Film reviews: Incredible powers of younster Jack-Jack

Incredibles 2. Picture PA.
Incredibles 2. Picture PA.

INCREDIBLES 2 (PG)

The odds of a lightning strike on the same spot 14 years apart are astronomical, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the long-awaited sequel to Disney Pixar’s masterpiece falls tantalisingly short of the genius of its predecessor.

Incredibles 2 is bigger in scope and ambition than the original and boasts thrilling action set pieces as well as a familiar menagerie of endearing characters including diminutive fashion oracle Edna Mode, whose ability to scene-steal has not waned since 2004.

The sequel exploits the burgeoning powers of the youngest and cutest member of the Parr clan, baby Jack-Jack, for uproarious laughs and there are some terrific sequences. Brad Bird’s sequel is effortlessly entertaining and when the script hits its mark, guffaws come thick and fast but memories of the flawless original film temper enthusiasm for this return to dysfunctional super-powered family life.

THE SECRET OF MARROWBONE (15)

Screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez, who penned the script to the 2007 Spanish horror The Orphanage, makes his directorial debut more than a decade later with a supernatural period thriller.

The first-time filmmaker conjures a couple of decent scares, aided and abetted by Xavi Gimenez’s atmospheric cinematography, which revels in the shifting shadows and light of a creaking family homestead in a coastal American town. Sanchez delivers one deceptively satisfying twist and he elicits strong performances from a predominantly young British cast, who react instinctively to every whisper of wind or ominous groan of an attic floorboard. Some of the characters feel undernourished and the writer-director’s ambition occasionally exceeds his grasp including a frenetic resolution, which feels muddled after an assured and disturbing narrative set-up.