Have always been a big fan of Pixar, liking to loving pretty much all their short films (particularly 'Presto', 'One Man Band', 'Geri's Game', 'Piper' and 'Knick Knack'). Also like to love a vast majority of their feature films, my favourites being the 'Toy Story' films, 'Up', 'Coco' and 'Inside Out' and my least favourites being the 'Cars' sequels and 'The Good Dinosaur'.
While not one of my favourite Pixar films, 'The Incredibles' is still a very, very good film that has gone even higher in my estimations after a well overdue re-watch to get myself prepared for 'Incredibles 2', fantastically animated, exciting, funny, emotionally investable and ground-breaking with great characters. Expectations were high for its long awaited sequel fourteen years on, and while it is not as good a film, and what could and should have been super and incredible wasn't quite, on the most part 'Incredibles 2' was worth the wait.
'Incredibles 2' does lack 'The Incredibles' originality (not much new here) and its emotional impact and character development is also not as good, the latter particularly is noticeably thinner (Bob for example was more complex before). It was a little too long for a story as slight as it was, would have trimmed it by 15-20 minutes and tightened the first act's pacing with it taking a bit too much time to get going.
Like others, among my biggest problems were to do with the villain. The villain was forgettable (one of Pixar's weakest easily), the twist concerning their identity that was too obvious too soon. Found their plan convoluted, that when explained made me want a re-wind button which was not possible in the cinema, and the motivation was pretty weak and extreme, took a while for me to get my head round. While the characters are fun, it did feel like there were too many, not sure whether it needed that many superheroes that aren't given enough to do other than in the climax.
However, it may sound like 'Incredibles 2' was a bad film. It wasn't. Actually enjoyed it a good deal. The animation is fantastic, smooth, vibrant in colour and meticulous in background detail, some very striking details, a richly immersive setting and the characters are well designed. Michael Giacchino's score gets one in a rousing mood while also being dynamic with the action. The action is superbly animated and thrilling with real suspense and excitement.
Writing has many moments of humour that provides a lot of laughs (Jack Jack steals the show here, especially with his powers and his fight with the racoon, with some nice lines later from Edna), moments that probe thought and drama that's relatable and never too sentimental (if not as poignant as one would like). The story does grip, more so in the Elastigirl story that really held my attention before the villain reveal underwhelmed. The family drama stuff is also very prominent, and while it is repetitive at times and there could have been less of it the best moments are very funny and it is very easy to relate to the dilemmas the characters face. Pacing mostly excites when things get going.
Character development is nowhere near as strong here and it would have benefitted from less characters and more done with the existing characters and more thought with the villain and their plan/motivations, but the characters are mostly fun with the highlight being Jack Jack. The voice acting is terrific, especially from Holly Hunter, Craig T Nelson and Samuel L Jackson. Brad Bird is a lot of fun in Edna's small role and Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks are good additions.
Overall, very enjoyable but wanted to like it much more. 7/10 Bethany Cox