For a while, Pixar was releasing some sequels that, though decent, were always overshadowing the one Pixar movie it made the most sense to sequel. Finally, with Pixar's gap of a whole fourteen years, we did finally got what we were once teased at the end of the original film. That said, the movie takes place immediately after the events of the first film, when the family works to stop the Underminer (John Ratzenberger). Although the first film ends with the thought of a whole new superhero uprising, the fact remains that superhero work is still just as outlawed as it always was. After the battle, the Incredible family is relocated.
In comes a wealthy businessman named Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) who run a telecommunications company called DevTech. In an effort to regain the trust of the general populous, they propose that the heroes work secret missions, a bit more on the spy level, and record their actions through a hidden camera. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is chosen to represent the family, leaving Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) at home to care for his kids. Eventually the path that Elastigirl is on leads her to a new villain known as The Screenslaver (mystery voice) who is using television broadcasts to get a sort of "Q-Anon"-type message out to the public, discrediting supers while DevTech is working hard on trying to give them a newfound respect.
Meanwhile, at home, Mr. Incredible (or just Bob) adds the sense of humour to the story as a new stay-at-home parent. This is what adds a lot of the heart to the movie in the different ways he has to care for his kids. Violet (Sarah Vowell) is experiencing some boy problems, after her romantic interest has his memory erased; Dash (Huck Milner) is having a lot of trouble with his math homework; and last but not least, baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) is experiencing a whole new array of potentially dangerous superpowers that Bob can seemingly only keep under control with the promise of cookies. Along the way, he eventually seeks help from return characters Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Edna Mode (Brad Bird), so if you end up missing those characters at all, they each make a generous comeback for the fans.
It's interesting to note that after so long, the timing of the story was pretty solid, as it puts Elastigirl in the driver seat. It brings her character out into the open a bit more, and shows she not only has what it takes, but can be a total badass while doing it. This is a film that does the "girl power" thing, but the execution is nice and organic and not so in your face. If anything, I just feel like this gives a generous balance to the first one, flipping the hero/parent roles around. At no point did this feel like a major female empowerment title, but it does just enough of what it needs to in order to fall under the category. It's cool that it's not really a matter of her fighting and having to prove herself so much as she's already established as a badass, and we just wanna see her do her thing.
Of all the Pixar sequels out there, this is just ahead of 'Finding Dory' with the biggest gap between films. It was pretty frustrating to see Pixar cranking out so many sequels while this just sort of dangled, but in the end, I finally understood why this really was. Perhaps it was 'Cars 2' that really did it, but Pixar has discovered (and seems to stick by) the idea that first, they need a good story that will appeal to not only fans, but a general audience who may be unfamiliar. The timing of 'Incredibles 2' with its focus on the established female superhero does seem a bit better placed in 2018 than it might have in, say, 2006 or so. That's not to say it wouldn't have worked at all, but I might suggest that it works better for society's presently "woke" culture than it would have back then.
As far as those Oscars go, this got its nomination, and everyone at the time probably thought it was going to collect. However, it was bumped off by, of all things, another superhero movie; 'Into the Spider-Verse'. For as much as I enjoyed this movie, I remember being very happy about that on several levels. Not only did it add to the groundwork of superhero movies finally earning Oscars (although they had a few times before this), but it went to show that sometimes even the Pixar shoe-in doesn't quite make it. Once again, however, it's all a matter of how much the audience likes it as opposed to these awards I've been keeping track of through these reviews. Having said that, 'The Incredibles 2' was a actually a great sequel, and well worth the long wait.
Writers and Directors