Reviewed by: Jessica D. Lovett
Being a hero by helping others in need
LOVE—What is Christian LOVE? Answer
Samuel L. Jackson … Lucius Best / Frozone (voice)
Catherine Keener … Evelyn Deavor (voice)
Sophia Bush … Voyd (voice)
Holly Hunter … Helen Parr / Elastigirl (voice)
Craig T. Nelson … Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice)
Jonathan Banks … Rick Dicker (voice)
Brad Bird … Edna Mode (voice)
Bob Odenkirk … Winston Deavor (voice)
Isabella Rossellini … Ambassador (voice)
John Ratzenberger … The Underminer (voice)
Sarah Vowell … Violet Parr (voice)
Huck Milner … Dashiell 'Dash' Parr (voice)
Kimberly Adair Clark … Honey (voice)
Toya Turner … Honey Best / FroZone's Wife (voice)
|Director||Brad Bird—“The Incredibles” (2004), “Ratatouille” (2007), “The Iron Giant” (1999)|
Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
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|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
Prequel: “The Incredibles” (2004)
Without losing a step, “The Incredibles 2” picks up exactly where the hit first film left off… albeit with a slightly darker undertone and a bit more peril than before. Certainly worth the 14-year wait, we catch up with the Incredible family as they fight off the Underminer mole villain terrorizing the city. However, the movie doesn’t stop with the one-dimensional bad guy mole…
There is actually a lot more depth to this sequel than meets the eye. On one hand, it is a colorful, fast-paced kids action movie, but, on the other hand, it presents lots of deep, intellectual questions for adult viewers to mull over. For example, around the dinner table, Bill and Helen (Mr. And Mrs. Incredible) have an argument over what it means to be “good”—is it following the law even if it’s uncomfortable to do so or should a person have the right to disrespect a law that is not respectful of individuals? Both sides of the dilemma are discussed in a way that might be over kids’ heads a bit, but the film’s ever-witty script keeps them engaged. This altercation also brings to mind Acts 5:29 and Romans 13, which both address following God’s law rather than man’s.
Another way that the film explores more complex issues than the usual children’s movie is the way it weaves the narrative of the main antagonist who appears to be on the same page as Winston in his quest to make superheros legally able to practice “superheroing” in public again. Instead of being a flat, predictable character twist, however, the villain’s story is presented in such a way that we feel sorry for them. Based on a family tragedy, the superheros feels that when superheros are in charge, that people become too dependent on them and cease to act wisely or independently—and gives a speech lamenting people’s loss of real experiences that they are sacrificing to screen-time. Later, the harsh reality of this character’s anti-hero philosophy is revealed.
The animation is even more astounding than the first film, from the impeccably 1960s analog spy movie jazzy aesthetic, down to the perfectly lifelike wrinkles and creases on Mr. Incredible’s button up shirt. One major plot hole is that it is “discovered” that baby Jack-Jack also has superhero powers like the rest of the Incredibles, and the whole family is shocked by this, when it’s already been established in the first movie and in the 2005 Pixar short, “Jack-Jack Attack.”
Dash and Violet mature in their ability to understand their personal responsibilities to the family and grow to respect their parent’s wisdom a bit more. In their dealings with each other, Bill and Helen show the kids that it is important to be honest and true to one another, no matter what obstacles are in the way.
Violent moments abound and may not be suitable for younger viewers—near constant fight scenes (martial arts style punching and kicking, primarily, though there is some fire-fight), armed robbery, a character getting fatally shot at point blank range (seen in first person viewpoint), Jack-Jack setting himself on fire, turning into a monster, and shooting lasers from his eyes, cars flying, things exploding, and other action peril, characters hypnotized by strobe-like screens, characters fighting with an ax, a jackhammer, lasers, etc.
The characters have skin-tight costumes, married characters kiss, and Violet has a teen-crush on a classmate. Edna Mode is seen briefly smoking a long-stemmed cigarette, while there are a plethora of scenes with superheros and other people drinking what appears to be alcoholic beverages and talking about needing drinks to relax.
Language—I counted 2 “Oh my G*d” uses, “Oh L*rd” (1), “suc*” (1) and 2 uses each of “h*ll,” “dam*,” and “cr*p,” plus 3 unfinished “what the…”s and an “Ah jeez.” The language did not add anything to the excitement or realism of the movie and that alone is the most disturbing element to me, in that it was completely superfluous.
Depending on the sensitivity of your child, I might skip the short film, “Bao” shown just before the main feature. It is about a Chinese woman who accidentally creates a living dumpling which she raises as her child—Gingerbread Man style—and then, in a moment of anger, eats him. At our showing, there were trailers for “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Bumblebee,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Christopher Robin,” and “Hotel Transylvania 3” which some parents may want to preview on-line before going to the theater.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.