While Incredibles 2 has its faults, its action and humor make the film a worthy successor to the Pixar classic.
Immediately following the events of The Incredibles, Bob (Craig T. Nelson) must take a step back from being Mr. Incredible to take care of his children. Meanwhile, Helen (Holly Hunter) becomes an ambassador for superheroes as Elastigirl, working to make superheroes legal again.
Even though The Incredibles came out 14 years ago, a smart decision was made to have Incredibles 2 pick up right after the events of the first film. The Incredibles hinted at new beginnings for the Parr family, and Incredibles 2 successfully delivers on that promise.
Everything in Incredibles 2 feels consistent with The Incredibles, including both technical elements and the story. Incredibles 2 has the same visual style as the first film, without any major changes to the animation despite technological progress. Michael Giacchino returns as composer with an equally excellent score.
One way that Incredibles 2 substantially improves upon The Incredible is its broadening the scope of the world. The Incredibles takes place primarily in the suburbs of Metroville and the island of Nomanisan. By contrast, Incredibles 2 gets to explore more of Metroville as well as the nearby big city of New Urbrem. This enhances the visual world of the film by showcasing more of the creative and colorful hybrid of mid-twentieth century and futuristic styles.
The lack of a time jump also allows for effective character development. Bob has the most compelling character arc as he learns to take care of his family and let his wife take the spotlight. While Helen gets the main superhero narrative in the film, her story is more focused on plot than character. The film does manage to convey her changing attitude toward being a superhero; however, it ultimately gets lost in the story.
The Incredibles was balanced in giving every member of the Parr family interesting character arcs; however, Incredibles 2 largely ignores Violet and Dash. Dash is relegated to being only a comic device. While Violet’s arc about her crush is continued in Incredibles 2, it is seen mostly through Bob’s eyes rather than existing as her own story. Meanwhile, Jack-Jack has one of the most prominent roles in the film, allowing for numerous hilarious moments as he develops his powers.
While it is disappointing that Incredibles 2 does not allow for Violet and Dash to have significant character arcs, the increased emphasis on the Parr parents suggests that Incredibles 2 is meant for all ages, not just for a younger demographic.
Incredibles 2 tries too hard to distinguish itself from The Incredibles and the plethora of superhero films. However, it overcorrected too much and spends so much time on the family storyline that the superhero story feels underdeveloped.
The superhero storyline feels incredibly repetitive following Captain America: Civil War and numerous X-Men films. Part of why The Incredibles is so outstanding is because Syndrome is a fantastic supervillain. While the villain in Incredibles 2 has interesting motives and is culturally relevant, it is a boring villain in the scheme of things. To an extent, it makes up for this through beautiful action sequences, filled with excitement and suspense.
Incredibles 2 relies more on a plot twist than on actually developing its villain. This is a strategy that is now predictable, as its been used far too many times in Disney and Pixar films in the past decade. This just makes the superhero story in Incredibles 2 feel lazy and secondary to the family narrative.
The family elements are fantastic but split the runtime with the weak superhero story, so neither gets the time it deserves. This is especially disappointing because they made an attempt to give Elastigirl a more compelling story, but in the end, it is still Mr. Incredible’s movie.
Incredibles 2 is fun and exciting but it could be so much more. Because of the amazing action scenes and creative humor, it manages to be a worthy sequel, but its story is disappointingly weak.
‘Incredibles 2’ opens in theaters June 15, 2018
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