New from A Reel of One’s Own by Andrea Thompson: Incredibles 2 : Who’s afraid of the superpowered woman?

By Andrea Thompson

uperhero movies are such a part of our theatergoing experience that it’s easy to forget Pixar’s The Incredibles riffed on the conventions of the genre before it became pervasive. The movie came out in 2004, four years before Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Comics Universe, and unlike other movies revolving around costumed crime-fighters, it focused on family dynamics. It’s as much a period film as an action film. Helen (given voice by Holly Hunter) and Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) are superheroes Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible, who fought crime in a golden age resembling the late 1940s or early ’50s but were forced to give up their alter egos after civilians began suing superheroes for the property damage they caused and superheroes were declared illegal. Fifteen years later, Helen and Bob have moved to the 60s-era suburbs. Bob works at an insurance job he despises, while Helen has found contentment as a stay-at-home mom to their three children: teenage Violet (Sarah Vowell), who can turn invisible and create force fields; Dash, who has superspeed; and infant Jack-Jack, whose powers have yet to emerge.

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