FILM: Incredibles 2

 “Welcome to Katz Reviews. This is Ed Katz of Katnip Marketing- marketing consultant by day; theater and film critic by night- bringing my weekly review segment, Katz Reviews, here for you on WICC 600.

Today’s review is for the movie that broke all sorts of records for an animated release. And it’s a sequel. Opening weekend it raked in over 180 million dollars at the U.S. box office. As I write this, it’s passed the 500 million dollar mark. Incredible, right?

Right- it’s ‘Incredibles 2,’ the sequel to the 2004 original which, I will tell you, is one of my family’s favorite films.

As a parent (or grandparent), I know there are movies you just have to take the kids to. I get it. You go for them and you sit through the inane, annoying and pandering schlock Hollywood cranked out to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours- and to keep their box office humming.

‘The Incredibles’ was different. First, it was a terrific film. If you never saw the original, I highly recommend it. Oh, sure, kids will love it, too- but it’s that rare Hollywood animated film that can be better appreciated by the grown-ups than the kids. Because it shows how tough it can be to be a parent and to strive to achieve the mythical “work/life” balance. And it does it with humor, charm- and a lot of intelligence behind it.

 Edna, from thepinsta

That came from Brad Bird, who wrote and directed both the original and ‘Incredibles 2.’ He also added the voice of the diminutive Edna, the Incredibles’ artsy costume designer and gadget inventor.

Happily, Edna is back in this sequel, too.

 Frozone, from MovieWebNews

And the sequel does bring back all the original characters- Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as Elastigirl, his wife, and Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone.

Why did it take 14 years to make the sequel? I don’t know- but there is a brief intro to the film where Nelson, Hunter and Jackson all joke about it.

The plot centers on the world banning superheroes because, in trying to save people and stop criminals, the collateral damage they cause is just too expensive. As one law enforcement agent says to the Incredibles, insurance covers the loss from theft- but the government has to pay for cleaning the mess from the “Supers,” as those with special powers are called.

 Winston Deavor and Mr. Incredible, from MAMA

Luckily, the wealthy brother and sister Winston and Evelyn Deavor- voiced by Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener- want to subsidize a movement to restore the supers’ legal status- so they can continue to try to save the world from bad guys. And Winston develops a PR initiative (as a marketer, I can appreciate that) to show why the world needs the Supers and the benefits they provide.

To do that PR effort, Winston says, Elastigirl needs to be the spokesperson- which relegates Mr. Incredible (much to his chagrin) to taking care of their kids- two of school age plus their baby, Jack-Jack, who is frequently passed around like a football.

This is the clever spin the movie puts on the current “equal pay movement” and it shows the glory Elastigirl gets for saving a train, and an ambassador, while Mr. Incredible is sleep-deprived trying to help his kids- his daughter with her school crush issues with a classmate, his son with his “new math” homework, and taking care of baby Jack-Jack.

The film’s look is infused with a retro-future sensibility as some devices are futuristic yet the setting is, for the most part, a throwback to the 60’s, perhaps symbolizing the clash of the changing nature of family values between today and then. Watch for the character of Rick Dicker- drawn to look like Richard Nixon.

I give the ‘Incredibles 2’ 4 stars out of 5. While it isn’t quite as great as the original, it is still a terrific sequel- fun for the grown-up in all of us. And kids, too.

Catch my reviews right here this time each week and on my Facebook page and website, Katz Reviews dot com, where you will find all my WICC 600 reviews. This is Ed Katz talking movies for WICC 600!”