In a world full of superhero movies, one has always stood atop the list of the most influential ones of the past 20 years and that is “The Incredibles.” When speaking of superheroes, your mind would usually wonder to Iron Man, Captain America or Batman. But with a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes critic score, “The Incredibles” has become an all-time favorite for kids and adults alike. Fourteen years later, Pixar has brought the gang back together on a mission to make superheroes legal again.
Following the events of its predecessor, “Incredibles 2” has put the family back into action as they are thrust into action to stop the evil Screenslaver. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) was pulled from her motherly duties to help millionaire superhero-loving Winston (Bob Odenkirk) help these heroes gain their freedom back. The Screenslaver is out to foil these plans and use their powers against them to take over the world.
Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is left home with the kids. For the first time in their marriage, he is not the one being relied on to save the world. He now has to learn how to cope with being a stay-at-home dad. It is easier said than done, especially when all your children have super powers.
Violet (Sarah Vowell) is grown up and becoming interested in boys, young Dash is a hyperactive middle child who is hilariously fun — and Jack-Jack, the newest addition to the family, may have more super powers than the whole family combined.
What made “The Incredibles” such a fan favorite, was its social commentary on the importance of family. The same commentary is used here, but the family is evolving and roles within it are changing. Mr. Incredible finally has come to understand what it is like to be home with the kids, make dinner, put the baby to sleep, while still getting sleep of your own. Sometimes Pixar films can have a heavy-handed moment. Here it is not so much a moment, but rather an emotional connection for the love this family has for one another.
Another bit of social commentary I enjoyed involved the villainy of Screenslaver who uses screens to take over people’s lives. Any children’s movie that can push the agenda to stay off devices, at least sometimes, is good with me.
Pixar rarely makes a bad film (outside of the “Cars” trilogy) which helps when it comes to “Incredibles 2.” Even though I enjoyed the film as a whole, a film that kids will thoroughly enjoy and has good messaging, I came away feeling somewhat empty. This feeling is the same I had at the conclusion of “Finding Dory,” the “Finding Nemo” sequel — that of complacency and redundancy.
It is impossible to get away from sequels, but as the old saying goes, “rarely is a sequel better than the original.” I believe that to be the case for “Incredibles 2.” It’s a fun family movie that hits all the right notes, but lacks in originality to be superior than the first.