Friday, July 6, 2018

Done properly, parenting is a heroic activity.

I've mentioned it before, but I tried instituting a We Go To The Movies policy with my wife and son a few Christmases back. Shocking no one, neither of the passengers in my car were on-board, and good ol' Dad ended up being the only one having any fun. Welp, scratch that, shall we? But, uh, isn't Christmas really about what Dad wants?


Okay, fine. We'll never do that again. But on Father's Day, dammit...
We Go To The Movies. 

And this past Father's Day? We did. But how it all shook down? Let's just say it was Incredible.

But more on that in a bit.

No, lie. I love doing laundry. Even love folding it.
But putting it away? Uh.....
Like pretty much everybody else walking the planet, I was a big fan of 2004's The Incredibles. Clearly Brad Bird's first go-round with the Parr family stuck with me, as I ended up naming my kids Dash and Violet years after the fact. (fine, Matty's middle name is Dashiell, as I wimped out at the hospital - but still). Not only was I looking forward to finally catching up with the family of supers fourteen years later, but safe to say I pretty stoked to have both my kids by my side as well. Uh...about that.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that Incredibles 2 is easily as good as the first film, if not better. Picking up immediately after the conclusion of the '04 film (always a nice touch, right?), Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and the kids defeat the Underminer in a thrilling and chaotic clash beneath the city. Unfortunately, as these things tend to go, the collateral damage is too much, and once again superheroes are forced back into hiding. Scarlett Witch feels their pain.

Luckily the Deavors, a rich set of siblings, contact the Parrs, and in honor of their late father, decide to launch an epic PR campaign to get the Incredibles (and other costumed crime-fighters) back in the good graces of society. While Mr. Incredible is beyond excited, it takes his wife Helen a little longer to get on board. Good thing the Deavors want to feature her first, leaving Bob to go from being Mr. Incredible to Mr. Mom.

I can't wait to celebrate my 52nd birthday at part 3.
When I first caught wind of the whole Dad-stays-at-home, Mom-fights-crime angle Incredibles 2 had going for it, my eyes damn near rolled out of my head. Here we go again, Walt. Of course, I was wrong, and the inverting of the traditional roles worked flawlessly. Seeing Mr. Incredible struggle with his three kids (especially Jack-Jack) was as hilarious as it was familiar (clearly my wife is the stronger one by far), while Elastigirl's exploits were nothing short of exhilarating.

Two out of three kids are happy? I'd take that number any day of the week.
Placing both parents out of their comfort zones felt like an organic way to further the story of the Parrs, instead of what I had originally thought was something bordering on pandering. Bob can punch and smash his way through anything, sure, but seeing him unable to communicate with Violet, help Dash with his homework, or uh...contain Jack Jack was better than any set piece he could ever be a part of. And watching Helen grow more confident in her powers while at the same managing her family remotely, reminded me of how -wait for it- incredible my wife truly is. Oh, and let's be honest, Elastigirl pretty much has the coolest powers ever. And a super-rad motorcycle, too.

Speaking of stretching things thin, here are the Yays and Boos. While I think these films are equally aimed at adults and kids alike, these next few bullet points should be read by...well, no one really. While I'm not really strong enough to hurt anyone, my real superpower is the magical ability to make people wish they were dead.

I dare you to find a more adorable scene than this one.

  • Can we get more director intros, please? That Mr. nice.
  • Goodness, Bao, the short film preceeding this one, was amazing. Shame half the theater was beyond baffled.
  • Turns out fourteen years...makes animation infinitely better. My word.
  • That opening scene was fantastic, but the best part in all the chaos? Everyone passing off Jack Jack! 
  • Do it so...I can do it better. Aw.
  • Totally loved how everyone reacted to seeing Elastigirl on the scene. Marry me, Elastigirl! Ha.That dude.
  • The train scene. Even if it reminds me of Spider-Man every single time something like that happens, it was still really cool.
  • Jack Jack is amazing, we all know this. But his little battle against the raccoon? Made me want to have another little one. Um, and also...a raccoon? Fine. Maybe just the raccoon. I don't think you have to send them to college someday.
  • Speaking of Jack Jack, can we talk about the bit where Edna takes him for a night? Please?
  • Violet blasting water out of her nose at the restaurant still makes me laugh.
  • Void if pretty rad, right? Easily the best of the non-Parrs. Her whole team-up with Violet made my life.
  • And how about that Screenslaver battle scene? Pretty much the best seizure ever.
  • And finally, I love the family, absolutely love the Parrs. But, guys. The real MVP of this film? Hands down, it's Frozone. From making Jack Jack an ice-cold treat, to um, basically saving the damn day, Samuel L. Jackson's character just might be my favorite. 
Should we talk about how spot-on this dude's plan is now?
Or after we both get off our phones?
  • Agent Dicker. Always zapping the periphery teens.
  • Elastigirl gets first crack at bringing back supers, because, you know, Mr. Incredible is a bit too smashy-smashy. Makes sense, sure...but c'mon, now. What's he supposed to do? Be gentle?
  • Um, Elastigirl sometimes...uh...makes me a bit...longer, you know? Goodness, Helen. Those hips don't lie. Shakira, Shakira.
  • My wife and I want to move. Desperately. Every house we've been too? Infinitely better than our own. Good thing we can escape at the movies....erp, never mind. We even want the Parrs pad, too...dang it.
  • I dread the day some dude stands up my daughter. I'm either gonna kill the kid, I'll probably just kill the kid.
  • Yo, Deavor sister, what's with the potty-mouth? You can save all your Hells and your Damns for your friends down at the dock, mmkay?
  • And finally, don't give me a boat full of supers and not explicitly name and rank all of them okay? There were some way cool heroes on that ship, you know? If my wife and I had to learn the names of all the stupid Piston Cup racers in Cars (Shiny Wax, anyone? How about Mood Springs?), can we maybe undo all of that with learning about these fine individuals, instead? Please and thanks, Mr. Bird. 
Being that it was Father's Day when we saw Incredibles 2, my wife suggested that we invite her father, too. Have Pap come with of us? Of course. Let me just go BACK to theater and get another ticket next to us. *drives back to movie theater* Phew. Got another seat next to ours.

Oh, what's that? Your mom is coming now, too? You mean she finally answered a text message, three hours later? Makes sense...those can be pretty hard to read and type y-e-s to. I get that. Let me just get her ticket online. And pay those fees I adore so much. Hmm. Turns out this movie is going to be huge. Probably the reason why I've been to the theater twice today buying tickets for us to be able to sit together. But, your mom is in. Yay for that.

So, I'll just go ahead and buy that last seat in the back, two rows behind everybody else. But even better? Might as well be the one to sit in it, too.


On Father's Day.

When We Go to the Movies.


  1. Review aside (which was amazing - I can't wait to see this movie!) I had to laugh at your ticket-buying drama! I get stuck in a similar situation every Christmas trying to organise a movie outing for around 12 family members. Ugh!
    The UK still has a week to wait for this one but I'm so hyped!

    1. Holy Hell...twelve people? At Christmas time? There is no way I would ever want that burden. Best of luck with that, Allie.

      It's really good. Very sweet, lots of fun...I'm sure you'll love it.

  2. The raccoon was my favorite part of this film. I needed that after Bao made me cry a the beginning lol.

    Great review!

    1. YES! Jack Jack steals the damn show, and his battle against the raccoon was perfect. I recently saw Chris D'Elia doing a (sort of) similar bit in his show and connecting the two almost killed me.

      It's wild how much impact a three minute animated short can have. I would have checked on my wife (to see if she was teary-eyed)....but she was on the other side of the theater.


  3. I recently saw the first one for the first time and it was really cute. I am gonna check this one too. The first part was the only Pixar movie not to make me weep like and idiot

  4. Hahaha...that's a good point, though I probably cried regardless.