Pixar/Disney has another hit! A crowd-pleaser for all ages that was entertaining, funny, exciting and unrelenting in its pacing and action. However, writer/director Brad Bird apparently got lazy, the plotting was highly predictable and all sorts of tropes were thrown in with nary a sparked of originality. And it all led to a narrative that lacked the emotional weight that made the original such an insta-classic, but at least we some great action sequences/directing and Michael Giacchino’s best score in ages.
As aforementioned, the story was highly unoriginal. Every beat of the story line was predictable and nothing was refreshing or given a new spin. That being said, most audience would still eat it up - especially the younger ones - but the laughs were not as big, there were not any standout lines/sequences and the emotional beats just seemed perfunctory and unearned.
Some of the early action sequences were superbly directed by Bird and closely reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s fluid directing in “Tintin” and “Ready Player One”. They had fluidity and an unrelentless kinetic energy which really drove the action.
However, when the action got bigger in the last act, that fluidity got lost and instead we were left with a big ensemble piece mashed with quick edits/cuts held together by Giacchino’s brilliant score.
This was Giacchino’s best score in a long time. The Incredibles’ jazzy/uptempo score effectively carried the drama and the action, and bolstered the comedy and the tension. The final, end credits suite was such a delightful summary of the preceding 118 minutes! This will surely score Giacchino another Oscar nomination.
The voice cast was mainly the same as 14 years ago and was again spot on. Holly Hunter - with her distinctive rasp - took on a bigger role, and Craig T Nelson effectively showed his undermined masculinity. Thankfully, they kept the teenage angst from Violet to a minimum while Dash’s personality still has not developed beyond “the kid brother”. And Samuel L Jackson is just Samuel L Jackson.
But, the breakout star of this sequel was definitely Jack Jack, and maybe just because he does not speak and everybody loves babies.
This animation was great fun but sentimentality may have had coloured the lens. Regardless, it was definitely one film for the whole family and may still get Pixar/Disney another Oscar.
The short-animation film tagged to the front - "Bao” - was an odd little animation that seemed so different from Pixar’s usual. Not because of the character(s), but it had an oddly dark undertone which - this being Disney - never really came into fruition.