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'The Incredibles 2' is one of the year's smartest and most entertaining films

'The Incredibles 2' is one of the year's smartest and most entertaining films

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In the aftermath of their battle with a supervillain on a rampage with a humongous drill, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) assume that they’ll be hailed as heroes. But the authorities view the incident differently.

To them, the massive property damage is just more proof that superheroes — or “supers” — are dangerously out of control and no better than criminals. That’s disheartening news for Bob and Helen Parr, who fear that their secret identities as the formidably bulked-up Mr. Incredible and the unbelievably limber Elastigirl may no longer be viable.

Along with their children Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), the Parrs are about to resign themselves to a pursuing a normal life when their fortunes change. Telecommunications mogul Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) is not only a huge admirer of their work but also tremendously media-savvy. Deavor has a plan to get supers back into the public’s good graces — and Elastigirl is essential to its success.

Mr. Incredible is grateful for the support but a bit disappointed that he’s been relegated to the sidelines as a house husband. Similarly disgruntled is Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener), a tech genius who’s less than thrilled with toiling in her brother’s shadow.

As Elastigirl basks in the spotlight while grappling with a mysterious bad guy named Screenslaver, Mr. Incredible must struggle with his new status as Mr. Mom.

“The Incredibles 2,” which picks up where its 2004 predecessor left off, is one of the most entertaining films of the year — and one of the smartest.

Writer-director Brad Bird, who also helmed “The Incredibles,” delivers an animated adventure that can be equally enjoyed by children and adults . Kids will be delighted by Jack-Jack’s high jinks; older folks might be surprised at the sophistication with which Bird addresses the foibles of family life, the complexities of hero worship and the absurdities of consumer society.

The voice acting is first-rate, particularly Keener’s turn as the intriguing yet coolly aloof Evelyn.

Bursting with style and imagination, “The Incredibles 2” sets a standard that few superhero flicks — animated or live-action — can match.

What “The Incredibles 2” 3½ stars out of four • Run time 1:58 • Rating PG • Content Action sequences and language

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