Length: 118 minutes / 1.97 hours
Before we start, I have to say that The Incredibles (2004) is perhaps my favorite Pixar film. Back when superhero films were starting to become successful (albeit, not nearly as lucratively successful as the Marvel Cinematic Universe), The Incredibles artfully blended a superhero film with a family/midlife crisis plot that worked on so many levels. It is then no surprise that I was truly looking forward to its sequel, Incredibles 2 (2018). In the back of my head, I knew that most of Pixar’s talent had switched over to Disney about eight years ago, but I hoped enough of the original team would be around to make this sequel something special.
Unfortunately, time seems to have worked against Incredibles 2. If this had come out ten years ago, it would have enjoyed some of the originality that comes with beating the Marvel behemoth out of the gate. As it is now, I’m not sure if Incredibles 2 is directly referencing these movies (like Watchmen (2009)), or if it’s just stuck in the shadow of its predecessors (like Iron Man 3 (2013)). What’s perhaps more disturbing is that the cartoony aesthetic for the characters established in the first film is now straddling that uncanny valley to the point that this movie almost looks like Dreamworks’ Megamind (2010).
While all the neat bits from the first film made an encore in this movie, it’s a little disappointing that they didn’t build any character development into it. Sure, you could say the Mr. Mom (1983) bit was new, but it still centered around Mr. Incredible’s (Craig T. Nelson) pride like the first film. There was a bit of re-balancing that was nice, including more action sequences and a spot-on score by Michael Giacchino that improves on the original. In the end, I wanted to like Incredibles 2 more, but perhaps my nostalgia is wearing off.
A second outing for The Incredibles that comes a decade too late, I give Incredibles 2 3.5 stars out of 5.