That’s ‘In­cred­i­ble’

‘Incredibles 2’ proves an­i­mated su­per­heroes are just as fun as Black Pan­ther and Won­der Woman

The Day - - DAYBREAK - By DAVID BETANCOURT

“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?

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 su-

per­heroes 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 su­per­pow­ered kids, gen­er­at­ing mo­ments that pro­vide “Incredibles 2” with most of its laughs, es­pe­cially once ev­ery­one re­al­izes that baby Jack­Jack has su­per­pow­ers too.

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.

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 reestab­lish­ing 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.

DIS­NEY/PIXAR VIA AP

Holly Hunter voices the char­ac­ter of He­len/Elasti­girl in “Incredibles 2.”

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