Incredibles 2 (2018)

Incredibles 2

Fighting crime is hard enough without having a baby to watch over.

It should come as very little surprise that it took fourteen years to bring the Parr family back to the big screen in Incredibles 2. Director and writer Brad Bird knew he had characters that are rivaled by few in the Disney Universe (not just Pixar), so he took his time. The result is a sequel that, while it does not live up to the original, still is passable as family fun for all ages.

The movie picks up right where we left off in the first film. The Parr family is chasing after the Underminer (Pixar voice man John Ratzenberger). After his escape, the family is under legal trouble again, and must go back into hiding. That all changes when they are approached by super hero enthusiast Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener). They tell of a plan of how Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) can wear hidden cameras to show the hero point of view, not the point of view from the politicians. The choice is eventually made that Elastigirl will be the best bet for the public since she destroys the least amount of property.

This leaves Bob alone with his kids as a stay at home dad (though Deavor has given them a new house with amazing features). This is the plot where the film adds the most laughs, as Bob is unaware at first of his kids’ individual problems. Dash (Huck Milner) needs help with homework (“Why would they change math?!”). Violet (Sarah Vowell) is upset because her crush from the first film Tony (Michael Bird, son of Brad Bird) had his memory erased of her and does not know who she is. Then of course, there is Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) who is discovering his new powers along with his family. It is so desperate that Bob even has to go to Edna (Brad Bird) for help (while in his monster form, Jack-Jack is also voiced by Nicholas Bird, the other son of Brad Bird).

Meanwhile, Elastigirl is on the hunt for a new villain named Screenslaver, who does have secrets of his own (I did guess at who the identity of the Screenslaver was, but I will still not reveal it). His powers are able technical in that he can entrance people on the TV screen. Eventually, this tech is transmitted to goggles.

There are other minor characters that don’t get as much screen time, but are fun to have around anyway. These are the super heroes who have also been in hiding, such as Voyd (Sophia Bush), Helectrix (Phil LaMarr), and others with their own unique powers.

Parents, the film may be the first time I have heard some swearing in a Disney/Pixar film (very minor ones like Hell and Crap). Aside from that, it is safe to say that any kid would be fine with this film if they saw the original.

The movie is fun, but far from the (pardon the pun) incredible first film. It does lack the originality and uniqueness from the first film, and does not nearly have as good a villain (though few can compare to Syndrome). Still, that should not stop you from having a great time with your family.

Though I would advise you to tell your kids that fighting a racoon may not be the best idea.

 

Overall: Three and a Half Stars ***1/2

 

Tomorrowland (2015)

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Casey (Britt Robertson) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

Casey, played by Britt Robertson, visits Tomorrowland.

The trailer for Tomorrowland gave me hopes of a sleeper hit for the summer, but left me with a distaste in my mouth.

While the movie has great visuals, you would expect the film (directed by Brad Bird, who turned down the new Star Wars film to make this one) to spend much time in Tomorrowland, but you don’t. It also manages to deliver a message that has been given to us in other (and better) films: we decide our future as humans.

The film opens up as a monologue (that is interrupted, confusing me a bit). We see a young Frank Welker (Thomas Robinson) at the 1964 Worlds Fair. He is greeted by Athena (a very talented Raffey Cassidey), who introduces him to Tomorrowland. The narrating then shifts to present day where we meet Casey (Britt Robertson), who is arrested after trying to stop the destruction of a launch site. One thing that confused me a great deal was Casey’s age: I was not sure if she was in High School or College (Robertson in real life is 25).

She eventually meets up with Athena (who we learn is a robot) and they meet up with the grown up Frank Welker (George Clooney) as they search for another way back to Tomorrowland. We also meet Nix, played by Hugh Laurie, who has fun asking how the human race could have obesity and starvation happening at the same time.

If you saw the trailer for this film, and were expecting a lot of futuristic art work and CGI, I must sadly tell you there is not much of it. I admit sometimes I like it when a movie is not like the trailer (I thought of the underrated Bridge to Terabithia), but not here. I see a futuristic city in a film’s trailer, I expect a good amount of that futuristic city to be in the film. There are two cool scenes on earth, however, involving a Sci-Fi shop and a house booby-trapped to perfection.

Parents, there is some swearing, and some action/scary moments that I feel may be too much for anyone pre kindergarden. Sadly, the film won’t appeal much to anyone over the age of thirteen or fourteen either. I do agree with the lesson of the movie, but not how it was told (nor, for that matter, how long it took to tell it. At just over two hours, it felt like it lasted for three).

Overall: Two Stars **