ShareThis Page
Review: Must-see ‘Incredibles 2’ proves worth the long wait |

Review: Must-see ‘Incredibles 2’ proves worth the long wait

Getty Images
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Brad Bird and Samuel L. Jackson attend the premiere of Disney and Pixar's 'Incredibles 2' at the El Capitan Theatre on June 5, 2018, in Los Angeles. Bird directed the animated movie in which the other three provide voices.

“Incredibles 2,” the long-awaited Disney/Pixar sequel to what is still one of the best superhero movies around, is a leather-gloved and domino-mask-wearing knockout punch to the idea that animated superhero adventures don’t mean much in this era of live-action comic book movies and TV shows.

When “The Incredibles” hit theaters in 2004, the modern world of superhero cinema was just getting started.

Sony and Fox were leading the way with their Spider-Man and X-Men franchises, but the idea of a connected Marvel Cinematic Universe was still a Kevin Feige dream. Superhero animation was still a heavyweight, with “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Justice League” and the ‘90s Saturday-morning “X-Men” cartoon still favorites to many.

There are way more superheroes on screen these days.

Marvel Studios is the undisputed king of comic book movies. DC and Warner Bros., despite missteps, created a cultural phenomenon in “Wonder Woman.” And the success of the Deadpool franchise means Fox won’t let go of the X-Men anytime soon.

With so many live-action superhero options, does the Incredibles franchise still matter?

Lovable cast of characters

The answer to that question is yes, with an exclamation point and a “pow” for good measure.

“Incredibles 2” returns with its lovable cast of characters, top-notch voice talent, and a snazzy and snappy score that’s infused with the musical equivalent of onomatopoeia.

Despite being a movie that took over a decade to make, “Incredibles 2” doesn’t feel dated. There’s plenty of fun, laughs and (surprisingly intense) action. Youngsters who may not have seen the first film aren’t punished for it — they’ll be able to follow along easily.

Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) leads the way in a time when being a superhero is still against the law. The family’s lead heroine and mom is recruited to save the day and try to bring superheroes back into the good graces of a government that doesn’t trust them.

That leaves Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) — who wasn’t asked to be a part of these efforts — no choice but to stay at home with his super-powered kids, generating moments that provide “Incredibles 2” with most of its laughs, especially once everyone realizes that baby Jack-Jack has super powers too.

Family dynamic

The family dynamic continues to be the heart of this franchise.

A teenage daughter, Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell), wants nothing to do with anyone. Dash (Huck Milner) would be hyper all the time if he didn’t have super-speed (which he does).

Baby brother Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) has the power to do seemingly whatever he wants, and Mr. Incredible struggles to sit on the bench with his mask off while his wife gets to be in the public eye.

Samuel L. Jackson is also back as Frozone. You half-expect his character, powered by Jackson’s unmistakable voice, to call in the Avengers, since he plays Nick Fury in that franchise. Hey, “Incredibles 2” is under the Disney umbrella — they could probably make it happen — but this superhero universe is entertaining enough that extra “suits” aren’t needed.

It’s a wonder we live in a world where multiple not-so-great Fantastic Four movies exist and yet the Incredibles franchise can just dust itself off after so many years and show Hollywood how it’s done.

Not-so-mysterious mystery

The big mystery of “Incredibles 2” might be its only flaw. It’s not difficult to figure out who’s underneath the mask of main villain Screenslaver, although you should remind yourself this is a movie for kids before you give yourself too many Scooby Snacks for mentally unmasking this film’s big bad.

Everything “Incredibles 2” needed to do, it does, simultaneously re-establishing a Pixar/superhero franchise that still has plenty of life left in it while also proving animation is still a force in superhero entertainment.

The upcoming “Teen Titans Go!” and Sony’s animated Miles Morales/Spider-Man movies should be thankful this movie arrived when it did.

“Incredibles 2” is a must-see and worth the wait.

David Betancourt is a Washington Post writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.