We waited 14 years for Incredibles 2. While Cars movie after Cars movie debuted and disappeared, we asked for an Incredibles sequel. As The Good Dinosaur was announced, reworked, and released, we asked for more of the Parr family. Whenever Incredibles was mentioned by anyone, we wondered why we were still waiting for a sequel to the best superhero film out there. As we waited, Marvel did 19 superhero films. DC did… well, some other ones. Wonder Woman happened. The world changed. Then, finally, Incredibles 2 was a go. Fans were over the moon! But wait… what were we getting? Would little Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) be a surly teen? Would Violet (Sarah Vowell) be off at college? Would Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) be retired?
Nope. We waited almost a decade and a half for Incredibles 2, and it begins right where the first film ends. Nothing has changed. The Parr family is still the best, and Incredibles 2 is too pure for this world.
Spoilers for Incredibles 2 below.
When the first film came out, it was (and still is) the best version of Fantastic Four. (Seriously, how do they keep messing that up?) It’s a family of superheroes who love and support each other. This is still the case in Incredibles 2. Superheroes have always been aspirational. We’re supposed to look at what they do and hope to do as much good in our own lives. Somewhere along the way, though, superheroes got super broody. Sure, Batman was always that way, and there are certainly exceptions, but look at who Superman has become lately. Grumpy and, well, Batman-y. No one is brooding in Incredibles 2. Mr. Fantastic might be jealous that his wife is getting all the attention, but he comes to terms with it. He works his ass off to be a good dad, deals with Jack-Jack’s freaking adorable (and frankly terrifying) new powers, helps Dash (Huck Milner) with his homework (new math is stupid), and facilitates Violet’s dating life. Sure, he messes that up completely, but he’s a dad. They all do that. Mine used to drive past the guys I liked in high school, stick his head out the window and yell, “I’m Jenna’s dad!” I’ve mostly forgiven him.
Incredibles 2 is all about doing the right thing, even if you mess up a few times first. Helen is thrilled to suit up and be the center of attention this time around in her superhero guise. She’s going to do the right thing, no matter how much she likes that shiny new suit. All she wants to do is help people, even if she gets some personal satisfaction from it. Also, can we talk about how a middle-aged woman with two kids is the one saving the world and starring in the film? If the deepest message we’re supposed to be taking from superheroes is that anyone can be one, that’s a pretty great thing to see. Moms can be superheroes. So can kids. So can old men with acid reflux. (This is a brilliant superpower. I was with a guy like that in an elevator once. This power could definitely be used for evil.)
Then there are the kids. When was the last time you saw a kid or teen on the big screen and didn’t want to murder them just a little? There is usually that preternaturally smart thing about movie kids that gets under one's skin. They just don’t seem like children. You can tell they’ve been written by adults. Not here. Violet is dealing with heartbreak and has tantrums, but they’re normal ones. Dash has to cope with math homework, his angsty teen sister, and his very tired dad. He’s not coming out with brilliant insights about it all. He’s just being a kid. Then there’s Jack-Jack.
Jack-Jack steals the film with his wonky powers and his fight with a raccoon. He’s not kidnapped or hurt or the weak catalyst for everyone else’s plot line. He is protecting his family from a furry trash panda with his new powers in a way that has audiences rolling in the aisles. (I swear to you, I actually saw a little kid doing a somersault in the aisle during this film.) He even wins over Edna in one of the best sequences in the entire movie.
Unlike most of the superhero films out there over the last 10 years, the villain actually has a real personality. Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) has a real reason for what she does. She doesn’t have powers. She’s just smart, and frustrated with her life and what happened to her parents. Despite that, she still manages to bond with Helen over life issues. What I’m saying here is that she’s not a cartoon. I mean, she is, but she’s not cartoon-y. She’s a real person with real issues and real feelings. She’s not a god in disguise or a big purple psychopath or a weirdly horned man with a bunch of boxes. She might be the baddie, but you can see where she’s coming from.
When you leave the theater after Incredibles 2, you feel good. You feel hopeful. You feel like you could go out and save the world a little bit. You can at least stop that shopping cart from crashing into someone’s car in the grocery store parking lot. Sure, it’s not the whole world you’re saving, but maybe you made someone’s day a little better. Isn’t that what superheroes are supposed to do—make you feel better about the world? In their purest form, yes.
And side note to Pixar: Please don’t make us wait another 14 years for the next Incredibles sequel.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.