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American films

Incredibles 2 film review: Pixar’s superhero family returns for superior sequel

Director Brad Bird surpasses his original film with a tightly scripted, effervescently animated adventure that makes a cogent point about our over-reliance on screen time

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 7:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 7:00am

4/5 stars

Pixar’s Incredibles 2 picks up almost from where its predecessor ended. Of course, in reality it has been 14 years since the original hit screens. In that time, Brad Bird’s film about a family of superheroes has taken on increased resonance, with Hollywood studios more determined to milk the craze for comic book characters.

With Bird returning once again to the helm, Incredibles 2 feels just as sharp as The Incredibles – perhaps even sharper because of the baggage it now travels with.

The director swiftly reunites us with the Parr family – Mr Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and the children Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack.

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In a world where superheroes are still illegal, the family is left in an awkward position – that is until they meet tech-savvy CEO Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk). Along with his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener), Deavor is determined to change opinion about these crime-fighters.

The plan revolves around installing cameras in their outfits so the public can witness their derring-do, although initially only Elastigirl is recruited – Mr Incredible is left, quite literally, holding the baby (and he soon discovers that Jack-Jack has powers of his own). Meanwhile, a new threat arrives in the shape of the villainous Screenslaver, who is hypnotising victims via television.

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Bird keeps the plot flying, even if the twists are rather obvious, with a breezy mix of comedy and action. Jack-Jack’s fight with a raccoon in the backyard is a particular comic delight, as is the reunion with Edna Mode, the diminutive designer who fashions all of the Parrs’ outfits. There’s also a return for Samuel L. Jackson’s icy hero Frozone.

Bar the remarkable Toy Story 3 , Pixar’s sequels have often not quite matched up to the high standards set by the originals. But Bird surpasses The Incredibles here with a tightly scripted, effervescently animated adventure that makes a cogent point about our over-reliance on screen time. A wonderful rejoinder to the DC and Marvel superhero movies, Incredibles 2 nails it.

Incredibles 2 opens on July 19

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