The man who services our water softener admits “I’m not into kid movies…but Incredibles 2 is something else.” He’s spot on. Director/animator Brad Bird and everyone else involved in this stunner from Pixar knows that “It’s the story, stupid,” and they spent years getting it right. Building on the Mr. Mom concept, Elastigirl (Helen Hunt) takes a new job, so Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) must assume the Super Dad persona and cope with the 24-7 challenges of caring for 8th-grade daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell) faster-than-a-speeding-bullet son, Flash (Huck Milner), and the fire-flaming, laser-vision, disappearing baby, Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile, Maeve Andrews) who defies the laws of physics.
This “biggest animated box-office of all time” winner builds upon the Wonder Woman phenomenon by not only having the main action-hero be female, but a “super mom” as well. We soon witness that Elastigirl is confident and capable in a job that requires away from home travel, a broad knowledge base, people skills, and charisma in front of the media.
For those who don’t recall, the set up is that in a parallel universe of mid-century design (where technology is advanced far beyond even Elon Musk’s private imaginings), superheroes are banned everywhere on Earth because of the expensive collateral damage caused while chasing the bad guys. For the now permanently out of their super-suits Parr family, this means that all five of the former Incredibles are moping around the motel room the government provides them because their house was destroyed by aforesaid bad guys. A spark of hope comes from billionaire brother-sister media gurus Evelyn and Winston Deaver (Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk), who choose Elastigirl as the perfect role model for their ad campaign to make superheroes legal again. So she dons a silvery super-suit with a built in body-cam that records heroics from the superhero’s POV. 
Elastigirl instantly goes into her “SAVE THEM” mode during a TV interview when a bad guy called “Screensaver,” hypnotizes anyone watching a video screen. Since this includes the pilot of a helicopter circling above carrying the Ambassador, Elastigirl stretches herself to the limit, boards the whirlybird in flight, and uses her body as a parachute to bring the Ambassador. safely down to earth.
Meanwhile, back at the luxurious, water-feature-filled home provided by the Deavers, Violet is grappling with a boyfriend who suddenly doesn’t know who she is, Dash doesn’t understand his math homework, and Jack-Jack is experimenting with his newfound superpowers while wrestling with a raccoon. Through it all, Dad is doggedly trying to cope with kids, laundry, dishes, and cleaning up after Jack-Jack’s messy experiments. So of course, he tells Helen (by phone), that “everything is fine.”
One of the cleverest sequences involves visiting super-suit designer Edna (Brad Bird) so she can create a costume for Jack-Jack. When asked to babysit the toddler, the notoriously reclusive Edna archly replies “I don’t DO babies.” But Jack-Jack invents a way to be irresistible, so Edna willingly tells Bob “Take as long as you need,” while shooing him out the door. The next day, Edna proudly shows Bob that her newest super-suit is designed to anticipate and contain Jack-Jack’s multiple powers. We watch as the baby bursts into flame, which the suit extinguishes with blackberry-flavored fire retardant.
Elastigirl’s heroics and the ad campaign seem to be working, and we are introduced to a handful of superheroes whose names indicate their skill set: He-lectrix; Brick; and even Reflux (an elderly man with acid reflux so bad he vomits molten lava).
Like all great films, Incredibles 2 can be viewed in many different ways: a critique of new laws created by poll numbers; a cautionary tale of the powers behind the screens everyone slavishly watches; an homage to the unsung heroes known as parents; Super-Momism; a brilliantly animated work of art captured by cinematographer Mahyer Abousaeedi; composer Michael Giacchino’s melding of musical themes reminiscent of secret agent and superheroes films from times gone by; and/or, the superb voice talents. You pick (or add your own ideas to the list).
Bottom line, make time to see this intelligent, brilliantly animated, fun for everyone kind of movie about a family a lot like ours (well, maybe not exactly like ours but still instantly identifiable to any parent trying to decipher “New Math” homework with their kids).
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