So a while back I made a post in which I was really concerned about the information hitting the internet about Disney’s “The Incredibles 2” and the possible direction it was headed. I’m a big fan of the first movie (it had just about everything a GREAT movie could have and was near perfect in my book) and I didn’t want to see them ruin the franchise by doing what Disney is famous for lately and turning into some kind of girl-power, feminist battle cry.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed because the movie wasn’t really the feminist battle cry I had worried it would be, but it most certainly contained “girl power” in a lot of ways. I’ll avoid any big spoilers after the break (if your interested).
Believe it or not, Disney, as of late, has been waging a war on men by transforming almost every film and franchise “female-centric”. That’s not to say they are making bad films, just that their focus has turned to making every one of their films focused on females:
- Finding Nemo transitioned to Finding Dory. Still a great movie, don’t get me wrong, but I always thought Nemo was an excellent father/son film.
- Cars 3 found Lightning McQueen passing the racing torch to a new, female character. One without racing experience, who wasn’t a race car, who had her feelings hurt by male race cars but found she could best them all when she was given the chance.
- The Star Wars franchise has all but abandoned male characters, as per design, according to the films directors. The main story films, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have had their main characters replaced by a female and the surprisingly well done “Rouge One” also featured a female lead.
Suffice to say I was concerned that the latest Incredibles film would follow suit, placing mom, Helen Parr (aka: Elastigirl), at the forefront of the film while relegating dad, Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) to house-dad. Although this is what happens in the film it is not done in an annoying, feminist, girl power way. Minor spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the film yet, but I will be vague to avoid ruining anything.
The jist of the film is that after a battle with a villain (the film picks up IMMEDIATELY at the end of the last film, with the Parr family taking on the villain known as The Underminer) someone wants to work on removing the international law making supers in public illegal. In order to do this they call on Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and buddy Frozone to work with them by giving people a look at things from a supers point of view, namely recording and broadcasting what a super sees during an altercation with a villain. They choose Elastigirl because data shows she has less of a tendency to cause destruction to public property than the two male heroes, which is part of the reason supers became outlawed to begin with. With their house having been destroyed by a falling jet in the last film and the government agency that was giving them support now defunct, husband, Bob, is forced to stay in a loaner home (a very lavish loaner, at that) with the kids while his wife tries to win over the hearts of world leaders so that supers can be legal again. Bob goes through some of the typical “stay at home dad movie” stuff by getting confused and frustrated with his sons new math, getting caught up in his daughters love life and trying to fix the problem in no so great ways, and dealing with a baby who just happens to have more super powers than the entire family combined. Its done well, and he is never really played off as the buffoon, just a guy who is dealing with a lot who is unfocused. Once he gets focused, though, things get worked out.
Overall I loved the film. The aesthetic of the first film remains despite the huge advances in technology over the past 13 years, the characters are fun and funny, the action is great.
One thing I noticed, however, was a weird loosening of language standards for a Disney movie. The words “hell” and I think even “damn” are used in the film, which was quite a shock. Not that they are horrible words, but they were certainly unexpected. The films antagonist is kind of dark and as the story is exposed it gets pretty weird. Still, a great film.
If you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. If you have, see it a again! Hopefully we wont have to wait 13 years for another sequel, if we get one at all. If not, however, I think what we have is gold.