So Disney/Pixar finally did it. 14 years after the original Incredibles they finally released a sequel with the only possible name: Incredibles 2. So, is Incredibles 2 a worthy follow up to what has become one of Disney/Pixar’s more beloved movies? That may be a bit too high a bar for any movie to clear, given just how much mythology has built up around the original movie. Incredibles 2 unquestionably a good movie? It is also More. More run time. More characters. More Jack-Jack. More everything. Does all the more more more add up to anthing? That’s a bit harder to quantify.
For anyone who doesn’t remember how a 14-year-old movie ended, Incredibles 2 gives you a quick reminder by beginning at the exact same spot the first one ended, with The Underminer attacking the city of Municiberg. While the family dispatches the threat, they don’t actually finish the job despite an assist from Frozone and end up making more of a mess stopping the Underminer than he would have made on his own. In the end, the only thing the family earns themselves for their trouble is a tongue lashing from the local cops and one last resigned sigh from their handler Agent Dicker, who also lets them know their time under his protection is about up.
Enter the Deavor siblings, Winston and Evelyn. Winston is a long-time fan of the supers who has decided to utilize his vast resources to make the world a better place by trying to legalize supers again. Evelyn is decidedly less enthused about the idea, but goes along anyway as she seems kinda bored inventing whatever Devtech, their company, sells. Winston is much more of a sales guy and manages to sell Bob and Helen on having them be the ones who will help bring supers back from the shadows.
Well, more specifically they want to have Helen, aka Elastigirl, start off, as Bob has a bad habit of smashing more things than the bad guys do. Helen quickly finds herself loving her return to superhero work and not having to share the spotlight with anyone, while also hating her absence from her family. Elastigirl’s return to the scene is just in time for a new wannabe supervillain on the scene named the Screenslaver. Meanwhile, despite Bob’s best efforts to keep everything together at home, Jack-Jack is rapidly developing new powers that no one can control, least of all a very overworked Bob. The home life gets messier and messier for Bob as Elastigirl finds herself getting more deeply enmeshed in the Deavour’s plans.
For better or worse all of the characters are who they were in the first movie with the slight exception of a bit of growth on Bob’s part as he trys to understand a world that may not need him the way he needs it. Even the villain is a somewhat watered down retread of Syndrome. Even Screenslaver’s lair is much lamer than Syndrome’s admittedly boss-awesome volcano hideout. Random buildings in a very plain city just aren’t all that interesting. Thankfully, the main cast is still more than likeable enough to carry things through to the inevitable conclusion. Watching Bob try his hardest at being normal is kinda fun though.
So how’s the action? Pretty good all in all. You get the opening Underminer fight and a couple of chase scenes involving Helen before the final 30 minutes, which is one big fight between the Parrs, Screenslaver, and a bunch of other supers. 14 years worth of advances in computer technology definitely allow for some more gonzo visuals even if the choices in settings are all a little blah. All of the returning cast members slip back into their roles like their a favorite pair of shoes and the new cast members fit in pretty well too. All of the new supers aren’t expressly needed for the plot, but they all have fairly unique powers and it is fun watching them go to work for a bit.
The disc itself comes pretty well loaded down. Disney and Pixar know how to give the consumer a pretty good bang for the buck. There are a couple of interviews with various cast members discussing favored aspects of their characters, a whole boat load of “making of” bits with the productions team, a full-length commentary with several of the production leads (director Brad Bird being notably absent), the “Bao” short film, and a new short staring Edna Mode and Jack-Jack, and an excruciatingly awful music video staring some random kids that I assume are part of the Disney Chanel. Seriously, don’t watch it. I’ve heard better music from the sound of an old dial-up modem.
I can’t say Incredibles 2 is the most necessary movie ever made even in a world where everything seems to be a franchise/sequel/prequel/etc etc etc, but it is solidly entertaining. Go nuts.