Incredibles 2 is the kind of movie that has you cheering when you don’t realize your doing it, bursting with emotion when you’re trying to keep it in, and laughing despite yourself. You can’t help but love the movie the same way that Brad Bird and Pixar make (almost) all their films reach past whatever walls you’ve built and bring forth whatever feelings you’ve shoved deep down there. Incredibles 2 balances all of the heart and action on a pin tip and bring home a satisfying and energizing movie going experience.
But the big question you are asking… is it as good as the original? Answer: No. The first Incredibles movie is something far beyond any normal cinema experience and like, Black Panther, transcended itself- setting a bar that would be near-impossible to hurdle for a sequel in today’s super hero market. Incredibles 2 has only a few missteps, but those slight imperfections are what keep it from true legendary greatness. And yet, even without that honor, I left the theatre feeling something I had not felt after numerous mega Marvel films, Star Wars Sagas, and gritty DC movies… I wanted more. Not just of Incredibles, but more stories to tickle my fan funny bone, more tales of powers and humanity- I want to relate to gods! And for that alone, Incredibles 2 sets it’s own bar of brilliance.
It’s impossible not to love this film, but at the same time, impossible not to compare it to it’s predecessor. The plot is almost a flip of the original, shining a spotlight on Elastagirl’s heroics in some wonderful and fun cat and mouse chase scenes with the film’s villain while Mr. Incredible is left to take care of the family. The pacing in the sequel pales in comparison, there are very noticeably scenes that drag out exposition, and some of the funniest scenes feel as if they were meant to be a DVD extra as they don’t move the story at all. The twist in the movie is seen so far off you are sure there has to be something else, but nope… it’s just that. The other surprising thing you’d expect but don’t get it is a definitive lack of character growth, pretty much the Parr family ends up where they started emotionally. They character do lean This is very evident especially when comparing it to the original where characters learn to work as a team, combining powers in fun and fascinating ways… something that they just don’t do in this one very much, or at all.
Also, unlike the original there are no deaths mentioned, shown, and they make sure to always remind you there were no casualties after every big destructive event.
However, these issues seem small in comparison to the magic this movie does bring, every moment is infused with such heart that relating to every character becomes an unseen joy. As a father, I felt Mr. Incredible’s pain every step of the way. Having been a teenager, I knew Violet’s angst and embarrassment, and as a person, felt Helen’s joy of breaking free and doing what she loves. And those moments that let you in to who they are beyond their powers are what make this movie shine.
When I was 13, I only dreamed of a world with Super Hero movies on the scale and frequency we get them with today, unfortunately, that dream has come and I’m exhausted. The saturation level of Star Wars, DC, and Marvel is so thick, that it all blur’s together in scene after scene of rising music, CGI explosions, and heroics. I was afraid Incredibles 2 would fall into this trap, but, like a hero, it rose to the challenge putting humanity into every punch, heart into every big set piece, and allowing you to relate to every huge heroic moment. It’s refreshing and damn well needed in a world where we have a new Star Wars movie in the theatres before the last one is even out on DVD (or streaming or Blu-ray, etc..). It’s a film filled with unbelievable action scenes and uproariously comedic sequences, has it’s flaws, but still comes out flying high above everything else out there.