Harm­less and fun fam­ily film


Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Jeff Ruf­folo

I HATE se­quels!

That be­ing said, “In­cred­i­bles 2” is clearly the best an­i­mated su­per­hero movie of 2018 and I am one of its de­trac­tors.

Here is the of­fi­cial synop­sis:

“Bob Parr ( Mr. In­cred­i­ble) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elasti­girl) is out sav­ing the world.” Yes, that’s it! Let’s all step back for a mo­ment and take a re­ally good look at the Parr fam­ily.

You have Bob Parr/Mr. In­cred­i­ble with his su­per girth and su­per strength (Craig T. Nel­son); Helen Parr/Elasti­girl (Holly Hunter) with su­per stretch­ing abil­i­ties; their old­est Vi­o­let (Sarah Vow­ell) who can turn in­vis­i­ble; Dashiell (Dash) (Huck Mil­ner) with su­per speed and Baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fu­cile) a shape shifter who can also shoot

laser beams from his eyes.

This con­tin­u­a­tion be­gins mere sec­onds af­ter the con­clu­sion of the orig­i­nal “In­cred­i­bles” of 14 years ago when “Dash” won his first track meet; the 15-year-old Vi­o­let made plans to see her (po­ten­tial) boyfriend later that week.

The fam­ily is head­ing home when sec­onds later ... dis­as­ter strikes. It’s the Un­der­miner! Hold it right there, buster! Here’s my first beef with this Pixar car­toon/film: No “time jump”!

Why aren’t we fast for­ward­ing to 14 years in­stead to see Vi­o­let at 30 with her own set of fam­ily is­sues? Or Dash as a science teacher by day and pre­serv­ing his su­per speed for some dar­ing deeds? Or Jack-Jack in high school? In­stead, writer/direc­tor Brad Bird just keeps the film go­ing as the Parr fam­ily stum­bles a bit but eas­ily de­feats the Un­der­miner only to be se­duced, along with the “ice­man” Lu­cius Best/Fro­zone (Samuel L. Jack­son) by huck­ster Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) who wants to build a mas­sive PR cam­paign around the re­turn of su­per­heroes to the world, start­ing with Elasti­girl.

Ac­tu­ally what Deavor re­ally wants is to put Elasti­girl un­der his—wink, wink—con­trol and pur­posely is sep­a­rat­ing her from the rest of the su­per­pow­ered fam­ily mem­bers, leav­ing “Mr. In­cred­i­ble” alone to man­age the kids.

Hold it right there, buster (again)!

Which brings my sec­ond beef (hold the onions) with “In­cred­i­bles 2”: the com­plete in­ep­ti­tude of the fam­ily fa­ther to man­age three lit­tle kids— al­beit, su­per-pow­ered ones.

I am writing this re­view at 5:42 a.m. and in less than 15 min­utes, my three su­per mu­tants (the twins, Ni­cholas and An­toinette are nearly five and Baby Jeff Jr, age two) will be up and run­ning. Our own “Elasti­girl,” the ever lovely Mrs. Cris Evert Ruf­folo is off on a world-beat­ing as­sign­ment far to the south of metro Cebu, which leaves this like­wise su­per fam­ily fa­ther to get these kids show­ered, dressed, make break­fast, clean and wash the dishes, pack their bags and hus­tle them off to school—all within the next 90 min­utes. No prob­lem. But in “In­cred­i­bles 2,” Mr. In­cred­i­ble is any­thing but that.

He is to­tally in­ept as I sup­pose the film­mak­ers at Pixar think all work­ing fa­thers can nei­ther chew gum, stand up ver­ti­cally and chal­lenge the day. Sigh. Thank you. I feel much bet­ter now.

So, the child-weary Mr. In­cred­i­ble (un­less he is body slam­ming some­one into a ce­ment wall) is re­ally a wussie, un­able to man­age him­self nor his chil­dren of who he even­tu­ally turns them loose along with some newly found su­per bud­dies—Voyd (Sophia Bush) be­ing one of note—in the film’s fi­nal reel in which their city gets trashed but ul­ti­mately the In­cred­i­bles (again) save the day.

I can eas­ily re­late to Bob Parr deal­ing with his baby boy, Jack-Jack, who has laser vi­sion.

I have one of those lit­tle ones right here.

Our lit­tle Jeff Jr. can (and fre­quently does) shoot pro­jec­tiles out of his body. Just not out of his eyes. This is a Pixar film. You ex­pected some­thing else, maybe?

“In­cred­i­bles 2” is a fun fam­ily film that does no real harm.

Just re­mem­ber: It’s a car­toon!

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