3 stars (out of 4)
Nearly fourteen years have passed since The Incredibles soared into people’s hearts. Kids that devoured it on DVD are now adults content to Netflix and chill. An entirely new Pixar trilogy named Cars has come and gone. So did we really need another installment after such an extended hibernation period? The answer is probably not . . . and no matter! The fearless and peerless Parrs are here to rescue kids from a summer of movie doldrums in a smart, satisfying and super new adventure.
Despite the substantial of passage of time, the beauty of animation is that characters never have to age. (See: The Simpsons.) That means our family of kick-ass superheroes is exactly where we left them in the early aughts. Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), and his lovely wife Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), are still trying to juggle crime fighting and domesticity. Their three cool kids, moody teen Violet (Sarah Vowell), rambunctious Dash (Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack add their own tricks to the mix. And no superhero movie is complete without the presence of Samuel L. Jackson, once again returning as Bob’s best friend Lucius/Frozone.
No, it’s not as fantastic as the original. There’s more than a whiff of recognition to the wham-bam twists and turns. I’m convinced this is a side effect of dieting on a steady stream of Marvel flicks over the past decade. A secretly scheming do-gooder and superheroes gone rogue are unsurprising, if expected, plot beats. That doesn’t mean audiences won’t be enthralled watching those nifty action scenes — and delight in the concept of a family banding together to use their powers for good. Their adventures are timeless. And this one is worth the incredibly long wait.
The Incredibles 2 opens in theaters on Friday, June 15. Make sure to get there early to see the lovely Pixar short film, Bao.