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“Incredibles 2” more than lives up to its namesake

HOLLYWOOD HEROES™: For years, the one product that fans have been begging Pixar to put into production is a sequel to The Incredibles. As other properties have been given one or even two sequels, this film of theirs has remained untouched. This week, however, that all changes. Incredibles 2 is hitting screens, and having seen it last week, I can gladly report that this is closer to a Toy Story outing than a Cars outing. Pixar has never fully swung and missed, but their franchise outings have been hit or miss. This is a huge hit though, and in some ways even better than the original.

The flick is a followup to the original outing, The Incredibles. Our favorite superhero family from the first one is back, again consisting of patriarch Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice of Craig T. Nelson), matriarch Helen Parr / Elastigirl (voice of Holly Hunter), daughter Violet Parr (voice of Sarah Vowell), son Dash Parr (voice of Huck Milner), and baby Jack-Jack (voice of Eli Fucile). When their latest adventure again catches the ire of the government, Bob and Helen are recruited, along with colleague Lucius Best / Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson), to work for entrepreneur Winston Deavor (voice of Bob Odenkirk). Winston and his sister Evelyn Deavor (voice of Catherine Keener) choose Helen as their showcase hero, leaving Bob to care for the kids at home. Things aren’t as they seem, however, and soon the whole family will be in on the heroics. Brad Bird returns to write and direct, with other voice work including Jonathan Banks, Barry Bostwick, Sophia Bush, Phil LaMarr, John Ratzenberger, Isabella Rossellini, and Bird himself, again as Edna Mode. Michael Giacchino contributes another memorable score.

All of the magic from the first one is still very much here. From the action set pieces to the voice work, all the way to Giacchino’s score, it’s all as good, or better, than last time. The thing that elevates this work is that it has a female centric bent, operating in a world that is desperately in need of that. Bird deserves a ton of credit for waiting until he had a story to tell before making this movie. Too often, a sequel is green lit before the film in question is ready to go. Not so here, and Pixar should be commended. Discretion has led to another cannon worthy outing by the premiere animation company in the business.

Incredibles 2 has a chance to not only run away with Best Animated Feature, but truly be a bigger Oscar contender for Pixar. To be sure, Disney can campaign the film in Best Picture, Best Director (for Bird), Best Adapted Screenplay (also for Bird), the aforementioned Best Animated Feature, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. At least a nomination in Animated Feature is assured of, with Adapted Screenplay, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Original Score also in play. Depending on how other similar contenders fare, the road to glory for this movie could be a pretty smooth one.

On Friday, fans of the first one will be in for another treat when Incredibles 2 opens up. In a few days I’ll rank all of the Pixar outings to date, but for now, just know that this is one of the better ones. Everything you could want is here. It’s truly a delightful work. The Academy Awards will in all likelihood name it the best animated film of 2018, but it’s more than that. Here in June, it’s among the year’s best overall. The movie is a must see, for fans and newcomers alike. Give it a look and you’ll understand why. It’s the best of the summer blockbusters so far…

Be sure to check out Incredibles 2, in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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