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Incredibles 2 Movie Review

Incredibles 2 Movie Review
Less Than 'Incredible' but Fine Enough
Fourteen years after the Oscar-winning "The Incredibles" was released, the long-awaited sequel, "Incredibles 2," hits theaters with a great deal of fanfare and anticipation. Released during the Summer Movie Season, which is almost exclusively made up of sequels and superhero movies, it's hard not to wonder if an animated sequel of a superhero movie is something that is desperately needed. Fortunately, for your family looking to spend a few hours distracted amid air conditioning, "Incredibles 2" is at your service.

As always, there is a massively high bar set for movies that come out of the Disney-Pixar machine. The studio's emphasis on lively animation and progressive storytelling have earned them buckets of money and a great deal of year-end hardware but, like most studios with franchises, they have often been unable to recapture the magic with most of their sequels. "Incredibles 2" continues that reputation with a colorful but mundane follow-up to the first film.

"Incredibles 2" checks back in with the Parr family. Bob Parr, or Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen Parr, or Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and their three kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) are trying to live a normal suburban life in a world where superheroes are deemed illegal. Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) are working hard to bring superheroes back into positive light and have picked Elastigirl to lead the charge against a nefarious bad guy named Screenslaver. This leaves Mr. Incredible at home with the kids and taking care of the day-to-day tasks.

Brad Bird returns as writer-director of the sequel and offers enough lively moments to reengage his audience when it's easy for one's mind to wander. We check in with a few supporting players from the first film, including Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Edna (Bird), who give a bit of spark in their individual scenes. There is so much going on in "Incredibles 2," which runs just a few minutes shy of two hours, that everything eventually becomes a bit tiresome. The colors are bright and the energy is high but younger kids might feel a bit restless as the movie goes on and on.

"Incredibles 2" has a lot on its mind in terms of social messaging, which is aimed directly at the parents in the crowd but could also contribute to some boredom of the younger members of the family. It's interesting to watch the dynamics of Mr. Incredible staying at home with the kids, learning more about his youngest son Jack-Jack, while Elastigirl is off trying to reinstate the superhero image. The domestication of Mr. Incredible, as he watches his wife from afar, offers some of the more interesting elements of the movie.

The movie is perfectly fine for a family outing but isn't persuasive enough for those who loved the first one (which is admittedly not me) to convince that 14 years was worth the wait. As always, make sure you get to the theater on time to watch the terrific and sweet short "Bao," which plays before the movie. At least Pixar didn't choose to put a "Frozen" short before their latest movie.

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