Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Incredibles 2

On Tuesday night I saw The Incredibles 2 at my local movie theater, with an audience mostly of adults. The show included the animated short Bao, touted as the first Pixar short directed by a woman. In this wordless film, clearly set in a North American city, a Chinese mother makes a dumpling that magically comes to life as a baby, which she then raises into an adult. The story builds to a discomfiting climax, while being cute & affectionate all the way. The realistically depicted food is instantly recognizable to anyone who has eaten home-cooked Chinese meals, & the whole thing is perhaps a gentle commentary on the ties of dependency in traditional families.

I was happy that The Incredibles 2 is pretty much the same as the first Incredibles, with its humorous take on family life with kids, mixed with cartoonish action scenes & catastrophes avoided by a hair's breadth. There are a couple of dialogue-heavy scenes making up the exposition that make a complex issue out of whether or not super heroes should be allowed to use their powers in a law-based society. I was frequently distracted by details of the visual design, which depicts a hyped-up version of the 1960s. We even get glimpses of Johnny Quest & The Twilight Zone appearing on TV sets.

Satirical scenes featuring Edna Mode with baby Jack-Jack are a highlight. The theater sound system made it seem at one point that Jack-Jack had leapt out of the screen & into the auditorium. The movie's stylish, symphonic score also sounded great. I was impressed by the visualization of falling through the wormholes in space created by one of the movie's supporting cast superheroes.


§ Bao (2018)
USA | 8min | Dir. Domee Shi

§ Incredibles 2 (2018)
USA | 1h 58min | Dir. Brad Bird

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