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INCREDIBLES 2 (Movie Review)

Superheroes are messy.

Yes, admittedly they may have the best of intentions. But every time they do battle with a bad 'un, collapsing buildings are sure to follow. Superman and Zod destroy half of Metropolis in Man of Steel. The Avengers defeated Ultron in Sokovia, but they don’t exactly leave the city better than they found it. Why, the only folks who unreservedly love superheroes these days are insurance adjusters.

The Parr family knows all about the prejudice against superheroes. Never mind that they conquered the evil Syndrome (as chronicled in the gritty documentary The Incredibles). No matter that they just stopped a new felonious evildoer, Underminer, in his subterranean tracks: “Supers” are still illegal. And, frankly, the politicians wish they would’ve left well enough—and the Underminer—alone. Bob and Helen (once the beloved Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl) along with their supercharged progeny (Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack) still aren’t allowed to use their superpowers. It’s all right there in the book: section 27, paragraph 32, line c or thereabouts.

Marketing tycoon Winston Deaver wants to change that.

Winston believes that these days, superheroes need to be more than pure of heart and strong of muscle. They need a good PR campaign, too. For way too long, superheroes have done their hero thing and slipped back into the night without a word, capes a-flapping: No flattering Instagram posts, no clever Twitter bon mots, nothing. All the public sees is the destruction heroes leave in their wake. They don’t see the heroes behind it and what made the destruction necessary. No wonder they’re not so popular these days.

Winston meets with Bob, Helen, and their friend Lucius, aka Frozone, suggesting an all-out media blitz. He wants to reintroduce Elastigirl to the world—and this time, her costume will come with a tiny camera (created by Winston’s sister, Evelyn) to show the world her derring-do. When it sees all the good that Elastigirl does, all those anti-super laws will collapse like an evil lair made of balsa wood. And the Parr family will be allowed to use its powers freely again.

'Course, that plan comes with a dollop of irony: “To fix the law, I gotta break it,” Helen says. And to help her family, she’ll have to leave it for a while—leaving Bob, that big galoot who typically solves problems by punching them, in charge.

That’s right: While Elastigirl swings into action to fight the Screen Slaver (a terrible new villain who, you might’ve guessed, can control people via their screens) Bob’s at home, taking care of the kids—helping Dash with homework, trying to lift Violet’s weighty spirits and somehow, somehow keeping baby Jack-Jack under control. How much trouble could a little baby be? Well, given that Jack-Jack has more outlandish powers than a certain caped resident of Metropolis, quite a bit. One little temper tantrum just might destroy a city block.

Yep, superheroes are messy. Especially if they don’t have full control over their super bodily functions just yet.

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