June 27, 2018

Incredibles 2: Parr Family Battles Villain Who Is Hypnotizing Humanity

By Kam Williams

Why it has taken Disney and Pixar 14 years to release a follow-up to The Incredibles? It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and grossed over $600 million at the box office. Meanwhile, creator Brad Bird made Ratatouille (2007), Mission: Impossible (2011), and Tomorrowland (2015) before turning to writing and directing Incredibles 2.

Fortunately this sequel was well worth the wait. Most of the actors who played members of the crime-fighting Parr family are back. Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter reprise their roles as the parents Bob (Mr. Incredible) and Helen (Elastigirl), as do Eli Fucile and Sarah Vowell as baby Jack Jack and 14-year-old Violet. Ten-year-old Dash is now portrayed by Huck Milner, because the original kid’s voice deepened. Samuel L. Jackson has also returned as the family friend and fellow superhero Lucius Best/Frozone. Additions to the cast include Catherine Keener, Isabella Rossellini, and Bob Odenkirk.

The picture picks up where the first left off. Jack Jack is still a toddler, and learning how to harness the superpowers that had just started to appear towards the end of the earlier movie. At the point of departure, we find the Parrs being forced into retirement by a government agent (Jonathan Banks) because of the costly collateral damage of their last operation.

Of course, that doesn’t last long. Helen is soon coaxed back into her superhero suit by a rich fan (Odenkirk) for a photo op designed to resurrect her disgraced family’s image. The sex role reversal has Bob stay at home to take over the child-rearing and domestic duties.

Next, Helen is recruited to subdue Screenslaver (Bill Wise), a pizza delivery guy-turned-hacker who is hijacking people’s computer screens. Is someone else behind a diabolical plot to hypnotize all of humanity? If so, that might call for the rest of the Parrs to morph into their superhero alter egos and join the fight.

What ensues is another visually-captivating, dizzying delight for young and old alike.

Excellent (****). Rated PG for action and brief mild epithets. Running time: 118 minutes. Production Studios: Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures. Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.