Film Review - Incredibles 2
I went to go see Incredibles 2 last weekend. To set the stage, I'm an animation fan and Disney fan (movies, theme parks, history, etc.)
When the trailer for the first Incredibles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZbzbC9285I) came out, I was quite skeptical. After watching the movie, I really enjoyed the movie and felt the trailer may have been intentionally 'vague' and maybe even a bit misleading.
You have to remember, the first Incredibles movie came out around four years before Iron Man.
Fourteen years later, we have Incredibles 2 (trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5qOzqD9Rms). I read interviews with Brad Bird (the movie's writer and director) before the movie's release saying how many times he wrote and re-wrote this movie, having to deal with the abundance of superhero movies the movie-going audience is familiar with, and wanting the sequel to be worthy of the reputation of the first.
I read reviews saying Incredibles 2 was as good or better than the first Incredibles and other 'it's great' reviews.
In general, if there is a movie I am interested in seeing I try to see it before the spoilers hit the internet or reviews set high or low expectations of a movie. I had to wait a week to see Incredibles 2 and wasn't able to avoid the expectation-setting.
Maybe I shouldn't have waited a week.
Executive summary: Overall, I enjoyed Incredibles 2.
*Mostly spoiler free*
I found it quite formulaic and doubtful of it being placed in the timeless/iconic category of Pixar movies. Many of the reviews mention how the soundtrack is as strong or stronger than the first Incredibles movie. And I agree. There were many times I found myself enjoying or giggling to the soundtrack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9k7C833BhE). But does that also maybe say something about the movie itself that the soundtrack becomes more enjoyable escapism than the movie?
The story does a wonderful job of having a "it's about the family" thread throughout the movie. It does set the Incredibles movies apart from most of the other superhero movies. It does tackle and handle many issues of being a family, parent, and child in modern society and does a decent job of how it represents and handles those issues.
However, like the first and third Christian Bale Batman movies, I never felt any sense of impending doom or fear of the villain in Incredibles 2. Most of Incredibles, the villain is battling Mr Incredible. It isn't until the last 20 minutes when the villain unleashes his monster robot on society, and the reason he unleashes the monster robot on society is so he can save society and become a superhero himself. So we were never really intended to fear the monster robot.
In Incredibles 2, the 'threat' to society is a longer and larger part of the movie. I never really felt like there was a reason for the audience to 'fear' the actions of the villain. I was indifferent to their threat. Maybe because I knew the formula of the family coming together to defeat the threat.
In "The Dark Knight" and the first Michael Keaton "Batman" movies, the final battle pitted one-on-one battles between The Joker and Batman. By the final battle, they had created a sense of maybe The Joker will win. We know deep down Batman will win, but there is enough built-up that it was a good fight. In Incredibles 2, I never had a feeling of doubt, I just had to watch the battle scenes and wait for the good guys to win. Enter Team Scorpion. (That's an entirely different blog post.)
Yes, I understand the audience for Incredibles movies is different than Batman movies. Maybe a pre-teen will find some tension and fear from the villain (Screenslaver, in case you don't know their name) and if the Incredibles (and others) will win. I don't know and would be interested in hearing from families with kids if the kids found the villain and battle 'fearful'.
Would I be interested in showing either Incredibles movies as a Proscenia Film Society movie? Of course. Pixar does create amazing animation and thoughtful stories. And it would be great to create experiences for people to enjoy them.