The Incredibles II Movie Review by Jana
The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.
WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.
THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.
Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.
Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.
This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.
THE FAMILY FOCUS
Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.
This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”
Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.
Catch a sneak peek here: