Sunday, June 17, 2018

Incredibles 2

I saw this movie last night and, other than a long wait in a stuffy theater lobby, the experience was altogether enjoyable. Reprising their roles from the 2004 Pixar film The Incredibles are Craig T. Nelson (Mr. Incredible), Holly Hunter (ElastiGirl), Samuel L. Jackson (Frozone), and writer/director Brad Bird (also playing superhero costume designer Edna Mode). It also features Bob "Better Call Saul" Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Isabella Rossellini and Pixar staple John Ratzenberger. In addition to the family core, which includes a speedster son and a daughter who can go invisible and throw force fields around, there is now a baby (Jack-Jack) who has a dizzying variety of super-powers, and a bunch of other supers - including, my favorite, a guy named Reflux who can vomit fire, as well as a girl who can open dimensional portals, a guy who can shoot electricity, a human/screech owl cross, and a guy who specializes in crushing things with the power of his mind. They're all good guys, but any or all of them could become villains at any moment, thanks to a mysterious nemesis of all things "super" who uses the power of hypnotism to control people's behavior.

So, that's enough synopsis already. I'll repeat that I had an enjoyable time watching this movie. It wasn't as much fun as the first one, though. I thought the balance tilted a little too much in favor of the domestic scenes and not enough toward superhero action. Still, Jack-Jack's antics were hilarious, and Edna Mode's scenes were adorable as always, and I liked the brother and sister characters who offered to help the Incredibles reclaim their legal status as superheroes. The animation was good. The action was fun. The movie has a cool, vintage look about it - kind of retro-futuristic. There was good comedy in it, and a good heart. It just wasn't as moving as the first movie, and the main characters didn't seem to get as much time to do their super-thing.

Three scenes that made it for me: (1) Jack-Jack's battle with a raccoon; (2) Violet's fury when she deduces that the Men in Black guy erased her almost-boyfriend's memory of her; and (3) the Krusher guy's perplexed reaction when Mr. Incredible asks him to uncrush something. If I am legally obligated to include an action scene on this list, then I'll make 3.5 the fight between ElastiGirl and the apparent culprit in the rash of hypnosis-related crimes. "Good for a sequel" seems to be about the size of it. We wanted a sequel. We got a sequel. It is, alas, a sequel. There can be nothing like the amazing original movie.

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