Plot: The public is still distrustful of superheroes run amok, so when Mr. Incredible and his family battle it out with the villainous Underminer, despite preventing some chaos, the supers are scolded by the government. The family struggles with superheroes being illegal, with Bob forced to move his wife and kids into a cheap motel, hoping things will turn around soon. As Bob sinks into a funk and eavesdrops on police chatter, Helen tries to keep spirits up and also manage Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack, so she has a lot on her plate, as usual. When a prominent businessman named Winston begins a push to bring back superheroes, Bob couldn’t be more excited, especially when the family is look at to be part of the initial test program. But Bob is crushed when Helen is selected to be the test hero, leaving him at home with the kids and the chores. As Helen tries to prove that superheroes can be a valuable part of society, Bob tries to balance the household and needs of the kids, with lackluster results. Can Winston and Helen bring back supers or is this just another flash of false hope?
Entertainment Value: The Incredibles ranks as one of my favorite superhero movies ever, so despite well over a decade passing before this sequel arrived, I had high hopes for Incredibles 2. This movie had some big shoes to fill and expectations were high, but I think the picture delivers and while perhaps not quite on par with the original, this is still much better than most superhero movies. The narrative hits on some similar themes as the first movie, but puts some fresh twists on the hero ban, as well as moving the focus to Helen. Bob still has a prominent presence of course, but he and Helen have all but swapped roles this time around and while that seems like a simple approach, it yields interesting results. Incredibles 2 shows Helen’s strength once again and while she was the soul of the family before, here we can see the power she wields as a hero and she carries the movie well. The side threads with Bob coping with not being in the spotlight and dealing with household duties also has some fun moments, most of which center on him connecting with the kids. The action scenes are amped up and bring fun, kinetic energy to the movie, while plenty of time is still devoted to character development and the whole superhero ban, while keeping a good sense of humor even in the more serious segments. I had a great time with Incredibles 2 and it is a more than worthy follow up to one of cinema’s greatest superhero movies.
This is a Pixar production, so it should be no surprise that Incredibles 2 has some eye popping, remarkable animation. The movie is simply a visual feast and has the kind of painstaking attention to detail and rich depth you want from this kind of animation, but few movies can deliver on. The character designs and environments are faithful to the original, but new locations ensure new touches and design elements come through, so this isn’t same old, same old in terms of visual punch. I love the vivid colors and small, but noticeable visual cues that pop up, as Pixar is famous for including references and easter eggs in their pictures. The action scenes have a vibrant, kinetic presence, but even more laid back scenes display the kind of depth and detail Pixar is known for, so this is another impressive achievement for the studio. The prominent voice talent from the original returns, so we have Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, and director Brad Bird on deck, while Sophia Bush, Bob Odenkirk, and Catherine Keener help flesh out the new performers.
The Disc: Disney’s 4k Ultra HD release serves up the movie in grand fashion, with a jaw dropping visual presentation that fans will love. The animation looks razor sharp and the smallest of details roars to life here, so the image looks incredible and offers a considerable upgrade over even the Blu-ray version. I found colors to be rich and vibrant, contrast is stark, and as I said, detail is simply excellent and overall, this is a reference level 4k release. The extras include two animated shorts, Bao and Auntie Edna, with a behind the scenes piece on the memorable Bao, but these terrific shorts are just the start. You can watch mini-documentaries on the movie’s characters, explore Brad Bird’s approach to animation, a couple of general behind the scenes pieces, and some deleted scenes.