Incredibles 2—- Simply Incredible

Incredibles 2—- Simply Incredible June 14, 2018

Fourteen years is a long time between films that have a genuine sequel, with the same main original characters. Indeed, it is so long, this film actually has an opening apology to viewers by the stars who voice several of the main characters— Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson. This is a Pixar film, and we have come to expect some pretty great things from Pixar, but this film is exceptional in a variety of ways. For one thing, it is not in any sense a rerun with more action of the first very successful film. No, it actually involves character development, with Elastic Girl aka Mom and Wife playing the starring role. There is a feminist (in a positive sense) theme in this film both on the good and bad side of things. When is the last time you saw a film where women epitomized both the good and the evil as the major characters in the film? And more specifically, when have you seen it in an animated film meant for families, especially kids? This film clocks in at just under 2 hours, but it has plenty of complexity. For one thing, you have to figure out who the villain actually is, and probably you will guess wrong. For another thing, there is this latent theme asking the question— Would the existence of actual super heroes be a good thing or a bad thing? Would it in fact impede normal human development and human excellence, and lead to dependency on miraculous rescuers? Like some of the best of the old Marvel comics (e.g. Spiderman, X Men), this film probes the ambiguity of the desire for super heroes. Would such people be seen as pariahs, or productive parts of society?

This film also explores what family life would be like for a super hero family in which all members of the family have super powers. What counts as normal for them? There are some oddities about the film as well— on the one hand, you have 50s TVs, cars etc. but on the other hand you have current technology, super trains and planes as well. Odd. It is both old fashioned and new fangled, and so is the vision of family the film subtly promotes. But then there is Jack, Jack, the baby which has laser beam eyes, and the capacity to multiply himself. This film has received a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and the critics love it, rating as the best Pixar sequel except for Toy Story 3. I agree. But a good deal of this film is aimed at the adults who attend, and is over the head of young children. Still, this is a good thought provoking family film that is much better than the usual summer popcorn fare. And it comes with an interesting Oriental short subject at the beginning as a bonus. Three cheers for Pixar….


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