Incredibles 2 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

The Incredibles Goes X-Men

Sitting around the table for dinner, the Incredible family falls into a political argument. Mother Helen is for a ban on superheroes, the father Bob against it. The middle child Dash asks, “Are things bad?” trying to orient himself in an uncertain time. Later, a super-rich businessman exhibits shock. “This is something rare in this world,” he says. “We all agree on something.”

Incredibles 2 entered production prior to the current era of super-heated rhetoric, but in those few instances, this world of stretchy people, fire-enhanced infants, and other superpowers finds a surreal relevancy. No doubt too the bigotry that keeps “enhanced” people outlawed (and in hiding) has roots in the current political spectrum, and with a hand in the world of X-Men. Marvel’s heroes spoke on civil rights for decades.

This is a significantly better film than its predecessor. An imperfect film, but one with greater desire than goofing around with just supermen and superwomen in domestic situations. There’s more happening here. And, there’s more happening in the world. Incredibles 2 wants a chance to respond.

Director Brad Bird returns and it’s of little surprise when watching Incredibles 2. His previous work like Iron Giant eviscerated gun rights and wartime violence; Bird is no stranger to this level of activism. The aesthetic is here too, an anachronistic 1950s, with widescreen TVs and high-tech tracking technology, but the pedigree of an interior designer out of time and car designs from America’s space race.

Incredibles 2 earns the explosions after an observant and reactive build-up

Certainly, the plot lines pull and tug on one another. There’s a reductive ‘50s era sitcom subplot where Bob (Craig T. Nelson) needs to stay home with the kids. Of course, he fails, unable to ready them for school or help with homework. But there’s Helen (Holly Hunter) on the opposite side, superhero’ing alone while standing in for representation in a male-dominated part of society.

Don’t forget the villain too – the “Screenslaver” who takes over people’s minds through televisions and other small screens. Incredibles 2 takes a softer approach to things with regards to tech addiction (Disney has interests in keeping people hooked of course) but bites without enough power to make sure the message sticks.

It’s an overall flashier film, but mingling all of these pieces better than before. Incredibles often felt trapped by a duality – one half domesticity, another all action. Incredibles 2 balances the two, keeping up energy with an enthusiastic array of civilian rescues and fights. Plus, the Incredible’s baby Jack-Jack begins to mature a slew of powers, creating opportune comedy. In-between, Bird’s script lingers with stretches of smart dialog and witty commentary.

By the end, sure, Incredibles 2 becomes the Hollywood action movie it had in waiting. That’s okay. Incredibles 2 earns the explosions after an observant and reactive build-up. In cinemas overcome by Marvel, Brad Bird and team create a distinctive flick in the same genre. That’s not easy. Neither is the approach to Incredibles 2.

incredibles 2, blu-ray, pixar, screen shot

Video (4K UHD)

Somewhat expectedly, the litany of super powers calls for a powerful HDR pass. So, Disney gives Incredibles 2 what it needs. The fire, the electricity, the shields, and the explosions all deliver on their potential. There’s natural sizzle to each, bringing out contrast and brightness.

And unexpectedly, Incredibles 2 asks a lot from its shadows. The opening scene is an interrogation with a strong balance of light and dark, but those black levels set the tone. That continues with ridiculously pure shadow gradients and detail. Numerous scenes use darkness for aesthetics. It requires the best of this format and Disney abides.

Only one scene falters in terms of HDR use, that being Helen’s stoppage of a runaway train. Near the end, as she’s on top of the uncoupled car, a handful of shots appear to have no real HDR applied. A similar thing happened in Black Panther. And, like Black Panther, it’s limited to those few shots.

Color doesn’t wage any such battles, persistent and strong in terms of dense primaries. The red suits of the main team do not disappoint. A rich palette uses the full spectrum, keen on keeping material attractive. Flesh tones range from perfect to… well, perfect. When needed, a dour look sets in. Bob becomes overwhelmed at the home front, necessitating a loss in intensity.

Like other animation on this format, Incredibles 2 is rendered at 2K then upscaled. That’s okay. The pure sharpness and line work doesn’t suffer from the process. Plus, detail is meticulous. Costume stitching and facial texture is evident in nearly every shot. Wide views of cities or houses look exceptional too.

Video (Blu-ray)

Sporting exquisite detail, the video presentation at 1080p is a delight. Fidelity blossoms, catching all of the nuance evident in the animation. Clothing shows textural definition in full. Complex moments involving dust or debris won’t fall to compression or noise either. It’s perfectly clean.

While does splurge on vibrancy, flesh tones take a slightly orange-ish touch. That’s the lone complaint. Reds, blues, and greens sprout fully. Contrast does too with striking highlights and dense, pure black levels.

Audio

With a fierce Dolby Atmos mix, Incredibles 2 goes all out. An opening attack involves a drill machine breaking out from underground, blasting the subwoofer with remarkable force. Each fireball later on produces satisfying depth and weight. Even fights have their fun, with punches exhibiting force, stretching the dynamics.

While first act dialog is seated a little low, that’s rectified soon. The monumental precision is enough of an offset. As Helen takes to a motorcycle, the stellar motion pans between channels. Accuracy comes above all, tracking her sweeping passes between traffic with zero faults. As Jack-Jack jumps into different dimensions, his baby vocals pop up across the soundstage.

Incredibles 2 features helicopter chases, flying boats, saturated debris fields, roving voices, and everything else typical of action blockbusters. This is top-end, reference material.

Extras

Pixar’s attached short Bao begins the bonus menu, a cute and emotional piece with a slightly bizarre slant. A deleted scene of sorts is turned into another short, showing what happened as Edna babysat Jack-Jack. Strong Coffee looks behind the scenes, but primarily at Brad Bird, for 19-minutes. It’s all positives and elation, a bit artificial for sure. The same goes for commentary, introduced by Bird before he brings in four animators to talk about their involvement. The track is too clean and edited, even if the information is interesting.

Incredibles 2
  • Video (4K UHD)
  • Video (Blu-ray)
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A better-than-the-original sequel, Incredibles 2 explores a number of heated issues while bringing in a flurryof well-mixed action.

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