Cinema Review: The Incredibles 2

About ten minutes or so before the end of this thunderously boring cartoon, I glanced at my companion. Her ears, like mine, were bleeding from the constant aural onslaught. We had no option but to flee, fearing that the grand-finale smash-up might deafen us irreparably. This is one of those movies that, ostensibly, presents itself as a spoof but follows to the letter the guidelines of the subject it wants to make fun of. In this case, as the title suggests, that subject is the Marvel super-hero (and am I the only cinema-goer who longs for the day when Marvel will have disappeared up its own combustible anus?). The Parr family is back – lantern-jawed Bob (voiced by Craig T Nelson), Helen (Holly Hunter), feisty daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell), plus a brat son and baby. All of them are ‘Supers’. At the time we are reunited with the Parrs, superheroes have been outlawed because, costwise, they are more trouble than they are worth to the city. In a campaign to have the law repealed, Helen, as Elastigirl, takes on the arch-villain Screenslaver, whose power lies in being able to hack computers. The big deal, the ‘iconoclasm’, is meant to be with the missus going out to work while hubby stays at home dealing with the endless challenges of raising bub and keeping the household functioning. There are some reasonable gags in these domestic scenes, especially as Bob gets more and more frazzled by the task, but this sequel is nowhere near as witty as 2004’s original (not that I am entirely sure any more that that was as funny as I remembered it). The animation is as beautiful as you’d expect from Pixar/Disney – a sequence in which Elastigirl chases a metro train is particularly good – but social comment is neither original nor sharp enough to be cutting. More interesting by a country mile is the wordless Japanese short preceding it about a stay-at-home mother who dreams that her departed son reappears to her as a dumpling.

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