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Thread: The Incredibles 2

  1. #1
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    The Incredibles 2

    Has anyone else here seen this? I saw it with my kids tonight, and left feeling conflicted.

    I was expecting a light-hearted fun romp, but I seemed to get a movie that couldn't decide whether it wanted to be feminist or not.

    Spoiler: In the scene where Winston is explaining that he wants Helen to be the face of his movement, Bob's dialogue is so heavily implying that the reasons he's not stating that he wants to be the lead are because he's a man. It's the kind of conversations I have heard in many workplaces, where people say "I'm not a sexist but....", and it's like he was checking to see if he would be safe to say it or not, and then decided to back off.

    And then he ends up supporting and encouraging Helen, but not because he cares about her or what she wants, but only because he thinks it will get him what he wants. He's supposed to be one of the good guys, but he really doesn't seem to be, for quite a long time. He's a flawed, not-so-great superhero. Maybe that's the point though, is to show that even the men who are allies aren't all that great.

    We had jokes about men being unable to take care of children as well, while Bob adapts to being a stay-at-home dad, which bothered me with the tone they were striking earlier. I was really starting to worry that this was going to become something that reinforced antiquated gender roles, and there were times when it was.

    Helen does fantastic on her own and saves the day a ton of times. She doesn't need any help, and she's winning people over while she's doing it for a while, and doing something Bob couldn't do in shifting public opinion on superheros. They make it seem pretty obvious that the bad guy is one of the two who've hired Helen (a brother & sister team), and it ends up being the sister who's the sneaky manipulative one, as if that doesn't play into a women-hating stereo-type right there.

    And when Bob is called in to help Helen after she gets in over her head, he is defeated by Helen quickly (good), but she does it by distracting him with a kiss (bad).

    So it falls to the kids to rescue their parents, which they do, and then they all have to work together to avoid disaster, which they do.

    At one point, Bob realizes he has no idea what to do with Jack-Jack, and his solution ends up being to find a different woman to watch him for a night. Bob does do well by making up with Violet, and he does help Dash out with some homework, when he doesn't know what to do about Jack-Jack, he asks for help, he goes to Edna, who hates kids and doesn't want anything to do with them, but is good with him and ends up a smashing success, and there's no explanation as to why except that she's a woman. And raising kids is what women do.

    This movie got some things right, and it did have a female as the main hero this time around, but it missed the mark in so many other areas that it just felt really uncomfortable to me.

    Maybe it was just the way Bob was depicted. He was never explicit in his sexism, but he was obviously heavily implying it. And he only supported his wife because he saw her success getting him what he wanted. Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with seeing the characters that I really loved from the first movie behaving in poor ways. Especially since this picks up immediately after the 1st movie ends. He just learned to value his family in the first movie, and suddenly he's critical of Helen, and then only supporting her because it'll help him. I really wanted to punch him in his big stupid face.



    And I wasn't expecting to have such conflicting feelings about this movie. I expected light-hearted family fun, and that's not what I got.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    Has anyone else here seen this? I saw it with my kids tonight, and left feeling conflicted.
    I saw it a week and a half ago and I thought it was great. I thought it felt strangely as though almost no time had passed between the two movies (in a good way). Personally, I enjoyed it a lot and thought it was everything a sequel to The Incredibles should have been.

    I was expecting a light-hearted fun romp, but I seemed to get a movie that couldn't decide whether it wanted to be feminist or not.

    Spoiler: In the scene where Winston is explaining that he wants Helen to be the face of his movement, Bob's dialogue is so heavily implying that the reasons he's not stating that he wants to be the lead are because he's a man. It's the kind of conversations I have heard in many workplaces, where people say "I'm not a sexist but....", and it's like he was checking to see if he would be safe to say it or not, and then decided to back off.
    The reason for this in the movie is that Spoiler: Helen didn't cause much (if any) collateral damage in her crime fighting tactics, yet Bob caused a lot of destruction, which would be likely to sour the public opinion on the idea of making superheroes legal again. Yes, the movie is simultaneously referencing the feminism movement, but I didn't feel that it did so in a painfully obvious, heavy-handed, overbearing, or clumsy way (this is a kid's movie, after all).

    Spoiler: And then he ends up supporting and encouraging Helen, but not because he cares about her or what she wants, but only because he thinks it will get him what he wants. He's supposed to be one of the good guys, but he really doesn't seem to be, for quite a long time. He's a flawed, not-so-great superhero. Maybe that's the point though, is to show that even the men who are allies aren't all that great.
    First of all, one thing that all great characters have is flaws. It gives them something to overcome and makes them more relatable. Second, Spoiler: I think he DID want to support his wife, but he was jealous. He wanted to be out there with her. After a while, though, he does come around and decide to be the father and husband his family needs him to be. He has an arc that I thought worked quite well.

    Spoiler: We had jokes about men being unable to take care of children as well, while Bob adapts to being a stay-at-home dad, which bothered me with the tone they were striking earlier. I was really starting to worry that this was going to become something that reinforced antiquated gender roles, and there were times when it was.
    I'm not a parent, but I thought they were simply making light of the joys, pitfalls, and general craziness involved in being a parent in general, not necessarily a father.

    Spoiler: Helen does fantastic on her own and saves the day a ton of times. She doesn't need any help, and she's winning people over while she's doing it for a while, and doing something Bob couldn't do in shifting public opinion on superheros. They make it seem pretty obvious that the bad guy is one of the two who've hired Helen (a brother & sister team), and it ends up being the sister who's the sneaky manipulative one, as if that doesn't play into a women-hating stereo-type right there.
    Spoiler: I did see the villain reveal coming a mile away (I'm with you on that), but I didn't get a woman-hating stereotype vibe from her character at all. I feel like they tried to go the surprising route, but maybe dropped too many clues along the way.

    And when Bob is called in to help Helen after she gets in over her head, he is defeated by Helen quickly (good), but she does it by distracting him with a kiss (bad).
    I honestly don't remember this part, so I can't comment on that.

    Spoiler: So it falls to the kids to rescue their parents, which they do, and then they all have to work together to avoid disaster, which they do.

    At one point, Bob realizes he has no idea what to do with Jack-Jack, and his solution ends up being to find a different woman to watch him for a night. Bob does do well by making up with Violet, and he does help Dash out with some homework, when he doesn't know what to do about Jack-Jack, he asks for help, he goes to Edna, who hates kids and doesn't want anything to do with them, but is good with him and ends up a smashing success, and there's no explanation as to why except that she's a woman. And raising kids is what women do.
    Spoiler: To be fair, he does call Frozone (a man) first. I honestly was just happy to see Edna come back that I didn't think about it too much, but I think that the fact that Jack-Jack liked Edna so much (and the fact that Edna got excited by Jack-Jack's powers) is why she wound up being his babysitter. It also provided a good amount of comedy, which my wife found hilarious, so I don't see a problem there.

    This movie got some things right, and it did have a female as the main hero this time around, but it missed the mark in so many other areas that it just felt really uncomfortable to me.

    Spoiler: Maybe it was just the way Bob was depicted. He was never explicit in his sexism, but he was obviously heavily implying it. And he only supported his wife because he saw her success getting him what he wanted.
    Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with seeing the characters that I really loved from the first movie behaving in poor ways. Especially since this picks up immediately after the 1st movie ends. He just learned to value his family in the first movie, and suddenly he's critical of Helen, and then only supporting her because it'll help him. I really wanted to punch him in his big stupid face.
    Spoiler: Again, maybe at first. I don't think he only supported her because he thought it would get him what he wanted, I think it was more that he was jealous of being left out of the action. He wanted to be out there with her. Either way, Bob came around in the end and was proud of his wife, etc. I understand your point that he had just learned to appreciate his family at the end of the first movie and this one picks up immediately after (which is a legitimate critique), but without a conflict for the characters to overcome, there's no movie.

    And I wasn't expecting to have such conflicting feelings about this movie. I expected light-hearted family fun, and that's not what I got.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinions, but I hope you enjoy it more on repeat viewings!
    Last edited by sonic_discord; 06-27-2018 at 11:55 PM.

  3. #3
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    I thought it was alright, but I really loved the original movie. This felt forced and less, uh, magical I guess.

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    I really liked that film as I thought it was fun. I was more enthralled by its preceding short Bao.

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    I thought it was a lot of fun, I really enoyed it! I didn't get any woman-hating or forced-feminist vibes, my big fear going in was that the movie will be ablout the father babysitting his own kids (which drives me crazy... you're NOT babysitting, you're a parent!) but luckily it wasn't that.
    I saw the twist coming from a mile too, but the movie is for kids, so I thought it was okay. The jokes were funny and for the first time since Toy Story I'm not mad at Pixar for making a sequel!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellospaceboy View Post
    ...and for the first time since Toy Story I'm not mad at Pixar for making a sequel!
    I thought Finding Dory was really funny and quite good (though obviously not as good as Finding Nemo), but yeah, most of the non-Toy Story sequels haven't quite been up to snuff – especially Cars 2, which felt very direct-to-video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    Spoiler: Helen does fantastic on her own and saves the day a ton of times. She doesn't need any help, and she's winning people over while she's doing it for a while, and doing something Bob couldn't do in shifting public opinion on superheros. They make it seem pretty obvious that the bad guy is one of the two who've hired Helen (a brother & sister team), and it ends up being the sister who's the sneaky manipulative one, as if that doesn't play into a women-hating stereo-type right there.

    And when Bob is called in to help Helen after she gets in over her head, he is defeated by Helen quickly (good), but she does it by distracting him with a kiss (bad).



    And I wasn't expecting to have such conflicting feelings about this movie. I expected light-hearted family fun, and that's not what I got.
    Hey- I sense that you are wary of movies which may prop up, either overtly or through subtle cues, 'harmful' or 'unhelpful' social and moral lessons, especially given that you have young kids. I believe the majority of media consumers are. I am, to some degree, too, and I don't know what it's like to be a vigilant parent yet, and I think I know it when I see it--I just feel you're barking up the wrong tree.

    Here you make it sound like it's a great thing to have a main female action protagonist but a stereotyping concern if there is a Spoiler: female antagonist, especially one who isn't apparently the antagonist. You say sneaky and manipulative, I say cunning and dangerous. Any particular reason for this seeming imbalance?

    Also, you deem it "good" that Spoiler: Bob is defeated by his brainwashed wife quickly but "bad" that Spoiler: she used the leverage of the fact that he'd be relieved to see his wife on her mission after hearing she was in danger and wanted to kiss her . Does it really break down into "good" and "bad" like that for you in many films? I feel like this is indicative of people wanting the media and fiction they consume to align neatly with a non-fiction op-ed they'd also fully agree with. I may be wrong in this assessment but I think I've witnessed it elsewhere quite often. I also think you're completely overthinking Spoiler: Edna's experiments on Jack-Jack. She sees him as special, almost distancing herself from the human connection, as a prime specimen to tweak. Frozzone (SLJ's character) was also called in (requested by the kids!) to help their father with Jack-Jack first, if I remember correctly, so I'm not sure how your child-rearing stereotype holds up.

    You wonder if the film wanted to "be feminist or not" when I believe the main takeaway is showing an irregular family working out their kinks and each member's roles and respect for one another.
    Last edited by joplinpicasso; 06-29-2018 at 09:01 AM.

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    I didn't get it at the time but I saw this in an article: The sister's name is Evelyn Deavor. Say it slowly.

    I'm tired of the "good guy is really the bad guy" thing that's going on. They need to work on that.

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