Is “Incredibles 2” an awesome animated sequel, or a superhero-family-flop?
Picking up straight after the events of 2004’s “The Incredibles”, this long-awaited sequel follows Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), Helen Parr/Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) and the rest of the Incredible family as they embark on a mission to bring superheroes out from hiding and revoke the law banning their existence. But as Elastigirl continues her crime-fighting life, Mr. Incredible is left to look after their super-powered children, and is finding domestic life a challenge.
This film has been awaited since the first one came out fourteen-years-ago, and so when it was first announced by Pixar in October 2015, there was much excitement and hype surrounding it. Has it lived up to it? For you to decide, but hopefully this review can help.
Right from the start, this is a Pixar film and so has all the beautiful animation, art and design that you’d expect from the minds behind “Toy Story”, “Cars” and, indeed, the first “Incredibles” movie. Unlike most Pixar animations, though, “Incredibles 2” is rather long, clocking-in at a 1-hour 58 run-time, around a third-longer than the usual 80-90 minute run-time you’d expect from an animated film aimed at children. However, the film never felt long or dragged as the plot was quick and packed with action, though at points did feel a little jumpy and some points and details seemed a little underdeveloped. “Incredibles 2” also featured a somewhat predictable twist in the plot, but overall it was strong and entertaining.
As with all the best animated films, “Incredibles 2” raised some moral questions that apply in the real world also, namely about our modern obsession with screens and consuming entertainment through televisions and devices, rather than enjoying things such as conversation with family and friends. This point, however, was only touched on briefly and lightly, and was easily overshadowed by the rest of the narrative of the film, and I think if Pixar had wanted to leave more of a meaningful impact on their audience and successfully put this view across, they could have developed it further into the plot. Maybe they decided not to because they realised the irony of telling people to stop looking at screens when they are in a room dedicated to looking at a giant screen?
This film does have quite a few comedy moments, mainly from Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), the super-powered baby of the Parr family. It’s there, and it is funny, but it’s not the main draw of this film — it’s really about the characters, those re-ocurring and also some new faces on the screen. Overall, they weren’t really that memorable, and seemed to me to only be there to fill the crowd-scenes and also sell some more toys in Disney stores. It was quite good to see the familiar faces of the Parr family, though I would say that the film doesn’t go out of its way to develop and progress most of these characters from their first appearance in the 2004 film. The one exception to this is Mr. Incredible, who’d I’d argue progressed a lot and has a clear arc throughout the story, even though Elastigirl is seen to be the protagonist of this sequel, changing from quite selfish and arrogant in some respects at the beginning of the film to being more understanding by the end.
Overall, “Incredibles 2” is a strong animated sequel with a good, if sometimes jumpy, plot, excellent animation and design and some real funny moments. For that, it earns a seven-out-of-ten.
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