MOVIE REVIEW

Fighting Crime, and Family Time

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It's been 14 years since we had a film featuring the first family of superheroes, but they are back and ready for action in the animated film "Incredibles 2" from director Brad Bird.

Supers, as the superheroes are known, have been shoved underground. There is no place for them in society as the people are tired of the destruction they leave in their wake. The Incredibles just want to continue their mission to help those less fortunate, but when the superhero program is shut down once and for all, they must start a new life.

Enter Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener). The two want nothing more than to return supers back to public acceptance. To do so, they enlist the talents of Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), mainly because she doesn't leave PR nightmares behind like the messes that follow in the wake of Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson). So Elastigirl is off to work to save the supers while Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible's alter ego) watches the kids. But who has the easier job? And will they succeed?

Bob is left to manage moody teenager Violet (Sarah Vowell), speedy youngster Dash (Huck Milner), who is struggling with math, and baby Jack-Jack, who the family is just realizing might have a series of powers of his own. And Bob has never been the stay-at-home-dad type, but he must take over while Helen, better known as Elastigirl, is off trying to save the world from the evil Screenslaver.

"Incredibles 2" provides us with a long-overdue sequel to the immensely popular original film, and the good news is, despite the 14-year time gap, it still works. The story of the film provides us with more of a narrative around growing up with your family than it does with crime-fighting. Sure, we get some classic action sequences, but where the film shines is in the familial-relations category.

The best sequences in the film focus around Jack-Jack's growth and how the family handles it. Violet's relationship that starts and quickly fizzles (thanks to a memory wipe of the boy she is to go on a date with) also finds a way to entertain while dealing with the real issue of adolescence for teenagers. Great topics and a great voice cast combine to produce yet another solid film.

I was only let down by some of the animation, which felt almost unfinished compared to the depth present in the bulk of the story. I know there was probably a purpose for this, but at first glance it was distracting and seemed grossly out of place.

I'll fight crime any time with this first family of superheroes — just don't make me babysit Jack-Jack.

Paul's Grade: B+

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