Pixar have made sequels to movies that don’t necessarily lend themselves naturally to a franchise but it has been far too long since we revisited the Parr family. The potential for a sequel about a family of superheroes who mix their everyday squabbles with saving the world seemed too good an opportunity to miss and finally we get to see what happened at the end of The Incredibles.
Literally, with the action picking-up immediately from the ending of the original movie. It is a great showcase for the powers of each of the key characters and a clear reminder of what the family can do (ably supported by their family-friend Frozone).
From this moment the film doesn’t let-up and it is straight back into the action and a great new story which plays with the family dynamic once again. The Incredibles was always best when it was a family movie about superheroes and it still works that way for the sequel. This time Holly Hunter’s Elastigirl is tasked with saving the day while Craig T. Nelson’s Bob/Mr Incredible is left at home trying to control the family.
The balance between the two works perfectly. The action and superhero sequences match anything Marvel are producing, with Pixar taking full advantage of having animation give them endless possibilities. A runaway train, hijacked helicopter and a showdown in a hypnotic cage are all key sequences which place Elastigirl at the centre of the action in a flip of the original.
Which leaves Bob with the better, comedic elements. Out of his depth and dealing with a love-sick teenage girl, an academically challenged boy and a baby with a range of amazing powers is ripe for plenty of comedy. Parents will recognise so much of what Bob has to deal with, from tackling “new math” to trying to fix his heartbroken daughter’s problems in the worst way possible.
It is Jack-Jack who steals the movie though with the best powers. His powers were glimpsed at the end The Incredibles and now the family have to deal with a baby who can teleport, shoot lasers, combust and multiply, as well as a range of other bizarre possibilities. One sequence where Jack-Jack fights a raccoon steals the whole film outright.
Incredibles 2 is still a superhero movie though and superhero movies are only as good as their villain. Incredibles 2 has the perfectly named Screenslaver who can use monitors to hypnotise people. It has plenty of possibility and is very cinematic and threatening. The stakes are well-raised for this movie too and the finale is one full of cool moments, very funny sequences and well-designed superheroes as the characters surrounding the Parr family grow.
This can’t save the movie from a slight air of familiarity and predictability. Incredibles 2 takes the best of the original movie rather than develop anything unique. The story is also fairly predictable and any “twist” that Pixar attempt to use is sign-posted from too far away to be effective. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable though and when the film you are trying to beat is The Incredibles and you come this close, what is left is still a top-quality movie.
Overall, Incredibles 2 is a great sequel and welcome return of the superhero family. It has a good story which flips the original dynamics, with a worthy villain to pit our heroes against. It has very funny moments which over-shadow the predictability and lack of originality just enough.
Rating – 4.5
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