Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 7.10.37 PMHard as it is to believe, it’s been 14 years since the Incredibles hit  movies theaters around the world. I didn’t actually get round to seeing it until a good few years later and even though I loved it, I’ve only watched it once. It’s pretty much a perfect movie, confirmed by it being the first animated movie to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It represents a period where Pixar could do no wrong. So we walk into Incredibles 2 with some trepidation, but assured at least that this wasn’t a rush job. No one was on a cash grab here. Maybe they were waiting on the right story.

We pick up events pretty much where we left off, with the Parr family — Bob (voiced by Craig T Nelson), Helen (Helen Hunt), Violet (Sarah Vowell) , Dash (Huck Milner), and infant Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), aided by Samuel L Jackson’s Frozone — tackling the Underminer’s attempts to rob the city’s bank. There’s something rather lovely about this; that after a 14 year wait essentially no time has passed between movies.

Ultimately, the Parrs are unsuccessful and the authorities are miffed to say the least about the significant amount of damage that’s been brought upon the city. Superheroes are banned. Uh-oh. Soon, the family is contacted by Winston Deavor, a superhero fan, telecommunications tycoon, and owner of DEVTECH, played in true Saul Goodman style by Bob Odenkirk. Winston is the mouth of the company and his sister Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener), is the creative genius behind DEVTECH tech. They propose a publicity stunt to get the public’s opinion of Superheroes back onside. As Helen is the least destructive of the family, given her ability is her elasticity, she’s the one chosen and so leaves Bob to look after the kids.

And so the movie continues very much with the females leading events. Helen is doing great work tracking down a new superbaddie called Screenslaver who uses hypnosis transmitted electronically to control their victims. Later, when the kids have to rally to save the day, it’s Violet who’s in control of matters.

It’s enormous fun throughout. Writer and director, Brad Bird, has developed a story that is part superhero espionage, part media manipulation commentary, and part kitchen sink drama as Bob struggles with Jack-Jack and his relationship with his daughter, who following a mind wipe of a boy who saw her sans mask, has lost her love interest as well as her desire to be an Incredible. The laughs, more often or not, come from Jack-Jack and the discovery that he is, in fact, in possession of 17 super powers but is without the ability to control any of them.

Visually, it’s absolutely sumptuous. I don’t know if there’s been a quantum leap in computer animation since I saw Lego Ninjago but this looks beautiful, particularly the water scenes and the hair. It used to be that the weight was missing from characters. That wouldn’t appear to be the case anymore.

The highest accolade I offer movies here is to refer to them as a triumph. So is this a triumph? Well, not quite. It’s close. The threads of the movie sometimes overwhelm the overall arc of the movie and the revelation of the baddie’s true identity is telegraphed quite heavily from early on. Through no fault of the film, I will shamefully admit that I dozed off for five minutes near the start, and I still managed to guess about a half-hour ahead of time.

The wait has been worth it. But let’s not keep it so long next time, eh?

PS — The short is wonderful, too.