MOVIE REVIEW: The Incredibles 2

written by David Steffen

The Incredibles 2 is a superhero family action/comedy animated feature from Pixar, released in June 2018.  It’s the sequel to The Incredibles, the first in the series, released way back in 2004.  The Incredibles 2 picks up where the first one left off, after the superhero family has had their first big win together thwarting Syndrome’s plan to set up superheroes for failure, and with the emergence of the Underminer’s big drilling machine from under the city.

The family joins together again to save the city from the Underminer (John Ratzenberger), and soon after Elastigirl aka Helen Parr (Holly Hunter), Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson), and Frozone aka Lucius Best (Samuel L. Jackson) are approached by rich superhero-sympathist brother-and-sister business partners Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener), who want to start a new campaign to make superheroes legal again, starting with financing Elastigirl to fight crime and improve the public image of supers.  Bob and Helen talk it through and decide that she should do it, in part to make a more accepting future for their children Dash (Huck Milner) and Violet (Sarah Vowell).  Bob stays home to watch the kids while Helen goes out on this mission, and their baby Jack-Jack begins manifesting superpowers.  Soon a new supervillain rises, Screenslaver (Bill Wise), who uses hypnosis to turn others into his minions.

People who are susceptible to strobelight-triggered seizures should be aware that there are some scenes which have intense strobe effects without warning, so I would suggest you should avoid this movie for your health.

Overall this movie fits Pixar’s high-caliber storytelling, lots of fun action, funny lines, memorable images, and high adventure.  As with almost all of Pixar’s other movies I would highly recommend it, and I would see it again myself given the opportunity.  In particular, with a young child myself, I completely related to Bob Parr at home trying to take care of a superpowered baby who has teleported into another dimension or has turned into a monster at the mention of cookies.

But there was something that bugged me about one of the storytelling choices here that is not up to Pixar’s usual storytelling standards–Pixar pulled a major and obvious retcon of the events from the first movie… and it’s not clear why.  At the end of The Incredibles, they discover Jack-Jack has powers.  It is, in fact, a major plot point that contributes to the resolution.  The super-villain Syndrome is very good at risk-assessment and he has plans for how to deal with every anticipated threat.  The only way that they succeed in defeating him is that he tries to kidnap Jack-Jack and Jack-Jack suddenly starts manifesting powers in an highly unpredictable way.  This distracts Syndrome long enough and he ends up getting sucked into a jet engine and the jet crashed on the Parrs’ house.  But… Pixar has apparently decided that somehow, Syndrome was defeated, and the Parrs’ house was destroyed by a jet crash, but that somehow this happened without Jack-Jack manifesting his powers.  And now Jack-Jack unexpectedly manifesting powers is a major plot point in this movie.  I suspect that they did this because they felt it would be implausible for Helen to leave Bob alone with the family right after Jack-Jack starts showing powers, but they could’ve figured out a way to write around that.  So that bugged me, not enough to hate the movie, but enough that it was distracting, especially when each character declared “Jack-Jack has powers?!” as though we hadn’t already known about all that already.


Published by

David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

7 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: The Incredibles 2”

  1. That really bothered me too, and I agree there wasn’t much reason for it. I would love to hear an explanation of why they did it, because I am really at a loss to think of any reason whatsoever.

    1. Okay, I just re-watched the last scene from the first movie. The Parrs are on the ground while Jack Jack is battling Syndrome, and there is even a line of dialog about how they can’t see what is going on up there. So technically I guess it is conceivable that they never knew he had powers; they don’t acknowledge it in the scene (I could have sworn they did).

      However, it is heavily implied that they DID know, because Jack Jack dons a mask in the very last scene. So to me that implies they knew, or else why would they include their POWERLESS BABY in a supervillain fight, but I don’t know, I guess they really didn’t know.

  2. Shane,
    I guess it has been a few months since I saw it, I didn’t remember that they couldn’t see clearly.


    What about the frantic calls from the babysitter? “strange things are happening” and etc. I dont think she gets specific in the messages but it’s pretty clear to me that not normal baby things are happening there. I will have to rewatch now.

    1. Not only that but…after their babysitter went through obvious trauma babysitting their child dont you think they would talk to her afterward? (and probably mindwipe her, practically speaking?) how did the word about their family not get out?

      1. They did in fact mindwipe the babysitter. It’s the subject of the short film “Jack-Jack Attack” which is included on the DVD release of the movie.

  3. The animation and graphics have very well improved when compared to its older version with extravagant action that is so lively. all in all it’s a good entertainer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.