Monday, July 30, 2018

Movie Monday: The Incredibles 2

We lost power for a few hours on Saturday, so we escaped to the a/c in the local movie theater! Much of what is playing now are the typical summer blockbusters - sequels of action movies filled with car chases and explosions - not really my kind of thing. So, instead, we watched The Incredibles 2, the sequel to an old favorite animated movie from when our kids were young. Yes, we have now graduated to going to children's movies without children! Just like the first movie, it was clever, funny, action-packed, and a lot of fun.

It's been 14 years since The Incredibles first hit theaters, but the original cast is back in this wonderful sequel. In case you somehow missed the original, it's about a family of superheroes, taking place in a 50's/60's style but modern world where superheroes have been outlawed because of the collateral damage they often cause while saving the day. As in the first movie, mom Helen (played by Holly Hunter) and dad Bob (played by Craig T. Nelson) are trying to act like a normal family and keep their superpowers under wraps. Teenage daughter Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) and over-active son Dash (voiced by Huck Milner) also have powers, as does baby Jack Jack (which the family doesn't know yet, though the audience does). The sequel begins with a major crisis, as the Underminer, voiced by John Ratzenberger, causes big problems in the city with his mole-like digging machine. Elastigirl (Helen) and Mr. Incredible (Bob) stop the rampage but not before the Underminer gets away and lots of that collateral damage occurs. Things change, though, when they are approached by a tech mogul named Winston Deaver, played by Bob Odenkirk, and his sister, Evelyn, played by Catherine Keener. They want to change the laws outlawing superheroes and have a plan for Helen and Bob to help them - all they need is some good PR!

As with the first movie, everything here is super-clever (pun intended!) and happens on two levels: one for the kiddos and one for the adults. Helen goes to work as Elastigirl, while Bob stays home with the kids, so there are the expected "inept dad left with the kids" jokes (only this time it's a superhero dad), but everything is executed perfectly, with plenty of suspense and lots of laughs. It's an intriguing plot with lots of twists and turns, and of course, this all-star cast is wonderful in their roles. Our favorite character, superhero costume designer Edna (voiced by Brad Bird), is back and even funnier, along with best super buddy Frozone, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. Of course, the animation is top-notch, and the settings - a combination of high-tech and 50's/60's style - are a lot of fun. Whether you have kids to bring along or not, The Incredibles 2 is nonstop fun from beginning to end, with the cleverness and humor you expect from Pixar. Oh, and the animated short at the beginning of the movie, Bai, was excellent as well - and right on the mark for two parents with young adult sons like us!

The Incredibles 2 is currently in theaters (click Fandango below to check times and locations near you). Streaming (now available for pre-order) and DVD will be released in October 2018.

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