if Marvel fused with The Flintstones. The animation is breathtakingly lovely, whether it be sunset-hued clouds enhancing flying sequences or light reflecting off a night-time swimming pool during a domestic conversation. Pixar’s detailed rendering has refined over the last 14 years (I wish I had their animators style my hair). Meanwhile the retro futurist setting  - is it 1962 or 2062? -  is as intriguing as in the first film. Credit is also due to the wonderful score by veteran film composer Michael Giacchino. He can run the full musical gamut from an energising pastiche of John Barry’s 007 movies to noir-influenced sinister jazz.

Bird’s script is full of quirky wit and some absurdist new characters – anyone for a superhero whose secret power is acid reflux? As well as the Girl Power theme, there’s a moralising message too. The arch villain, Screenslaver's evil desire is to "replace true experiences with simulation" thus creating "passive, ravenous consumers". Incredibles 2 will create its own ravenous consumers, as it will doubtless inspire the original’s repeat viewing and cult status that made this sequel long awaited.

Bird’s script is full of absurdist new characters – anyone for a superhero whose secret power is acid reflux?

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Share this article

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters