The incredible family is back

You know that the sequel earned its right to be raved about when it makes us laugh twice as much and twice as hard, and puts on scenes that make us hold our breaths a little bit longer.

Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” is worth the 14-year wait—only it doesn’t make you feel like you did a ton of waiting. The retro-futuristic animated film, once again written and directed by Brad Bird, picks up right where the first had cut off.

Superheroes are still very much illegal in Metroville. But that doesn’t stop the Parr family from putting their masks on and taking down the bad guys. However, saving the day just means adding fire to the public’s anti-superhero sentiment, forcing the idea of “supers” to recoil to the normalcy and strife of the daily grind. Things also get more complicated with the Superhero Relocation Program being shut down.

Fresh from being on the headlines of the city’s destruction, Mr. Incredible (Bob Parr), Elastigirl (Helen Parr) and Frozone (Lucius Best) find themselves in the company of siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor. The multibillionaires propose a campaign to bring the supers back in the game, and they have decided to make Elastigirl their superstar.

The movie obviously banks on the greatness of its characters. The Parrs’ archetypes not only embody their assigned superpowers, it also determines the direction of the plot. While the story of the first movie was propelled by Bob’s stubborn refusal to let go of his glory days, the second is advanced by Helen letting go of her reservations—giving us polar opposites of the same narrative.

Superhero comeback

Now Bob isn’t fully supportive of the idea that Helen is the better choice in a plan to reverse-engineer the public perception and legislation on superheroes. But he does want to get back on the crime-fighting scene any way he can, eventually convincing his wife—and himself—that this is the only option they have. There’s nothing like punchlines about a man’s bruised ego that underscores a film’s patriarchy-crushing humor being written for grown-ups. And why won’t it? The generation in anticipation of this sequel has grown up in time for its new wave of comedic flair.

“Incredibles 2” perfects the formula of a family comedy in the simplest manner, putting together a newb that takes charge of domestic responsibilities, the ever-annoying little brother slash troublemaker (aka Dash Parr), and the moody teenager who can’t muster enough courage to ask her crush out (aka Violet Parr).

Let’s not forget about the baby—Jack Jack, the real scene-stealer of this film. This little rug rat with 17 (and counting) superpowers makes an easy and impressionable favorite. Moviegoers will get to meet all the superhero kids more in this film, and every scene with these misfits is packed with laughs and tender moments.

The belated sequel inconveniently comes after a decade saturated with superhero releases. But “The Incredibles” isn’t demoted to superhero film made just for kids, it is one that rightfully belongs under the genre. How could it not with its elements of betrayal, suspense, speed and action? Not to mention it makes superhero movies fun again.

“Incredibles 2” is undoubtedly better than the first—there we said it, and we actually mean it. To borrow the words of Violet, this movie is not good, it’s super.

This post was previously published as a newspaper article on Inquirer Super.

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