It’s been fourteen years since we saw our favorite animated family spring into action.  Brad Bird‘s hotly anticipated sequel “Incredibles 2” takes the next step in their epic saga of trying to live in a world where “Supers” are blamed and ridiculed for their desire and manner in saving the world.  With a rich and dynamic evolution of the characters, Brad Bird’s story pushes the family forward on their journey of self-discovery.  Where it all lands are on a sustained and enjoyable thrill ride that makes for a fabulous time at the movies.

Incredibles 2,” tells the story of our favorite superheroes, returning immediately following the events from the previous feature.  This time, Helen (voiced by Oscar-winner Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voiced by Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voiced by Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal life.”  It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers.  When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voiced by Oscar-nominee Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again, which is easier said than done.

The story keeps an engaging pace that’s mostly nurtured throughout despite its predictable plot unfolding.  Everything seems to be building to this grandiose, jaw-dropping setpiece, which works utterly on entertainment levels.  By the end, the viewer feels a bit unsatisfied and wanting more from what was just revealed.  It feels as if they were too fixated on trying to expand their universe, rather than making a concentrated effort to close the chapter soundly.

The comic book nature of the figures is wrapped into a moment where women are trying to find their voice in the world.  You may notice its timely nature but wonder why the exploration feels so much on the surface.  Digging a little deeper would have given our villain a little more depth and agency.  Where we land at the end is a vacancy of motivation sheltered in a foreseen conclusion that you can see coming from a mile away.  In fact, the surprise is who is NOT a co-villain.

The score by Michael Giacchino is one of the film’s highlights, inserting his trumpets and beats that bring the action sets to a tangible height.  His innovation and wizardry behind the scenes is an expected occurrence with every note he composes.

While the Pixar emotional drainage is missing (as we’ve come to expect with almost every effort), the striking animation and constant chuckles will deliver a picture that is something to enjoy for the whole family.  While not the most memorable in the Pixar repertoire, “Incredibles 2” shakes the screen with excitement and force.

“Incredibles 2” is currently available on Digital and will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD on Nov. 6.  The film was distributed by Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures and opened in theaters on June 15, 2018.

GRADE: (★★★)

Be sure to check out the Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where “INCREDIBLES 2” ranks among the Animated Feature contenders.