The Incredibles 2 (2018) is a sequel to the 2004's The Incredibles. The film stars Elastigirl/Helen Parr (Holly Hunter), Mr Incredible/ Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson), Violet Parr (Sarah Vowell), Dash Parr (Huck Milner), Jack-Jack Parr (Eli Fucile) and Lucius Best/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). Brad Bird directed and produced both films and he is also the voice of Edna Mode. Bird also directed the critically acclaimed The Iron Giant (1999) and Ratatouille (2007).
The film reopens the debate of the last film: Should Supers be legal again? Despite stopping the Underminer, who came at the end of the last movie, the Supers left a massive backlash of collateral damage. This was the argument from the first film that Supers, albeit gifted, cause massive problems while they are saving the city. Not to mention, The Super Hero Protection and Relocation department is also shut down.
It seems the Parrs are in a horrible situation. Until, DEVTECH, run by Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener), come in. They want to make superheroes legal again. The Deavor's recount the tragic story of their parents dying when Supers were made illegal. They were killed by criminals who felt this law allowed them to commit their misdeeds without censure or opposition.
However, they want Helen Parr/Elastigirl, as the person to be their face to legitimize Supers again. This makes Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible feel a bit frustrated but the cards are in Elastigirl's favor. Mr. Incredible is very strong,without a doubt, but he is also causes massive damage with his powers.
This makes the population and people mostly against Supers. Elastigirl is precise, resourceful and can manage more tact than the strong Bob Parr. Bon agrees to take care of the family and Helen, with some reluctance,decides to become a superhero again.
This is where social gender norms are also explored. Helen is very practical and she knows she may need to step down to be a superhero if her family needs her. Bob, on the other hand, is someone who is more self-absorbed. In the first film, we saw his insatiable need to be superhero again also allowed him to get trapped by Syndrome.When Bob starts taking care of the family he realizes that parenting and homemaking can actually be a harder job than being a superhero.
For Helen, we see she's still got. She is great strategist, empathetic and knows how to handle even the most adverse of situations. Helen is truly a great superhero but as Evelyn rightfully mentions, she has been overshadowed by Bob's successes. People love the male superhero who is physically very strong and able to beat down the bad guys. In reality, we need all kinds of superheroes.
Helen enjoys being a superhero again and she is very good at getting public favor. Bob starts to also enjoy connecting with his children and being a father. He realizes he has a lot to learn but as Edna Mode later on suggests "Parenting can be heroic if done properly." Bob understands, like Helen, that his family is also important to him. He wants to also be a super dad. When Jack-Jack starts displaying a whole host of powers he starts to develop his parenting muscles as well.
He starts attuning to what all his children need and want, at the same time, though initially jealous, he starts supporting Helen. He understands that as much as he wants to be a hero so does Helen. And, as they mentioned in the last film, being super is in their blood and genes.
It is an inconvertible part of who they all are - he cannot let Helen be taken away from that. They both deserve careers of their own and they both can balance the family.
The antagonist this time, Screenslaver, is someone who uses technology to enslave as in hypnotize others.Screenslaver hates superheroes yet some of their opinions about superheroes cannot actually be doubted.Screenslaver says that the ordinary human population love superheroes because they want to be sheltered rather than experience life.
They believe that superheroes will make life easier for them in the form of not taking any responsibilities. As they vehemently put it, people want simulation - they don't want to play games but see game shows, they don't want reality but want reality television and they don't want to grow or change themselves.
Screenslaver's arguments aren't wrong; their actions are because they try to hurt people including superheroes who are also people. The thing is that people should have agency for themselves and not put blind faith on superheroes.
This part Screenslaver is correct. Superheroes are people as well and can have the same limitations and vulnerabilities as ordinary people. This is also shown with how much Bob struggles to keep his family safe. None of his super powers help in this, he literally has change his style of approaching things and for the better.
Both Helen and he grow as people. However, Screenslaver puts people in danger to prove their points, which makes them an antagonist in every right. As Elastigirl states superheroes want to do the right thing because it is right. They don't need a convoluted reason. Most successful superheroes are good citizens.
Struggling to still fit in is Violet and Dash. Dash his very happy his mother's new job allows them luxuries and a brand-new house. Violet is still trying to figure out love and how to sustain it.
She is initially conflicted about being a superhero as she was in the first film because societies don't accept them and she doesn't understand how she can live in a world where her power is a taboo. Violet also realizes along the way that being a superhero is an innate, unchangeable part of who she is.
So, when Helen starts fighting again heroes from all around the world feel validation. One of the young heroes is a young woman named Void (Sophia Bush) who has been Elastifgirl's fan for ages. She feels that she is no longer an outsider and she feels she can belong with the world.
So, unlike Mr. Incredible fighting mostly for himself in the first film, now all the Incredibles are fighting for the rights and causes of other people along themselves.
The movie has wonderful action sequences, great writing, staple comedy, good adrenalin situations and the chemistry between all the characters is absolutely amazing. Even the villain is so charismatic and resourceful that you have to give them credit.
Overall, Incredibles 2 surpasses its predecessor. I really loved the angle this film went for and I think it is a great film for the family and everyone who likes to ruminate on the philosophies on what makes superheroes viable and human.
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