Incredibles 2, B
Rated PG-13, 118 minutes
After a 14-year wait, the colorful and long-awaited Pixar sequel "The Incredibles 2" arrives in theaters this weekend. Witty and engaging, this satire of comic book superheroes isn't quite as good as the first one, but it's still fun. Brad Bird is back as director and writer, it's filled with some good messages the family will enjoy, yet will be most appreciated by adults, especially those who enjoy superhero films in general.
Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) is now in the spotlight, leaving Bob (Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of "normal" life. It's a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack's emerging superpowers. When a new villain named Screenslaver (Bill Wise) hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again--which is easier said than done, even when they're all Incredible.
I liked the first "Incredibles" film but wasn't in love with it. I thought it was a decent, funny spoof of superhero films, but it didn't carry the same emotional gravitas as "Toy Story" or "Finding Nemo"; plus, for an animated film, I thought it was too long (over 90 minutes for an animated film is generally pushing it, but there are exceptions). "Incredibles 2" is an enjoyable experience, but like the first film it's too longand tends to play its humor mostly for adults instead of children.
All the cast members do a wonderful job: Hunter, Nelson, Jackson and Bird himself is back voicing the M-like Edna (and stealing scenes like no one's business). Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener voice a brother-sister executive team who puts the family back to work, while Jonathan Banks voices the gleefully deadpan agent Dicker, who's always there to help the family (the original voice, Bud Luckey, passed away earlier this year and this film is dedicated to him). Also stealing scenes as Frozone's largely unseen wife is Jackson's real wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
Like all Pixar films, "Incredibles 2" comes with an animated short that precedes it, this time the odd yet touching "Bao" and I'll be honest in saying it was the best thing about this whole experience. "Incredibles 2" is worth seeing and has some nice messages, proving that the best superhero team is a family unit that works together.