After the minor disappointment of Deadpool 2 and the major disappointment of the Last Jedi, I had low expectations for the next over-hyped sequel. I saw Incredibles 2 anyway because its predecessor is one of my favorite Pixar movies. It’s got a great story with engaging characters, first-rate animation, and top-tier stars as voice talent. Even disregarding the curse of the sequel, could it be as good as the original? I think it was, though it could have been in comparison to the dismal state of other current releases.
I have to hand it to writer/director Brad Bird. Despite the 14-year gap since the first movie, he didn’t mess with the characters or setting. Incredibles 2 starts exactly where the first movie left off and swings right into action. The evil Underminer has appeared to undermine the city, and the Incredible family must stop him and save the city while juggling babysitting duties. For those of us who didn’t see it 100 times on DVD, it refreshes our memories on a number of issues without ruining the pacing.
More than most sequels, the second movie was an extension of the first, and that’s a good thing! What’s new is the emphasis on role reversal. Elastigirl takes center stage while Mr. Incredible faces the challenges of a stay-at-home dad. The grownups fall prey to a Machiavellian scheme and the kids have to save them. The other star is Baby Jack-Jack, the one who “had no powers” in (most of) the previous movie. Now he has not just one power but many. This should violate the laws of superhero comics, just like the more egregious example of Superman. In this movie, however, it provides much comedic effect, so we’ll forgive them. The other cool thing about this movie is the juxtaposition of normal family problems like dating and homework with the responsibilities of saving the world.
All in all, I would highly recommend this movie for kids of all ages and adults who like to be kids. I sincerely hope, however, that Brad Bird does not attempt another sequel. He wraps up the story rather nicely this time, and it’s hard to mess with perfection. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.