Although I enjoyed my recent globe trotting, I was devastated that I hadn’t had a chance to see a movie I had been waiting 14 years to see. So upon my return, I demanded my family come with me to check out the long awaited Incredibles 2. I giddily shoved past hordes of children, settled in my seat, munched on popcorn and prepared for the moment I had been waiting for.
I honestly had mixed feelings about the film picking up immediately following the events of the first movie. Although I appreciated the continuity, and honestly the sense of nostalgia it provided, I had almost wished a decision had been made to follow the route of Toy Story 3 showing some passage of time. I would have loved to see the family settled into their powers and the struggles that they still may have faced. I can’t complain too much though, I rather enjoyed seeing what the Underminer actually had in store after all this time.
Another aspect of this film that I adored was that the women were the focus. To see Helen Parr be the focal point was such a refreshing change of pace over the superhero turned house wife that she was previously. And to show Mr Incredible as the slighted partner, pushed to the shadows felt all too real. All I could think about was Burger from Sex and the City. He was in the same line of work as Carrie but she happened to become more successful than him. Although he continued to tell Carrie he was proud of her and that her success did not bother him, it continued to eat him up on the inside. Mr Incredible very obviously struggled with these same emotions that some men face when they are put in scenarios they are uncomfortable with. I appreciated that Mr Incredible was able to grow and become a little less selfish as the movie progressed. The same went for Evelyn, the villain. She was presumed to be the ‘lesser’ sibling because she mostly worked behind the scenes when in actuality she was the brains behind the success of the company, not to mention the mastermind behind a villainous plot. I loved that she was extremely calm and level headed. There was no ‘woman scorned’ plot line or anything of the sort.
The Incredibles has always had a very special way of humanizing the heroes. Just like people, they can let you down or disappoint in times of need. Buddy experienced this disappointment and it turned him into the bitter and cynical Syndrome. In the case of the Deavor siblings, one conflated the death of their parents with the disappearance of the supers and the other blamed the supers for existing in the first place. Everyone seems to hold the supers on a pedal stool and when they are unable to deliver, because they are still very much human with flaws of their own, people are then unable to reconcile their expectations with reality.
Another interesting thing to note is that this film was about the rise of a new generation of supers. In the first Incredibles we learn that in his quest for revenge, Syndrome murdered almost all of the other superheroes. I very vividly remember the scene of Mr Incredible scrolling through all the supers name in Syndrome’s database and seeing DECEASED in big block letters. Frozone, Mr and Mrs Incredible are pretty much all that is left from the so called glory days. This is important because now we have room for newer heroes like Void (and can we just mention how cute her fan girl crush on Elastigirl was?!)
I would love to see a continuation with the Incredibles franchise as long as they can continue to improve upon the stories about the characters we have loved for all these years. If this film is any indication of the trajectory of future films then I have a lot of faith for what is in store for the Parr family.