Here’s what Incredibles 2 should be doing


After seeing our first sneak peek at the Incredibles 2, it feels like Brad Bird is sleeping on a big opportunity and an important conversation in the sequel.

Brad Bird is an incredible filmmaker. With films like Iron Giant, The Incredibles and his contributions to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in his back pocket, the expectation for Incredibles 2 is really high. Fans of the original film have been waiting for this for more than a decade. And with Bird taking his sweet time to put this film together, the storyline should be really tight.

Now that we have a synopsis and better look at the film, we kind of have an idea of how the film will take shape. After Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I’m not going to pretend that I know exactly what’s going to happen in a film, because apparently, some directors out there consider themselves all-powerful auteurs and want to surprise the audience.

It looks like Bird opted for a role reversal between Bob and Helen, which will leave Helen springing back into the superhero spotlight while Bob stays home as Mr. Mom. Though it’s noble of Bird to want to attack this idea, the conversation feels a little dated. Of course, I know the film takes place a few decades ago anyway, but it doesn’t feel like Bird took the progress of the first film into consideration.

Let’s look at the “sneak peek” again:

Why isn’t the family working as a unit? As soon as the trailer starts, Bob and Helen ditch the kids to defeat the Underminer. Not cool. Helen ditches her sweet Edna Mode suit. Not cool.

Though it’s only a sneak peek, why does it feel like the kids are being sidelined again? Even if people related to Dash’s math problem, the animators behind Incredibles 2 put a lot more details into the textbook than necessary; something I only noticed because I got bored with the scene really quickly.

Which makes me feel disappointed because we all really want to this movie to be good. It’s The Incredibles, after all.

So, then, here’s how I envision making the best of a two-hour sequel featuring the Parr family.

First, go back to kids. The themes of the first film centered on Bob’s desire to be a superhero and how he failed to support the same desire in someone else, thereby creating the villain of the film, Syndrome. At home, Helen wanted Bob to “engage!” more with the children, but I’m not sure why Bird would choose to take it to such an extreme.

The inverse of The Incredibles isn’t switching gender roles or making Helen the one who wants to be a superhero, but to explore what happens when a Parr family member doesn’t want to be a superhero.

Perhaps a more relevant theme would be honing in on Violet’s insecurities presented in the first film and how being a superhero either helps or hinders that. Where Dash becomes a track star and easily fits in, maybe it makes Violet’s life harder. Against Bob’s wishes, she chooses not to don the suit.

Learning from his experience with Buddy (Syndrome), Bob must come to terms with Violet’s choice. And borrowing from Iron Giant, the theme would be “you are who you choose to be.” Therefore, Mr. Incredible must reconcile that Violet is incredible no matter what she chooses.

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It’s a win-win for everyone. Brad Bird puts a woman at the forefront, we explore the lifestyle choices of the kids, and there’s a great message of validation there. If anything, it feels like Bird wants to validate stay-at-home dads more than anything else, which is great, but too small of an idea for Incredibles 2.

Again, I don’t know the entirety of the film. But the first sneak peek leaves much to be desired.

Just because Edna Mode doesn’t look back because it distracts from the now doesn’t mean Bird can ignore the first film.

Incredibles 2 opens in theaters on June 15.