Pixar haven’t had the best track record for sequels. Cars 2 was dreadful, Monsters University lacked suffered in comparison to the original, and Finding Dory was nothing to write home about. Only the Toy Story sequels have managed to do that rare thing of improve on the original. Having loved The Incredibles, I was really, really hoping that this sequel would manage to at least match it. What a shame then to report that The Incredibles 2 doesn’t quite live up to the freshness of the original.
Admittedly, the film was enjoyable, and did sport some great aspects. Naturally the film was visually beautiful, and was a colourful feast for the eyes that proves how far animation has evolved since 2004. As well as this, the returning cast and crew all try their very best to replicate the charm of the first film, and almost succeed. The score by Michael Giacchino is brilliant and jazzy, and the humour, though underused in some places, was well done. The funniest moments are those when we see the domestic life of a super-family, and I appreciated the fact that the toughest assignment Mr. Incredible faced in the film was learning how to juggle three kids as a stay-at-home dad.
However, the story was pretty similar to the first film and this immediately struck alarm bells. The plot twists are not surprising and, just as in the original, the weak villain is one with a personal vendetta against superheroes. I’m also not a fan of the direction they took Jack-Jack’s character, and found his multiple powers to be a cheap trick to get the story out of any hole it dug. More technical issues like some questionable editing choices also brought me out of the story and proved detrimental to the story.
The key issue I think is at play here is that Pixar waited far too long (14 years to be exact) to release a sequel. The climate of Hollywood has utterly changed since the original. When that was released in 2004, superhero films were not the world dominating thing they are today. Releasing ‘another superhero film’ today means that it begins to feel stale, copying the same troupes and clichés we’ve now seen dozens of times. Unfortunately, this is what happens here.
The film was not without its merits, and admittedly was still an enjoyable ride to watch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the fun, fresh premise of it’s predecessor.