Brad Bird (director)
1h 58mins (length)
12 July 2018 (released)
25 July 2018
Pixar studio bosses have proved they have the talent to take their stories further with satisfying spin-offs like Monsters University and Finding Dory, but few have come close to matching the magic of their predecessors.
However, with Incredibles 2, Pixar are back in Toy Story territory with an absolute triumph of a sequel, which cleverly builds on the original as well as being a class standalone film.
The action picks up from exactly where we left the original flick 14 years ago, and though time has stood still plot-wise, the new story feels refreshingly current.
Now, it's Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) leading the charge when it comes to action and adventure, after she alone is picked by rich superhero fanboy Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) to front a publicity stunt with the aim of relegalising forbidden superheroes.
While she saves the masses from disaster and battles the mysterious Screenslaver - a villain that brainwashes its victims through their electronic screens - Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) has hung up his Lycra to play stay-at-home dad.
Arguably, we've always known Elastigirl is the real talent of The Incredibles operation and this shift of focus allows her to flourish and perform to the maximum, as writer and director Brad Bird deploys an array of creative ways to demonstrate exactly what the ultraflexible heroine can do.
There's also a telling display of female solidarity through her friendship with Evelyn, who in spite of her ingenious technological abilities, has had to take a back seat - like Elastigirl - while the man of the family hogged the limelight.
Away from the heroics, we are transported back home to the rest of the clan, which is where the heart of this movie really is. Bird has previously stated that The Incredibles was never meant to be about heroes and villains: "It's about the family and what's going on with them."
That's never felt truer here, as we watch Mr. Incredible - aka Bob - struggle in the face of jealousy as his wife's career goes from strength to strength, while he comes up against challenges that his superhuman strength can no longer conquer. He finds himself involved in Violet's (Sarah Vowell) boy troubles and learning trigonometry for Dash's (Huck Milner) sake, all while catering to baby Jack-Jack's (Eli Fucile) every need. The infant also makes Bob's life significantly more difficult, while becoming the stand-out star of the movie, thanks to his surprising and vastly entertaining assortment of superpowers.
As Bob tackles all the problems in front of him with varying degrees of success, there is constant laughter peppered with genuinely touching moments between the family. Old favourites like Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and the legend that is Edna Mode (Brad Bird) rear their heads again in delightfully nostalgic fashion, while a group of fresh supers add new life to the crew.
An absolute riot from start to finish, you won't have a better cinema trip this summer!