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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 19, 2018

Incredibles 2 Movie Review: The Superhero Family Battles A Villain Called Screenslaver Who Takes Advantage Of Our Being Enslaved By Today's Technology

WE CAN’T believe that the first “The Incredibles” was shown 14 years ago in 2004 yet. It seems fresh to us as we’ve seen our younger grandchildren watching it on video. But it’s an origin story about a family of superheroes, the Parrs, that really calls for new chapters. And now, it’s finally here, “Incredibles 2”, and we’re happy to report that it’s as family friendly as the first movie, developing its themes while also smartly venturing into new grounds.

Trust Disney’s Pixar to come up with really good sequels like what they did to “Toy Story”, “Finding Nemo” and “Cars”. Director Brad Bird (who first made waves in “Iron Giant” then in “Ratatouille”) makes sure it’s not just a mere retread of his first movie and he certainly recovers after his dissapointing work in his last movie, “Tomorrowland” . Although the original was made 14 years ago, the sequel now picks up where the first one ended.

A villain called the Underminer, which is like a mole, burrows through the city and robs banks from below. The Parrs stop him but there’s already so much damage and they were blamed for it. Bank officials said they shouldn’t have meddled as they would rather just let the criminals get away with it since banks have insurance anyway.

Sadly, this leads to superhero activities being branded as illegal. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), his wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and their kids Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Huck Milner), assisted by their friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), are forced to go back into obscurity and oblivion. But the brother and sister team of Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) want the government to reverse the anti-superhero law and make superheroes great again.

To do this, they want to prove anew the value of superheroes to mankind, with Elastigirl as their example. They put a body cam on her so all the world can see her heroic deeds up close and make the public love superheroes once more. So while his wife returns to being a crimefighter, Mr. Incredible becomes a stay-at-home Mr. Mom to raise their kids, which is in itself is surely a different kind of heroism.

He experiences the hardships of rearing kids as a single parent and his male ego suffers because it’s his wife who gains fame in her latest exploits. Violet is having teenage problems with a boy she has a crush on while Dash needs to be tutored about the new math.

Meantime, their baby brother, Jack-Jack, is starting to display some very new and stunning superpowers that can be destructive, like suddenly bursting into flames, having laser eyes or multiplying like clones, which makes him really difficult to handle. This is best displayed in that amusing sequence where the baby fights a feisty racoon on their yard.

We’re also introduced to some new heroes like Voyd, Screech and Reflux, and there’s a new villain called Screenslaver (Bill Wise) who hypnotizes people through today’s most popular addiction: the screens on our computers, tablets, cellphones. The film actually insinuates that we should detach ourselves from our addictive attachment to technology that now enslaves us.

The animation work and the writing in the movie are all done smoothly. The narrative just flows seamlessly from comedy to action to family film. And the action sequences can be quite breathtaking. There’s a finely tuned pulse-pounding action sequence with Elastigirl and a runaway train that is just brilliantly conceived and spectacularly executed, then heading to the film’s thrilling, eye-popping grand finale on air and at sea. All in all, it offers highly smart and funny entertainment fare for the whole family.  #ShowbizPortal #Incredibles2