REVIEW: ‘Incredibles 2’ retreads some old ground, but is still a great time

“Incredibles 2” lives up to its name. It might not be as incredible as its predecessor, but it still does the trick.

So, this movie doesn’t just start directly after the first film, it begins during the end of the original. The film opens with the Parr family trying to take down the latest villain threat who goes by “the Underminer.” The Incredibles are eventually able to take down the villain’s giant drill machine, but not before it wrecks on much of the city where they live.

As a result of the destruction caused, superheroes are even more looked down upon than before and the family are forced even deeper into hiding. That is until they are approached by a sibling pair, Winston and Evelyn. The brother and sister duo run a mega corporation and decide that it’s time for supers to make a comeback. They opt to make a public campaign with Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) going back into crime fighting and putting on a good public face for supers while Bob (Craig Nelson) stays home and looks after the kids, Dash (Huck Milner), Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Jack-Jack.

First things first, this is a positive review. However, “Incredibles 2” does have its problems and that’s where this review will start off with. Before seeing the film, I had concerns about this sequel not having a time skip, because it could possibly have too many similarities to the original and might retread some territory.

That, unfortunately, was true in some ways here. Once again, character arcs include Bob needing to connect more with his family, Violet having to become more outgoing again and Dash having his issues with school. Additionally, there remains the key conflict with normal humans opposing supers, and it simply feels wheels spinning in place.

With all that said, Disney and Pixar did solid work here. While there are a lot of similar themes at work, the heart is very much in the right place and that does make for an enjoyable watch. Seeing Bob interact with the kids and become a better dad is heartwarming, it’s nice to see those relationships improve and develop more.

There was also some fun to be had watching Helen take on missions and see her detective skills at work as she deciphers the new villain’s plans.

Overall, it’s just a good time getting to revisit these characters again, as Director Brad Bird and crew once again make them quite relatable. While the movie doesn’t exactly break into new territory, the Parr family are good characters and their stories are compelling and can hook an audience’s attention.

As for the supporting characters, they’re a bit hit or miss. The business siblings Winston and Evelyn are fairly interesting, and each bring something different to the table. Plus, having Frozone back again was awesome. However, some of the new superheroes introduced seemed rather gimmicky and forgettable.

Finally, the look of the film has to be talked about. I’ve praised Pixar before because of its fantastic animation quality, and this is no different. “Incredibles 2” keeps the look and aesthetic of the original, but it’s apparent that the studio’s technology has improved, both from how the characters move and how well the action is executed. There’s a chase scene featured here with Helen going after a runaway train on a motorcycle and it’s easily one of the best action sequences of the year.

While “Incredibles 2” isn’t on the level of Pixar’s first superhero film, or on that of Disney’s “Big Hero 6” for that matter, it’s still a solid entry for the studio. 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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