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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

I don’t think it’s possible for “The Incredibles 2” to be as good as the first, and that worries me 05/12/2018

Tickets went on sale for “The Incredibles 2” today.

I don’t think it’s possible for I2 to be as good as I1. I think “The Incredibles” is one of the greatest movies ever made, and I’m not limiting that to animated movies. I’m saying “The Incredibles” is up there with “The Shawshank Redemption” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

“The Incredibles 2” is set up for failure, though “failure” has a different tone in Pixar’s world. People said “Brave” was a failure, but the reviewer’s line I remember best was: “You can’t punish Pixar like you can’t punish an A student¬†for doing B- work.” (“Brave” was better than B-, we should agree.)

“The Incredibles” already used the best themes. Superheroes curtailed by government interference (a theme that worked for “Powers” comic books, and “Captain America: Civil War”), the celebration of mediocrity while simultaneously subduing the truly remarkable, toxic fandom, kid supers growing into their powers, kid siblings fighting each other before fighting together, insurance companies favoring shareholders over policyholders. Many folks think Edna Mode stole that movie, but what’s she doing in “The Incredibles 2”? Surely not designing new suits.

Oh, the wonderful detail. Bob and Helen arguing about freeway exits, that fabulously overdone island hideout where the mooks wear uniforms though there’s no one else around and spend their time after work… where? Out-of-shape Bob stuck in the chute. Bob rescuing a cat in a tree. The trials of Jack-Jack’s babysitter. (Three things that made me laugh until it hurt: “Jack-Jack Attack”, the DVD short that showed what was going on at home while the Parrs were on Syndrome’s island; the fight between Mark Wahlberg and his stuffed bear in “Ted”, and the brilliant professional comedy in “The Aristrocrats”.)

That movie was perfect. What can they possibly do as an encore?

All three of the “Toy Story” movies are on my list of favorites, but initially, I didn’t care much for “Toy Story 2” because I didn’t think the real world should intrude, with its abandonment issues, its unscrupulous collectibles dealers, and the purchase of ttoys for display cases instead of play. I thought “Toy Story 2” sort of spoiled the sense of wonder brought on by “Toy Story”, but when “Toy Story 3” completed the circle of Woody’s existence, I embraced 2 as strongly as I did 1.

Even so, I don’t think they ever intended a “Toy Story 2”, and when they got around to it 18 or 20 years later, they did it with “Toy Story 3” already in mind.

“The Incredibles”, like “Toy Story”, doesn’t give a hint of sequel. Even though John Ratzenberger emerges from the ground at the end like he would in the last panel of a comic book, I just don’t see where they could go from there that wouldn’t be a disappointment following the incredible¬†greatness of the first movie. (While we’re on that subject, I never thought “Star Wars” needed the Empire to strike back or the Jedi to return, though I won’t complain about where the Star Wars universe has gone in the past couple years.)

I mentioned “Ted” parenthetically, but “Ted 2” illustrated exactly what I’m talking about. “Ted” was great partly because Ted was just another schlub working in a grocery store, and no one gave a shit that he was a teddy bear come to life. There followed the unnecessary sequel in which Ted’s state of being a teddy bear is the crux of the matter. That movie sucked. I so very much hope Brad Bird had ideas in reserve when he made “The Incredibles”, anticipating the demand for a sequel.

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