‘Worth the wait’ takes on a whole new significance for a fervent fan base when its beloved franchise has endured the pause button for 14 years.
But there’s good news, ‘Incredibles’ faithful – ‘Incredibles 2’ IS worth the wait. And then some.
Pixar’s best sequel since ‘Toy Story 2’, this superhero extravaganza hasn’t skipped a beat, despite the spandex-adorned crew being on the bench for close to a decade and a half. ‘Incredibles 2’ is fast, funny, and – visually, anyway – an instant animated classic. Perhaps it doesn’t land with as much resonance for adults as the 2004 original, but remember that movie all but changed the game. So full of energy and imagination, the sequel is more kid-friendly, sure. But it’s smart enough that fans, no matter WHAT the age, couldn’t receive a better follow-up than this.
Writer/director Brad Bird cleverly picks up the tale in the aftermath of the first flick, with a peppy action sequence against the dastardly Underminer that hauls you in immediately. The heroics of Bob a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Helen (Holly Hunter), who is torn more than ever between her heroic calling as Elastigirl and her family, result in a wee bit of collateral damage, thus the entire family AND buddy Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) is once again forced underground by anti-superhero laws.
Enter wealthy philanthropist Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), so enamored by the Parr clan that he can sing their respective theme songs. Along with his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), Winston offers to showcase the amazing deeds that superheroes are capable of in order to shift public perception. When Deavor selects Helen as the perfect candidate to market the effort though, tangling with a bad guy named the ‘Screenslaver’, Bob is forced to become a stay-at-home dad…not a simple task when daughter Violet is waging a serious war with teen angst, Dash (Huck Milner) is finding out that super speed doesn’t make grade school math any easier, and baby Jack-Jack is discovering all KINDS of super powers – every one of them with hilarious results.
And THAT is really the magic of this franchise; ‘Incredibles 2’ is as much about families wrestling with issues such as roles, compromise and change as it is about superheroes battling evil villains. True, a set up so heavily reliant on the relationship between the family means a little less screen time for Edna Mode (voiced by Bird himself), one of the sharpest characters ever….but she certainly makes the most of her screen time. Besides, little Jack-Jack steals the show at every opportunity anyway.
‘Incredibles 2’: Incredible. We’ll leave it at that.