A Super Sequel To An Incredible First Film
After the acclaimed success of The Incredibles, it was always going to be a difficult job for the sequel to surpass the excellent work done in 2004’s beautifully written family flick. The Incredibles 2 weaves its dazzling tale with flair, impressively shot action and a great use of comedy but is let down by a lacklustre final act. After the charismatic presence of Syndrome last time around, the sequel to 2004’s Pixar hit is fronted by a poorly developed, motivated villain that doesn’t match the same ferocious tenacity seen with Syndrome last time around. There’s some great characterisation for Mr Incredible and the children too although Elastigirl’s character, despite being the focal protagonist for much of the film, lacks the charisma needed to pull off her role which does detract a little from the overall picture.
The story picks up right where the first film left off. A battle with the Underminer ensues with the family juggling responsibility for Jack Jack whose unpredictable powers are the focal point for much of the film’s other subplot. After the opening skirmish and a sizeable amount of damage inflicted on the city, all the good work done against Syndrome accounts for nothing as the supers are forced back into hiding. Discontent in their new, tedium lives, a lucrative offer from DEVTECH sees Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) chosen to improve public perception for superheroes while Bob Parr/Mr Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays home and juggles being a father with his conflicted feelings toward Helen’s newfound fame. All of this builds toward a finale that sees the whole family come together to tackle a new threat known as the Screenslaver.
The Incredibles 2 does a great job keeping the tone and mood consistent throughout. Some of this is thanks to the brass instrumentals that were such a prominent part of the first film’s musical score and it’s here again, enhancing the action on screen throughout. The dizzying array of big action pieces are really well shot too, utilising the powers of each of the supers although as a nitpick Dash’s super speed doesn’t really play much of a role in the film and falls by the wayside in favour of new powers from various supers that crop up. Still, fans of the first film will surely love what Pixar have done here as The Incredibles 2 manages to mix a well worked blend of action and comedy throughout.
Despite Elastigirl’s newfound status as the front-runner of superheroes, Mr Incredible and the children’s storyline that runs parallel to this steals the limelight. The realistically depicted family unit, complete with Violet’s teenage problems and Dash’s homework woes, are humorously depicted with just enough hints of realism for adults to really relate to these scenes.
After a 14 year hiatus, it was always going to be difficult for Incredibles 2 to pick up where it left off and rekindle what made the first so special. In terms of action and spectacle, the film does a great job with some really impressively rendered animation and a story full of genuinely funny moments and big action pieces. Elastigirl’s lack of character development and a lacklustre final act does detract slightly from the overall experience but Pixar manage to pull off their winning formula again with another enjoyable, fun film to add to their illustrious line-up.