It’s finally here after 14 years. Was it worth the wait? Hang on a minute, is that even a valid concern?
The Incredibles 2 Synopsis
Three months after Syndrome’s defeat, the Parrs i.e. The Incredibles screw up a major operation to stop the Underminer. As a result, the Super Relocation programme is shut down, causing Bob and Helen to again despair over their finances. Just when all seems hopeless, the Parrs, through Frozone, are contacted by Winston Deavor, a telecommunications tycoon and superhero fan. Deavor then invites the Parrs to participate in a major publicity campaign to re-establish public and government endorsement of Supers. Deavor also insists that the campaign begins with Helen i.e. Elastigirl. While Helen works the public, poor Bob is reduced to being a hapless stay-at-home dad.
It’s a few days since the release of The Incredibles 2. As of today, the foremost question in social media and reviews remains, is it worth the 14-year wait?
Is it as good as its predecessor, or better? Pixar has an uneven record with follow-ups; look at the reception for Toy Story 2, Cars 2, and Monster University. With this latest sequel, do they demonstrate they have finally nailed down the elusive golden formula for second episode?
The truth is, I find it terribly hard to compare, or should I say, evaluate The Incredibles 2 by these yardsticks. Part of that difficulty is thanks to the fact that as much as I enjoyed the first movie in 2004, I am not a huge fan. In other words, I don’t have huge expectations.
Not to mention it’s over ten years since I re-watched the first movie i.e. I don’t remember it that well. Spared of the compulsion to compare, I was thus “free” to focus on what’s great about this sequel. This being how stylish the art style is, and how exhilarating and dazzling the super-powered combat sequences are.
How deliciously gripping most such sequences are too.
Worthy of its status as the virtuoso in animated storytelling, I felt Pixar also imbued the key characters with dialogue that goes beyond humorous or cranky. Listen carefully and you would realise Bob’s grouches about “new” maths, or Evelyn Deavor’s dismissal of her brother’s talents, conceal an entire layer of implications. The characters aren’t simply reacting to situations or dialogue with what they say. The whole crisis of The Incredibles 2 intelligently begins and ends with these implications.
If, IF, I have to compare this sequel with what I remember from the first movie, then my only complaints are that there aren’t any moments that unnerve you with relatable poignancy. (For example, those scene in the first movie when Bob thought his family was dead) Nor was there any truly unforgettable exhortation. (NO CAPES!!!) For die-hard fans, I suppose the lack of such moments greatly matters. After all, the craving for more of these secures a chunk of the audience for the sequel.
Yet, should delivery or non-delivery of such elements be the main measurement of any sequel? Even if a sequel is not spectacular, could it not still be great?
In my opinion, The Incredibles 2 at least deserves the latter accolade. If considered as a stand-alone, it is, to me, hands-down a masterpiece.
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