In what seems to be becoming more of a trend, movies are getting sequels long after the original’s release, sometimes over a decade after. The sequel to “Finding Nemo”, “Finding Dory” came out about thirteen years later. “Independence Day” got a sequel twenty years later. Hell, “Blade Runner 2049” came out over thirty years after the original (and still somehow managed to be amazing). And the result of this trend has been fairly hit or miss. Some sequels managed to succeed despite the distance in time from their predecessors, while others flop for multiple reasons, be it little interest in a sequel this many years later or just a sense of re-treading the same ground without adding anything new.
So with that in mind, “Incredibles 2” is the latest in this trend, coming out fourteen years later. How does it stack up?
I have only vague memories of seeing the original “Incredibles” in theaters with my dad way back in the day. And while I don’t remember much about the plot (it was fourteen years ago after all and I only saw it once), I remember liking it. I remember it being a fun movie. So when I went to see the sequel all these years later, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Sure, the movie had been receiving pretty much universal acclaim, but I’d been let down by that before.
In the end, I would say that “Incredibles 2” is a decent to good movie. Nothing amazing or spectacular, but very solid.
I don’t think my reaction to it has all that much to do with the movie itself. Sure, the plot is very predictable, to the point where I would have figured out the movie’s main plot twist long before I did if I hadn’t turned my brain off. Sure, it doesn’t really do anything that we haven’t seen before. But it has a lot of charm, and it’s a movie that can appeal to kids and adults alike without feeling patronizing.
Rather, I think it has more to do with the time it came out in.
One of the movie’s central conceits is this almost meta examination of the role that superheroes play. After the introductory action sequence, we see them being yelled at by police for causing so much collateral damage, to the point where they argue that it would have been better if the heroes had simply done nothing. And throughout the movie it’s making an argument about how the world needs superheroes, something which feels strangely dated especially after a decade of Marvel dominating the box office with its superhero movies. It makes me wonder if the script for the movie was written way back when, shortly after the first film’s release.
And for me personally, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m burned out on superhero movies. There’s just so many of them and most of them feel identical to each other (this is particularly true for Marvel movies). Part of the original “Incredibles” charm was that it came out at a time when superhero movies weren’t that big. Sure there might be one every once in a while, but it’s still a far cry from today when it feels like there’s a superhero movie in theaters every other month. I think if the sequel had come out just a couple of years or so after the first one, I might have been more receptive to it.
Again, it’s not a bad movie. I just don’t think it’s that remarkable of one either.
Thanks for reading! Check back on the third Wednesday of next month for another post, and as always, have a wonderful month.