Incredibles 2 - Review
Pixar has been on a role recently (not counting Cars 3) and they finally released the only sequel they ever should have made - Incredibles 2. Pixar sequels have been more miss than hit, so I was nervous going into this. Luckily, Incredibles 2 is very good. Continue reading below to see more detailed thoughts. There will be some spoilers for the movie within.
Incredibles 2 picks up right where the first one ended. With some clever editing, you could edit both movies together into one long story. After the opening credits the film takes off and never looks back.
Brad Bird returns as director, and most of the original cast returns as well. (Spencer Fox played Dash in part 1, and Hulk Milner plays him in part 2, but the voices are very similar.) It felt like they never left. The animation is very similar to the 2004 film, but better.
The story of Bob being a stay at home Dad while Helen becomes the breadwinner was a good idea on paper. Bob's ego and masculinity did get in the way, but Bird tried to portray that in a negative light. He was somewhat successful. It did get a bit ugly that he was only happy for her because it meant he got to be a hero again, and not because he loves her and wants to see her succeed and be happy. It was selfish and gross, and one of my only negatives of the film. Outside of that, though, it was done well.
The other thing worth noting, is that there are a few sequences in the movie that could be a trigger for epilepsy. There are bright and fast flashing lights, that take up the whole screen and last for a while. This isn't a criticism on the movie itself, but the studio. Pixar should have warned people better. If you know someone who has epilepsy, tell them not to see this in theaters. It would be better if they waited until they can watch it in a brightly lit room.
Everyone had something to do, and Bird has expanded the world of The Incredibles here. I doubt Pixar would want to go this way, but they could totally do a spinoff with some of the heroes they introduced, including Sophia Bush's scene stealing Voyd character. The film perfectly sets up an Incredibles 3 which audiences would much rather see, than a spinoff. For the record, I'd watch a Frozone spinoff too. Samuel L. Jackson's character is great in this, and the always reliable Jackson gives Lucius depth and the sequel shows how important he is to the Paar family.
Speaking of scene stealing, Jack-Jack is by far the runaway star of the movie. Pixar knows how to do adorable - between the otters in Finding Dory and Dug from Up, they've got this down. But Jack-Jack might take the cake. He had a ton of character development and charm throughout the whole film, and the evolution his character had - bonding with his father in the absence of his mother - was evident throughout the whole movie.
In most ensemble sitcoms, the stories always work best when the entire cast is together. The same thing is applicable here. The movie shines most when all 5 members of the Paar family are together, which after the opening scene doesn't happen again until the third act. The story calls for the separation, and the characters are stronger because of it. It is actually a good thing, because it makes their reunion all the better.
When the new Disney app gets released, Pixar should put a half hour comedy of Edna babysitting Jack-Jack. There is a ton of story potential there, rich for comedy.
The villain was predictable, but it totally works. Pixar definitely has a "formula" they follow, and Incredibles 2 was no exception. Catherine Keener and Bob Odenkirk were great additions to the cast, and if there is a part 3, Odenkirk's charming Winston Deavor will definitely return, and if Evelyn escapes from prison (there was a line in the flick that hinted she would), she can be the leader of a band of supervillains.
For 14 years any time a Pixar sequel was announced, I was baffled as to why it wasn't Incredibles 2. It was the only one of their properties that actually warranted a sequel. Overall - the film was worth the wait. Bird said he didn't want to do a sequel unless he had a worthy story. Well, he finally found one. Over time, this could be Pixar's best sequel ever. At worst - it is tied with Toy Story 3 which is Pixar's best sequel.
Incredibles 2 has heart, humor, and spectacle. There are spectacular action sequences, and real emotional ones too. The cast is top notch, and the film has a stronger story than a lot of live action superhero movies. The future of Pixar lies not in Cars, but in superheroes. That universe is rich for all kinds of sequels and spinoffs. If Pixar ever wants to officially make all of their properties take place in the same universe (as has been theorized already), then the first thing they need to do is have Jack-Jack and Dug from Up team up to rescue Wall-E.
The movie was worth the wait. Brad Bird is a hell of a filmmaker. Someone should hand him the keys to the Superman franchise, and the results would probably be pretty incredible.
Incredibles 2 is in theaters everywhere now.