Given that it has been 14 years since the release of the first film, all the way back in 2004, you might think that a sequel would have a lot to cover, but for Incredibles 2, picking up where the first movie left off, it is as if no time has passed at all.
At the end of the first film, The Underminer appeared, bursting up through the ground and at the time, it was an enjoyable way to end the movie, with all members of the Parr family donning the masks and getting ready to save the day. However, what the movie did not speak of, is that the law that made Supers, the worlds name for Superheroes, illegal, is still in effect, but being who they are, the family rush into take out this threat, not thinking about this. The result of this chaotic and fun opening sequence is that the entire Parr family is arrested for breaking the law, the Police are not happy in the slightest, due to the fact that the bad guy got away, but while the Incredibles are being held by the Police, Frozone is met by a mysterious driver and offered a chance to change things.
While the story starts off slow, yes, the entire opening sequence was incredible, pun intended, it is perhaps 10 minutes, giving the movie more time to devote to the new bad guy and the new characters. The problem is, it never stops, the movie just keeps the pace up, giving you no time to just stop and enjoy it and while that is ok for some movies, the first movie holds up, because it keeps a steady cadence, letting people play catch up at times. The sequel attempts to offer the same, but it does so by playing up Bob’s (Mr Incredible) new role as the stay at home father, which is funny, but as it is as equally entertaining as the action scenes, it does not give you so much as a chance to breath, but the feeling that you are watching two movies at once.
While Bob is at home, Helen is out in her Elastigirl outfit, trying to do the right thing, to help prove that Supers have a place in the world, but as she waits in an alley for something to happen, she makes a comment about how it does not feel right to be waiting for something bad to happen. Given that it is a movie, her statement triggers something bad to happen, which in turn reveals the baddie, who is someone you might agree with or hate, depending on your own personal point of view. After a spectacular chase scene, we get more background on just what is going on and a few hints at what is to come. At this point the story does veer into the predictable, which is a shame as the original had a delightful story, but predictable or not, it is a fun ride to the end.
Speaking of the end, it is just there, bad guy defeated, heroes lauded and movie ends, and while I can appreciate the movie for not dragging things out, it feels like the last few minutes of the movie are just forced in and when the credits started to role, I felt cheated somewhat. One aspect that I felt the movie did a wonderful job with though, was the performances, new characters mixed really well with the old ones, something that I was happy with, but it was the returning characters that made the movie. Seeing Bob Parr, Mr Incredible himself, fail at parenting was a sight, but the tiredness and sheer acceptance that Craig T. Nelson added, made you feel for the man, even I, who does not have any kids, felt compelled to feel sorry for him.
The star though, has to go out to Holly Hunter, not only was her performance balanced in that she clearly had a desire to use her powers for good, she also had moments of doubt, that her course of action was the right one. Throw in a nice detective mystery and the entire time, Helen Parr aka Elastagirl, was someone you wanted to support, even when things were not going well for her and the family. The kids were also done in an enjoyable way, while Dash was played up more as a hyperactive child than anything else and Violet had her little teenage rebellion, justified of course, they still felt grounded. Interestingly, the change of actors for the voice of Dash was not something I paid attention to, it was something I knew going in, but it matched so well, to what I remembered, I just paid it no mind.
The Incredibles 2 was a movie that I wanted to see a decade ago and while I don’t think the 14 years between it and the original hurt or helped it, in any distinct way, it is nice to have. Being able to watch them back to back though, is going to be great, given that they roll from one into the other, but even on its own, Incredibles 2 is a movie I would highly recommend you see.