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The Incredibles 2 (dir. Bird)

Image: Who needs to be a super-man, when you can be a super-dad? Craig T Nelson as Bob Parr/Mr Incredible © Property of Pixar. [Source: IMDB]

★★★☆☆

The last time we left these heroes they were ready to take on the latest treat as the newly formed superhero team ‘The Incredibles’. What we find however is that perhaps maybe the days of superheroes are indeed over. As Bob Parr has to take a step back so that Eleastigirl can take a shot at bringing superheroes back into acceptable society.

Director: Brad Bird. Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson [PG]

A few things come to mind when reflecting on Incredibles 2. Firstly why did they wait so long to produce a second and was this one a worthy successor? I’ll answer definitely now with – no, no it was not. I’m sure those of you who laughed out loud for almost the whole movie think I’m being quite harsh on what boils down to a children’s film. But I think what you’ll agree with me on is the first Incredibles movies’ lasting appeal.

The first almost played out like a classic comic book story or a dark mystery, at times it is easy to forget that it is a children’s movie because when I think back on it I see intrigue behind where the supers were disappearing. Bob’s affair with being a superhero while his wife knows none the wiser. The going against the law to save people, and in the end the simple wholesome messages throughout. The first Incredibles is layered, thought-provoking, inspiring, intriguing and simple humorous and entertaining. It’s at the apex of animation and the gleaming with the gold standard that “children’s films” should aspire to be like.

So where does Incredibles 2 go wrong? First and foremost is the plotline. While Incredibles had a complex and fresh take on the superhero story, almost with flashes to my reading of The Dark Knight Returns. Incredibles 2 has a stale, watered down and absolutely predictable narrative throughout every aspect of its story. This problem is sourced at the cause of a second Incredibles being produced so long after the first and without any kind of passion for its characters and story – which feel different and less detailed than when we last left them. Even the villain seems tacked on and as though they just came up with it in what I can only presume was two seconds flat.

And that problem is Jack-Jack. It is absolutely evident that corporate is behind Incredibles 2 with the whole picture being a big self-love of the Jack-Jack character. To sell merchandise and sell the picture just based off the somewhat humorous antics of Jack-Jack, but knowing full well they couldn’t sell a whole movie just on Jack-Jack. They cram as much of him into the main plot of Incredibles 2 with little regard to how it affects the narrative. Some may be won over by the charming “cuteness” but hiding behind that thin veil is a film swallowing in the millions with little to no passion for the work it has produced.

That aside, the animation is truly top-notch. I often think I’ve seen the height of animation and then something like Incredibles 2 gets made in which you can almost see the sweat beading on these characters or the pores of their skin. It is breathtaking but a damn shame to waste on such an empty narrative. For the most part, Incredibles 2 is fun, definitely, an easy-going experience and most will laugh through the entirety. Despite the pros and cons mentioned – I know that Incredibles 2 will not have nearly as much lasting impact or appeal as the first because frankly (obvious predictable terrible pun incoming) it’s not that incredible.

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