(In Theatres, June 2018) It’s hard to recapture magic, especially if everyone is expecting it—so it is that while The Incredibles 2 does manage to be in the same vein as its predecessor, it can’t quite reach the same level of quality. Still, it’s fun to spend time with the Parr family again, especially when they inhabit as cool an art deco world as the one they have—seriously, the art design of the film is a thing of wonder, and the film is very pretty to look at. As for plotting, well, maybe the folks at Pixar should let go of their screenwriting manuals to get new ones, because it does feel as if it repeats a lot of recent movies, leaving little in terms of surprise. (Even the film’s surprises are not surprising.) Fortunately, the film does well on execution—the state of the art has evolved significantly since the first Incredibles, and the result is up to anything else coming out of Pixar. Script-wise, it seems to me that the film took a step back from elements of the first film (such as discovering Jack-Jack’s powers) and doesn’t have as much to go on after resolving so many prior conflicts—the best we have is Helen going off on her own and Bob being resentful, which is something but not much. Still, I had a pretty good time watching The Incredibles 2, and it will make a perfectly acceptable companion in the inevitable double-feature Blu-ray case.