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Incredibles 2 Movie Review (2018) | 14 Years of Punishing Wait is Over

The sequel to Incredibles is finally here after 14 years and it’s hard not to go gaga over it. Incredibles 2 movie is exactly what we expected it to be – extremely entertaining! In terms of its story, it is almost like its prequel and more, as the creators let it take a natural form taking things forward right from where it left off. Like the presence of Jack-Jack automatically dabbing the throttle on one of its major sub-plot.

The CGI is simply breathtaking which is exactly what you expect from a Disney Pixar creation. Brad Bird has done an outstanding job yet again with the tightly packed chemistry of the family that works so well when they are together. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the Incredibles 2 movie as you go on a mind-racking joyride that features a villain that would literally dip you into horrific waters and then suck out all hope.

The Long Wait

It was a constant follow up right from the point – “Why are we not developing a sequel to a truly deserving movie?” to “We have finally found a story” and the news that Brad was all over it flung us into euphoria. That Brad was going to see things through once again, put back the promise in its place, the promise that the movie wasn’t going to suck. And it doesn’t.

It’s time to make wrong things right.

What makes the movie admirable at once is the nostalgia that comes right back with Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) trying hard to get back the reins of Mr. Incredible. Holly Hunter‘s incredible southern accent that literally resuscitates her character of Helen Parr / Elastigirl again. While they changed Dash’s voice this time done by Eli Fucile owing to age issues, Sarah Vowell got in the vocal chords of Violet Parr once again bringing back a sudden gush of reminiscence to the shore.

incredibles 2 movie still

Then we have Frozone back in Incredibles 2 movie again reprised by Samuel L. Jackson‘s next to perfect voice. His presence felt quite satisfying and he has a pretty good role in here as well. How can we forget Edna Mode? Voiced once again by Brad Bird to perfection, she serves as a worried nanny in this one, who at once takes interest in Jack Jack’s power and abilities and gives him a suit he deserves.

It is almost like the entire family of superheroes and all the related people we saw in the prequel ending up having a reunion.

Other Important Characters

What adds spices to the already outstanding plot of Incredibles 2 movie was the inclusion of Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) and Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) into the storyline. They take the story forward by bringing that mysterious undertone that was there in the prequel as well. You don’t accept people to be good. With Winston and Evelyn giving Elastigirl a chance of her lifetime, a similar plot takes shape.

To help my family I gotta leave it. To fix the law I gotta break it.

The Screenslaver

The Screenslaver is one of those mysterious villains that ends up being a rare match. His confounded theories will make you wonder that like every genius nemesis, he is right on a lot of points. Of course, as to his real identity, who he is, you will find out once you watch the movie. I am not going to spoil it further.

Just going to put this brilliant quote right here untended:

The Screenslaver interrupts this program for an important announcement. Don’t bother watching the rest. Elastigirl doesn’t save the day; she only postpones her defeat. And while she postpones her defeat, you eat chips and watch her invert problems that you are too lazy to deal with.

Superheroes are part of a brainless desire to replace true experience with simulation. You don’t talk, you watch talk shows. You don’t play games, you watch game shows. Travel, relationships, risk; every meaningful experience must be packaged and delivered to you to watch at a distance so that you can remain ever-sheltered, ever-passive, ever-ravenous consumers who can’t free themselves to rise from their couches to break a sweat, never anticipate new life. You want superheroes to protect you, and make yourselves ever more powerless in the process. Well, you tell yourselves you’re being “looked after”. That you’re inches from being served and your rights are being upheld. So that the system can keep stealing from you, smiling at you all the while.

Go ahead, send your supers to stop me. Grab your snacks, watch your screens, and see what happens. You are no longer in control. I am.

Stunning CGI

It is hard not to talk about the movie’s stunning CGI. Whilst it is something people often tend to overlook owing to how invested they are in the story, and you barely get time to notice minutiae that comprise it, but if you pay enough attention to every character’s expressions, of things that are lingering alongside them, the artwork that goes behind in the backdrop, you realize how painstakingly everything has been built. You know it’s grandeur written in every frame. So much of work that has gone in it. Can we have a standing ovation already?

Brings to mind the t-shirt Bob was wearing when lifting Jack-Jack. You could see every tiny fabric when you zoom in on it. I can’t help but share this image so you will know what perfection is.

Bob Parr's t-shirt in Incredibles 2 movie

That’s just awe-inspiring and breathtaking if you ask me. Spending so much time making a frame look next to reality, that’s what top-notch animation is.

The Theme of Incredibles 2 Movie

As to the plot of Incredibles 2 movie, it starts off exactly where it had left off. Almost instantly taking you back to 2004. Violet’s subplot is basically handed to her by Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) who wipes out the memory of the boy she was into since he had seen her true identity.

If you wanna get out of the hole, first you gotta put down the shovel.

Violet’s struggle is in trying to win him over, struggling to do that, and then serving as a babysitter to her youngest sibling Jack-Jack. At the same time trying to help her parents.

Same goes with Dash too who is still a kid trying to understand the ways of the world, fighting his sister all the time and then babysitting Jack-Jack when the parents aren’t around.

Why would they change math? Math is math.

The world comes tumbling down for Bob Parr whose biggest struggle is to handle his kids while Elastigirl frees herself from all homely responsibility and storms off to take a job. The pay is good and a bit mysterious too. On the other hand, old-school Bob is forced to sit home to face what Elastigirl had faced in the prequel, in short, understanding or experiencing the pain of parenting.

In a world of feminism and equality, the plot automatically takes shape giving us a mouthful of laughter as Bob struggles with parenting.

Done properly, parenting is a heroic act.

What seems like a smooth life has countless challenges written all over it as Elastigirl despite her pompous comeback keeps feeling the weight of a villain on her shoulder. As the villain Screenslaver gradually builds itself in her rear glass, she becomes suspicious of everything that’s going on in her life until one day she becomes the victim. Bob runs into a trap himself and fails to help her out of the situation.

Ending up trapped, it is the children who have to rescue their parents, in the process, prove their worth. Will they be able to do that? Find out when you watch the movie yourself.

You can order the Incredibles 2 movie from here:

Some Issues

The only thing that might bother you in Incredibles 2 movie could be its ending which doesn’t blow you away. Probably because Brad doesn’t properly leverage all the powers of the superheroes this time, that they had only a human to tackle and just a tricky situation to handle.

Amongst other noticeable issues, one could say is the plot which is very similar to the one that we had seen in the prequel. It almost runs on similar rails.

Then the unnecessary exaggeration of a raccoon fight to showcase Jack-Jack’s power which felt pretty dispensable although it manages to bring a smile to your face. In its defense, I could say, kids actually loved that part.

The Final Verdict

Incredibles 2 movie is yet another brilliant installment that stood up to its standard. Brad Bird does a fantastic job again and you could say that he hasn’t lost his touch. His reprisal from 2015’s Tomorrowland feels like a major improvement.

His team of superheroes might be discordant at times but they happen to be literally a family. And there’s nothing like it in the whole world. Beat that!

A must watch for everybody especially for those who have waited all this time patiently for the sequel to come.

The Commuter Movie Review (2018) | Finding Prynne

The Commuter movie is a fast-paced thriller that somehow runs on similar rails of Murder on the Orient Express sans the visuals of course. I know it would be wrong to compare the two, that they are set in a whole different universe, the similarity might amuse you.

What kind of person are you?

The Commuter movie brings home real tension that Liam Neeson perfects once again working on the lines of all his previous action ventures like Unknown, Run All Night and Non-Stop. Hold that thought! It is the same director.  Jaume Collet-Serra is known for making movies that stars Liam in his action avatar. If he hasn’t milked him enough, I don’t know who has.

The Commuter Movie Plot (Spoilers)

Even though The Commuter movie carries a questionably built plot, it goes on to feel better as it unspools. The flick kicks off with an ex-police officer, Michael McCauley (Liam Neeson) commuting in a series of frames to his daily life as a life insurance salesman. One day he is fired from his job, and the whole world comes crashing down on him as he sits in a bar with his friend Murphy (Patrick Wilson) confiding in him how life is fickle.

On his way back home, his mobile gets stolen. Entry Joanna (Vera Farmiga) (team Conjuring…Yay!) who cracks a conversation with him. Hypothetically proposing a situation:

What if I asked you to do one little thing?

Her terms being it would affect only one individual on the train, in turn, offering the needy Michael insane amount of money.

Someone on this train does not belong, all you have to do is find them.

In an age where it is hard to afford a reliable detective, bumping into Liam Neeson seems like a much cheaper alternative.

Liam Neeson handling wads of cash in The Commuter

Finding Prynne

As per Joanna, the mission is to find a person called “Prynne” who doesn’t belong and plant a bug tracker on him/her before he/she gets off at Cold Springs stop. Michael ends up finding the bag realizing her terms weren’t hypothetical after all.

When he tries to get off, he is stopped by a girl who hands him an envelope with his wife’s wedding ring.

If you haven’t already figured it out, they are watching you.

Michael asks one of the regular commuters Walt (Jonathan Banks) for help by writing it in a newspaper. Joanna already knows. (How?) She gets Walt killed.

Finding a man suspicious, he tags him with the tracker after getting into a fight with him.

Michael calls Murphy to ask him about Prynne. He is told that Prynne is a key witness to a suicide case of Enrique Mendez. Figuring out that Joanna is after Prynne because she wishes to kill him, Michael restarts his search. But he finds the same man he had tagged dead inside the train. He figures that the dead man wasn’t Prynne but an FBI agent who was killed because he had tagged him.

Who is Prynne in The Commuter Movie

Michael shuts down the AC forcing everyone into the same compartment. There he speaks loudly proposing the same hypothetical case that Joanna had presented him with. A man leaves the compartment making Michael smell something fishy. In an attempt to find out if he was Prynne, he follows him. He realizes that the man wasn’t Prynne but an assassin named Oliver hired to kill Prynne. Oliver (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) demands Michael to tell him who Prynne is. But he refuses and a scuffle breaks loose as Michael throws the assassin out of the window.

Later in the compartment, Prynne is revealed to be a girl called Sofia. She had a flash drive with information that would have affected some really powerful people, and was going to witness protection at the final stop (Cold Springs) of the train. On being asked why she did not go to the police, Sofia said that it was the police who had killed Enrique. She had heard the killer say:

You tried to do the noble thing, but there’s no such thing as noble.

The Final Showdown

Joanna calls Michael once again threatening to kill his family if he doesn’t kill Prynne. Michael refuses. Overtaken by madness Joanna derails the train. Bad CGI btw. The train looks like a toy when that happens.

Michael unhooks the final car from the train saving all the passengers. However, Michael warns them from getting out that their lives were still at risk. He asks them to stick newspapers on the windows.

Patrick Wilson in The Commuter movie

Captain Hawthorne (Sam Neill) approaches with his cavalry convinced that Michael has gone rogue and is holding the passengers as hostages inside the compartment. Murphy is sent as a negotiator. There he uses the same ‘noble’ phrase making them figure out Murphy to be Enrique’s killer.

Murphy asks Prynne to step out but everyone starts to claim themselves as Prynne. He shoots a random guy when Michael engages in a fist to fist combat with him. He then removes the police tracker from Murphy making the Police Sniper consider Michael as friendly. Murphy is shot.

Outside Michael meets his family as Sofia tells the police what she knows. Hawthorne tells Michael that he misses him on the force.

In a sort of an epilogue, we see Joanna commuting in a train when Michael shows up in a similar manner. She defies him saying what’s going to happen when Michael shows her his police badge.

Just one little thing.

the commuter movie scene liam neeson and vera farmiga

Issues with the Flick

Vera Farmiga feels like the devil, somehow knowing everything upfront with little plausible explanations.

The VFX department in The Commuter movie suffers too during the final moments when the train derails. Even though it’s something manageable and you can overlook it, the plot goes on and on. It is in those final moments that it tries to tell its story. Well, somehow I am still convinced that we could have used some of the important bits surrounding the climax in the prologue itself. For instance, the audience really doesn’t care who Enrique is. So a frame to show what had happened would have been good in the beginning.

Liam Neeson does a great job as a confused and helpless Michael. Both Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are amazing at their bits. You see the climax coming from far away, although it boils down to words and only words. If you don’t theatricalize it, people often lose interest.

The Final Verdict

The Commuter movie is a good thrilling entertainer. It will keep you on your toes as you keep guessing. It isn’t, of course, on the levels of extraordinaire but it still manages to tell a tale by keeping things under wrap. I still think it could have been made better. Can be watched.