Movie Review | Incredibles 2
Movie Summary: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for the kids while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world. (IMDb)
Incredibles 2 sees the series pick up right where the original left off, opening with a huge action set-piece as the Parr family take on the Underminer. The chaos caused during the battle kicks off the plot which looks at the legality of 'supers' fighting crime.
It's a decent hook, but the story unfolds rather predictably, with more than a few of the story beats flat out repeating from the first film. There's so much creative action in this film it feels doubly disappointing that the story doesn't match up in terms of originality.
The action is very good though, with some truly original uses of various super-powers in the various set-pieces throughout the film while also being both clever and visually-impressive at the same time.
Saying that, it's been strange hearing some critics wonder why live-action super-hero films can't do the same sort of action as this film. It's pretty well known that you can get away with more exaggeration in animation than live-action and action scenes are no different.
There are plenty of occasions where the characters clearly don't have any real weight or momentum to them, coming off as really cartoonish. This makes sense because... it's a cartoon. If any live-action super-heroes behaved in the same way, the visual effects would rightly be called out for looking bad and defying physics.
Despite their cartoonish nature, the characters all feel like real people with their own motivations, with the understandable exception of Jack-Jack. The Parr family and Frozone all continue to feel true to who they were in the first film, and at least their extreme similarity in behaviour to the first film is explained by the fact this takes place right after the events of The Incredibles.
The only disappointment for me was that Dash gets relatively little to do this time out, with no personal story of his own. This does allow for Jack-Jack to be more involved, and the toddler is the single best thing about Incredibles 2, so the worth of the trade-off will be dependent on how much you liked Dash in comparison to how much you like his younger brother.
The central story really belongs to Elastigirl this time out, with her using her powers like a cross between Spider-Man and Mr Fantastic, and the antagonist's plot revolving around her exploits. Considering her relative competence and intelligence to her husband, it's a nice change to have someone uncomplicated as the film's focus.
As for the new supers, there are too many of them for all of their characters to be given any real depth, relying on accents and their visually-distinct costumes and powers instead. Hopefully, one or two of them will be fleshed out if there's a third film, which I hope there is.
Despite these criticisms, Incredibles 2 is still a very, very good film, with the excellent execution of the story balancing out its lack of originality. The character work, humour and action are both fantastic as well, so there really should be something for most audiences to enjoy here.
Incredibles 2 is a great film that falls just short of being truly outstanding due to being so similar to its predecessor. The new character stuff is terrific, with Jack-Jack featuring more centrally, and the new 'supers' prove to be fun additions, but the central story is lacking.