After over a decade of anticipation, audiences can finally see the second “Incredibles” movie in theaters.
And after watching, I’d say it was well worth the wait.
However, the delay was so long that before the movie started, the voices behind superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) apologized for the 14 years it took to make “Incredibles 2” happen.
But they’re forgiven, because the movie is definitely a worthy sequel – I would even go so far as to say it’s better than the original. My friend Allie, with whom I watched the movie, agreed, although we did feel a bit traitorous for admitting that.
I would put it on the same level as “Finding Dory,” another Pixar sequel that I liked more than its predecessor, “Finding Nemo.”
One of my biggest fears with sequels is that the characters feel like strangers and aren’t recognizable. However, I am happy to report that every recurring character is largely the same one that I knew and loved from the original “Incredibles.”
All members of the Parr family (aka the Incredibles) have the same voice actors except Dash, who was originally voiced by a 10-year-old Spencer Fox. Because his voice changed so much over 14 years, Fox was replaced by Huck Milner.
But even though I had watched the first “Incredibles” the night before as a refresher, I couldn’t hear the difference.
And as for the other recurring characters?
Frozone, whom Allie said “actually had a role that affected the movie this time,” is also just as great – scratch that, greater – than before.
And yes, Frozone’s wife, Honey, and fashion designer Edna Mode (fun fact: Edna is voiced by Brad Bird – yes, a man – the writer and director for both “Incredibles”) are the same sassy icons they were 14 years ago.
However, the fact that the characters are spot on isn’t the only thing that adds to the continuity and familiarity of the sequel – it picks up right where “The Incredibles” left us in 2004.
I can’t think of many sequels that do so, but I really like it. If a sequel starts a year after the first movie, I always wonder, “What happened in that year? Like, exactly?”
With “Incredibles 2,” I didn’t have that thought running through my head as I enjoyed the movie. Instead, I could focus on finding similarities between the two movies.
In the first movie, Bob goes off on a mission and does his own thing, but then something goes wrong, and the whole family reunites to save the day.
However, this time it’s Helen who goes off on a quest to make Supers (short for “superhero”) legal again, and the family bands together to help her (with some sidetracks, of course).
So with the similar plot structure, why did I like “Incredibles 2” better than the original?
The answer mostly has to do with screen time and character development.
Bob was the focus in the first movie, but in “Incredibles 2,” even though what Elastigirl is doing is in the spotlight, there is equal attention on what’s happening back home. Violet has boy troubles, Dash struggles with math and Bob juggles not only those situations but also Jack-Jack, who has 17 powers.
As I watched these subplots – each giving attention to a different character – play out, I learned more about the characters and felt more connected to them.
Sure, the characters had the same personalities that they had in the first movie, giving way to plenty of appreciated nostalgia, but they also developed new facets.
For example, Bob’s trademark arrogance and pride shine through when Helen is chosen to be the Super who goes on a crime-fighting publicity stunt to regain public support.
However, as the movie progresses, you notice how sincere he is in wanting to keep everything under control at home for Helen, despite his jealousy.
In addition to more character development, I liked “Incredibles 2” more than the original because it just had more “oomph.” I found myself laughing a lot more, and it was faster paced; in comparison, the first half of “The Incredibles” was a tad slow for me.
I was also actually scared by one of the villains. The Screenslaver, a screen-hijacking, brainwashing hypnotizer, definitely ranks higher on the evil scale than the first “Incredibles” movie’s Syndrome, a vengeful former fanboy.
One scene was especially terrifying, but, thankfully, a kid sitting next to us shouting, “This is creepy!” broke the ice.
Speaking of the villain, that brings me to one of my only complaints: I was able to predict a fair amount of the major plot twist.
However, that happens to me with a lot with movies, so I can’t really tell if it was because of my guessing skills or the script. I do think a good number of hints were laid. I mean, at least I was still a little surprised, right?
Besides that, “Incredibles 2” was all that I was hoping for and more.
Actually, I do have one other complaint … there wasn’t enough of Edna! Seriously, just let her be the star of her own movie.