4 out of 5

2004 was a long time ago…14 years to be precise (you’re welcome). That’s when we last heard from “The Incredibles,” a family with super powers forced to hide everything they could do and blend in with society because they were deemed too dangerous — in spite of the good they could do.

It seemed like after that movie was released we were set up for a long run of Incredibles movies similar to Toy Story, or other well-known Pixar / Disney animated releases. Heck, it even ended on a cliff hanger — leading us to believe that if successful — the sequel would be coming soon. But alas, for a plethora of reasons — it didn’t happen. There were rumors every now and then, but it really did appear for all intents and purposes the Incredibles would be a one and done.

I’ll be the first to admit that the first film was quite a bit different — at least to me — compared to the rest of the Disney animated world. It seemed more serious, more adult — almost as if it could have been a live action movie. I had very young children at the time in my house — and they just didn’t seem to go for Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, as they did for Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Dory and Nemo, or Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. It was a good movie — very well received in the movie world — it just seemed to fall a bit flat in my household. I’m not even sure of the reason why. Perhaps it was because it dealt with adults and their issues and that was harder to relate to for my kids — but in the end it just came and went.

Over time, though, after we purchased the DVD — the movie really started to grow on me. The story was solid and the cool 60’s vibe, along with the characters ultimately made it one of my favorite — if not THE favorite of the Pixar films. So I, along with a lot of other people, began to clamber for the second installment. Well, after too many years to count (you’ll recall from my supreme math skills — it’s be 14 years), “Incredibles 2” is finally here.

This film picks up right where the first movie left off — with The Underminer erupting from the ground declaring war, with the Incredibles taking off to confront him. Just as they had with Syndrome initially — the Incredibles stop great harm from coming to the city — but ultimately The Underminer escapes with money he robs from the bank and the city is left with a lot of damage. All of the good graces that were built up in their ending of Syndrome are quickly erased and once again, the Incredibles and Super Heroes everywhere are forced to go underground — as their powers are declared illegal. Even their fixer, Rick Dicker, is forced out of a job — leaving the Incredibles with nowhere to live, and nowhere to work. This of course, causes turmoil in the family, as Mr. Incredible / Bob Parr feels the gifts they have are just that — gifts — and shouldn’t force them to go underground. Elastigirl, or Helen Parr, is ready to leave the life behind and move on. Just as it seems the family is losing their grip — their old friend, Frozone / Lucius Best tells them of a man and an organization who wants to help the Supers and turn public opinion once more in their favor.

Initially reluctant, Helen agrees to Bob’s pleas to see what it’s all about and they, along with Frozone, meet Winston and Evelyn Deavor — the owners of a world-class telecommunications company — who are bound and determined to manufacture situations that make the Supers look good, so the public will once again accept them.

The difference this time, however, is instead of Bob / Mr. Incredible being the one to execute the missions — Elastigirl / Helen is chosen — due to the fact that she is less expensive in her damages to the city. This is where my only reservation about the movie takes place — because just as in the first movie when Helen had to take care of the home situation, while Bob was doing Supers stuff — it’s the same in this movie, just in reverse. That provides some moments of great humor as Bob figures out how to be a stay-at-home-dad, but the storyline just felt a bit lazy to me.

Even the bad guy in the end — without giving too much away is very similar to how things turned out in the first movie. Perhaps 14 years will erase that much from people’s immediate memories. It’s still a very fun movie, acted well, strongly written and just a lot of fun. Exactly what you go to the movies for. Something tells me it won’t be that long before we see “Incredibles 3” this time around.

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