‘Incredibles 2’ is fun, entertaining but not a new masterpiece

Published Jul 1, 2018 at 9:00am

“The Incredibles 2” is a fun and exciting movie, about as fun and as exciting as we’ve come to expect Pixar movies to be. The characters are fun and the action is exciting.

But the best way to describe this movie is that, 15 years after the first one, everybody involved got together and decided to whip up an Incredibles sequel for the heck of it. It’s not an instant masterpiece like the first, lacking the big themes, tight storytelling and emotional depth.

They pretty much just take all these fun and familiar superhero characters and put them into a crazy new adventure. “The Incredibles 2” has dazzling actions scenes, heart-warming family moments and some of the most enjoyable characters in movie animation. The young people in the audience definitely seemed to love it opening weekend at Rome Cinemas 8.

There’s a lot to love. The freedom of animation puts this superhero movie on a whole different level than what the live action Marvel movies can produce. The “Incredibles 2” is never boring. From the emotive characters to the wide variety of nifty super-powers on display, the movie is a joy to just watch.

But it’s a sequel that didn’t need to be made.

The first Incredibles movie came out in 2004, at the height of Pixar’s movie magic. It is arguably Pixar’s best movie. With any other studio, a sequel would have been inevitable. But Pixar didn’t really make sequels back then. And writer/director Brad Bird had no interest in pumping out a sequel to “The Incredibles.” He told the story he wanted to tell, about a superhero family coming to terms with one another, about a marriage falling apart due to secrets and about holding on to what makes you special.

But then Bird’s attempt at a big live action franchise — “Tomorrowland” in 2015 — was a major flop. And all of a sudden, Disney’s money, and the love fans had for the original Incredibles, probably looked pretty enticing.

So here we go again with “The Incredibles 2.” Most of the original actors are still around and game to make another movie. Why not dust off all these old characters and figure out what more can be done with them? Come up with a new super-villain from scratch. Throw in a bunch of new superheroes so that the movie is visually compelling. What are some other classic family tropes that can be applied to this family of superheroes?

The Incredibles 2 picks up soon after the first one ended. The Parr family of heroes are ready to come out of the shadows and be public superheroes again, but the law has banned all supers from fighting crime. When an opportunity to overturn the law presents itself, wife Elastigirl gets to become the family breadwinner, while husband Mr. Incredible has to be a stay-at-home dad. At that point, the jokes write themselves, because jokes about fathers being unable to handle the kids have been with us for decades.

The fact that the kids all have crazy super-powers is what makes The Incredibles special.

But The Incredibles 2 isn’t particularly special. It doesn’t have anything new to say, about fatherhood, parenthood, combating societal norms or anything really. It’s just a fun and exciting animated superhero movie. And there’s really nothing wrong with that.