Hot Take: More excellent work from Pixar who hasn’t always come through on sequels but did so with this follow up to the 14 year old original. It’s not incredible but it’s pretty good.
The main question you end up asking when watching Incredibles 2 is, “What took so long?” The answer isn’t the storyline which is about as basic as it comes. Incredibles 2 picks up immediately where The Incredibles left off. Superheroes are still illegal. The Underminer is the villain de jour. The Parrs are still a crime fighting family. After a failed attempt at stopping the Underminer and extensive damage to the city, the Parrs are warned by authorities once again that being a superhero is illegal and they must stop. Immediately following the incident, Bob (Craig T. Nelson), Helen (Holly Hunter) and Lucius “Frozone” Best (Samuel L. Jackson) are contacted by the Deavors, owners of DEVTECH. Winston (Bob Odenkirk) and Evelyn (Catherine Keener) want to orchestrate a publicity stunt using Helen’s Elastigirl as the face of superheroes to gain public support for the legalization of superheroes. This obviously requires Bob to stay home with the kids and take care of Dash (Huck Milner), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile).
The biggest knock on Incredibles 2 is its episodic feel. It lacks the feature film mystique and the typical amping up that comes with sequels. In the 14 years since the release of The Incredibles, the market has been saturated with superhero flicks and while the rest of the superhero franchises have become more grandiose in their storytelling, Incredibles 2 is more basic until it builds to its inevitable climax. The climactic showdown scene is well done and entertaining but we’ve seen this climactic scene so many times in the past decade-plus, it’s hard to add anything new to the superhero genre.
Fans of The Incredibles have been patiently waiting for this follow up which is an adequate second chapter to the superhero family’s story. It’s open to an all ages audience as there’s something for both kids and adults so parents should have no problems taking their kids to see it. It’s obviously a box office success and gives Disney a stranglehold on the top 3 grossing films in 2018. It should be the third movie of 2018 to break the half a billion dollar mark. It’s already surpassed The Incredibles domestically even when adjusted for inflation. Financial success isn’t everything but it opens the door for a third chapter if writer/director Brad Bird or Pixar chooses to take that path. The sequel doesn’t advance the story very far, either, which leaves plenty of different paths for this story to head down. So, if there is an Incredibles 3, the options are plentiful to keep the tale fresh.
Even if you’re not a fan, the sub-plot of infant Jack-Jack growing into his superpowers provides laugh out loud humor to the film.
You’ve seen one superhero movie, you’ve seen ’em all… even if it’s animated!