MOVIE BUFF-ET: ‘Incredibles 2’ proves to be worth the wait

Disney Pixar

Normally 14 years is way too long of a wait for a sequel to be marketable.

The engine that is Hollywood just churns too fast and the taste of the audience is just too fickle for that kind of gestation period, especially with a family movie.

However, “Incredibles 2” not only climbed that mountain, but conquered it.

New In Local Theaters

  • Incredibles 2 (PG) 2 hr. 6 min.
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Rogers Towne, Malco Pinnacle Hills, Bentonville Skylight)
    » Watch trailer
  • Tag (R) 1 hr. 40 min.
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Rogers Towne, Bentonville Skylight)
    » Watch trailer
  • Superfly (R) 1 hr. 56 min.
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle Hills)
    » Watch trailer

Yes, the 12-year-olds who thrilled to the original movie are old enough to have kids in the bullseye age for all the licensed “Incredibles 2” goods that have no doubt already filled the shelves of Wal-Mart and its arch nemesis Target, but that just multiplies the audience for this fantastically entertaining movie.

Fourteen years is a long time by anyone’s account, but maybe it was just the right amount of time for writer-director Brad Bird because not only did he recapture all the magic and fun of the original, but he also made one of the most entertaining movies of the year.

A decade and a half later, Bird’s pitch of combining all the action, adventure, and intrigue of a space-age super-heroes film with the everyday humor of a classic family sit-com remains a great way to entertain as well as comment on the zombie-like existence modern society has carved out for itself with its increasing reliance on technology.

While the further adventures of Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) and Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) along with their children Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack does carry a message, the movie never loses its sense of humor, fun, and adventure.

Picking up where the last movie left off, the concern over destructiveness of super-hero battles and antics pushes the Incredibles and other heroes back underground, but telecommunications tycoon and super-hero fan Winston Deaver (Bob Odenkirk) has a plan to make supers socially acceptable again by pushing Elastigirl out front and having Mr. Incredible sink to the back. With his wife at the forefront of the new hero movement, Mr. Incredible takes on the role of Mr. Mom, and hilarity and hijinks ensue.

With a sequel, always comes the question whether or not it is better than the original. I’m not sure that’s the right question.

I don’t know if I would call “Incredibles 2” better than the original, but I would liken watching it to having another wonderful meal at a favorite restaurant. So satisfying.

I had a ball watching the movie. It’s so clever, funny, and heartwarming, and it has a reach as broad as Mr. Incredible’s shoulders that should please young and old alike.

(PG) 2 hr. 6 min.
Grade: A

Classic Corner

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)


When you think of casting a rugged mountain man, Robert Redford probably isn’t the first name to come to mind. Why would you cover all those good looks up with facial hair and fur?

However, Redford’s turn as a mountain man in the 1972 Sydney Pollock-directed film “Jeremiah Johnson” rests right under “The Sting” as my favorite Redford movie. It’s a subjective call for sure, considering how brightly he shines in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Barefoot in the Park,” but one of the reasons I like the film so much is that Redford does play against type so well in the stark yet poignant drama set in the early years of the U.S.’s Westward Expansion.

Redford plays the titular character, who is a veteran of the Mexican-American War who eschews society to make his way north into mountains to forge his own lonely path. Woefully unprepared for the hardships coming his way, Johnson only survives thanks to the mentorship of seasoned mountain man Bear Claw Chris Lapp (Will Geer), who reluctantly passes on the survival skills that help keep Johnson alive.

Unfortunately as Johnson becomes more skilled his feud with the Crow tribe and the warrior-chief Paints-His-Shirt-Red (Joaquin Martinez) only grows more and more deadly, eventually robbing Johnson of everything he loves.

The film is gorgeously shot on location in Utah and features the requisite battles with weather, wild animals, and even more dangerous human rivals.

“Jeremiah Johnson,” which was originally developed for Lee Marvin and passed through Clint Eastwood’s hands before he opted to make “Dirty Harry” instead, airs at 7 p.m. CT. Saturday on Turner Classic Movies.