Pixar has just released its 20th film; it’s hard to believe that the fledgling animation studio had grown into an international behemoth under Disney’s wing. The studio seems to be heading towards producing sequels to its greatest hits, and while these second parts have so far kept the essence of Pixar’s films, lets hope it’s not a lasting trend to squeeze profits.
Incredibles 2 comes 14 years after the first film, but we pick up right where we left off, with superheroes still illegal and the villain Underminer wreaking havoc. The film however, soon takes a turn; the main superhero business is up to Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays home to watch the kids.
The film takes on a more feminist approach to the story, which rings true in today’s world. There are subtleties imbued about undermining women even in this fictitious profession. Pixar’s classic wit is all here too; their films are becoming more and more comedies for adults than children’s films at all. However, while the first film was a great superhero film with some comedic aspects, this film felt a bit more irregular.
Director and writer Brad Bird recycles a lot of the structure of the first film, but he accidentally creates a divide in his film. On one hand we have Elastigirl’s superhero mission, which is a sub-par and largely predictable plot, and then we have the much more enjoyable side of the family as they cope with Jack-Jack’s new powers, doing math homework, and boy problems. The two parallel stories don’t stick well, so that the finale’s integration of characters feels forced.
Inevitably this film was going to be compared to its perfect predecessor, but just because it falls short of it doesn’t mean it’s not a good time. The humor’s originality and spark alone is enough to make this an incredibly (pun intended) fun time.