The Incredibles is a movie that is almost universally loved and adored. So as soon as Incredibles 2 was announced in 2014, the internet lost its collective mind from excitement. Now, over 4 years later, it has finally come out.
Obviously, it’s almost impossible to be in that sort of situation without having large amounts of pressure and hype. Add in the fact that Pixar really had a huge hit since Inside Out and early great Rotten Tomatoes scores, and the makers of this movie saw incredible hype.
Unfortunately, Incredibles 2 isn’t able to fly as high as its predecessor.
Even though it comes in at under two hours, it still feels overlong. While the middle third is fun and engaging, it stumbles out of the gate and then trips up right before the finish line. At the very beginning, I was caught a little bit off guard by how the animation is more sophisticated and by the fact that Mr. Incredible sounds different. It’s one of the only things that remind you the first Incredibles came out 14 years ago.
But that’s also one of the coolest things about the film. It picks up right where it left off in the first one. Though it is seen from the perspective of a non-Incredible. In a way, it reminded me of the beginning of Batman v. Superman, and that isn’t a good thing. It was still great to go back to familiar territory to see just how The Incredibles would fare in a fight against the Underminer.
As expected based on what they learned in the first film, they do it together.
The togetherness and family aspects of the film are where it thrives the most. Seeing the way Bob handles being a stay-at-home dad while Helen goes out to fight crime is charming, cute, and joyful in an unexpected way. He still has that unscratchable itch for the glory days – which was only made worse after the first film – but he supports his wife and takes on being at home like he would any crime he would hear on a police scanner.
Yes, this is a superhero movie where it’s nice to see action, but any time it showed Elastigirl off on one of her solo missions, I just wanted to get back to seeing what was happening back at the house. Because seeing Bob, along with Violet and Dash, trying to figure out what is going on with Jack Jack is completely endearing. Any scene that shows any part of the family together living life at home, is executed perfectly, while the action scenes aren’t as fun as the first film.
With the way Jack Jack becomes more prominent this second time around, there was the chance to turn him into the Minions – cute and funny the first time, but then just obnoxious and annoying the second. But that isn’t the case at all. He brings about the biggest laughs and some of the best story moments.
Going in, I was expecting the best moments to be during some climactic fight scenes. But because the villain was nowhere near as good as Syndrome, it wasn’t the case. The Screen Slaver has similar motivations to Syndrome – get rid of supers – but lacks the connection to the main heroes. Syndrome became who he was completely because of his encounters with Mr. Incredible as a kid. And that’s compelling. The Screen Slaver has his own backstory, but it didn’t grab me the same way Syndrome’s did.
This is by no means a bad movie. It’s a worthy follow-up to an outstanding film. But while The Incredibles is memorable, quotable, and still so highly praised, Incredibles 2 just seems forgettable. It doesn’t tarnish the memory of what we know and love, but it doesn’t come close to that quality either.