Incredibles 2 is directed by Brad Bird. The film features the voice talents of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Bob Odenkirk, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, and Jonathan Banks. It is the sequel to the 2004 Pixar film, The Incredibles.
Following the events of the first film, the Parr Family still finds themselves at odds with the rest of the world despite their heroic actions, as superheroes remain outlawed. But the Parrs and Frozone are approached by a mysterious businessman who wants to restore superheroes to a legal status. Wife/mom Helen/Elastigirl is thrust forward to thwart crimes in a wild publicity stunt, while husband/father Bob/Mr. Incredible is stuck on domestic duty taking care of his kids, which proves to be as much of a challenge as fighting crime! Helen’s escapades reveal crimes of a mysterious villain called the Screenslaver, who uses screens to hypnotize his foes. But who is this new enemy, and will superheroes ever be legal again?
The Incredibles, from 2004, just might be my favorite movie in the entire Pixar canon. It was a fantastic superhero film every bit as good, if not better, than the live action counterparts of the day, with a gripping storyline, memorable characters, and perhaps most importantly, was fun for kids and adults alike. Incredibles 2 has some fun moments, but suffers from an overlong run time, disjointed narrative, and bland villain.
To give the film credit, the core characters are still fun and memorable. The family dynamic between the Parrs and juggling their identities with everyday tasks continues to entertain, whether it’s Violet’s heartbreak over her first date, or Bob watching over baby Jack-Jack, who is beginning to manifest an unpredictable mixture of powers (which result in one of the movie's best action scenes). The chemistry between the characters and the multi-talented voice cast shines through and through. Not surprisingly, the movie does provide some exciting sequences.
Unfortunately, despite the positives here, the movie never quite lives up to the lofty reputation of the original. Elastigirl is made the main focus of most of the movie's “heroic” scenes. Bob looking after the family makes for some fun scenes, but you really wish the family got to spend more time being heroes on the battlefield. The movie is nearly two hours long (and this is on top of an obligatory Pixar short film before the main feature) which is far too lengthy for a family film such as this. While Incredibles 2 isn’t boring, it never reaches the heights of its predecessor either, and feels longer and more drawn out than it has to be.
The movie also suffers from the lack of an interesting villain. Jason Lee’s Syndrome in the first film was brilliant, especially considering he had a tie to our heroes who in a sense “made” him. No one in this movie creates the same impression, and much of the movie feels like it’s going through the motions. None of the “new” characters manage to make an impression, and aren’t likely to be remembered when the movie’s over.
I wanted an Incredibles sequel as much as many fans, but the end result here is far from incredible. We get plenty of action and laughs, but the movie is derailed by its meandering run time and lack of memorable new characters/villains. The film isn’t a total loss, and while the good still outweighs the bad, you may as well wait for the eventual home release.
Rating: Two out of four stars.
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