The much-awaited sequel to 2004’s “The Incredibles” is about to hit the big screen. But was the 14-year wait worth it? Here’s what the critics are saying.
( Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 | Twitter )
The Incredibles is one of Pixar‘s most acclaimed entries out of its impressive animation roster, praised for its many complex themes: familial tumult, what it means to be a superhero, and the perils of hiding one’s true identity.
The family returns to the big screen 14 years later, picking up exactly where the last film left off — The Underminer is about to wreak havoc in the city, and Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet, and Jack Jack are all there to save the day.
Except Incredibles 2 faces a unique challenge in this new era of superhero saturation. When the first film premiered in 2004, superhero movies weren’t big spectacles — or at least not as significant as they are today, with Marvel’s films alone raking in billions of dollars in the box office. Now, audiences are starved for big-budget, larger-than-life superhero movies, but they’re also parched for good stories; those cleverly upend the superhero formula but also take advantage of it in ways that feel novel surprising.
Is ‘Incredibles 2’ Worth The Wait?
Make no mistake: this is a superhero film. The usual suspects are present: a world is in peril, a villain is causing trouble, many things are at stake, and the Parr family must save the world. But this is also a film with Pixar’s stamp of quality, which means the tropes are never just mere embellishments, but part of a larger ploy to tell a story with enormous heart and ingenuity. As such, even with the film industry inundated with superhero stories that have been told many times over, Incredibles 2 feels fresh, smart, and keen. But is it a worthy sequel?
Here’s what the critics are saying.
Incredibles 2 Review Roundup
Cinemablend: “Rather than being a disappointment, it is instead a shining example of how to do a follow-up properly — wonderfully advancing the fantastic established characters and world, playing with smart, modern themes, and featuring beautiful, engaging and fascinatingly-consistent animation.”
Vox: “Incredibles 2 lacks some of the tight plotting, well-choreographed action, and emotional moments of its predecessor, but it’s still a boatload of fun.”
Screen Rant: “It’s a mostly fun and enjoyable summer family movie — though, with a nearly two-hour runtime, some children may struggle to stay engaged. Still, considering the strong and forward-thinking films Pixar has produced in recent years, Incredibles 2 is a sequel that arrived a decade too late.”
Chicago Tribune: “Others will disagree, but to me, Incredibles 2 falls short of the level of Toy Story 2 or Finding Dory. Those Pixar sequels wholly justified their existence in many satisfying ways, while doing their corporate duty and making hundreds of millions.”
Consequence of Sound: “It’s as bright and visually inventive as its predecessor, and finds cheeky new outlets for [Bard] Bird’s unbridled cinematic sensibilities.”
RogerEbert.com: “Incredibles 2 understands something that most family sequels, even the Pixar ones, fail to comprehend — we don’t just want to repeat something we loved before. We want to love it all over again. You will with Incredibles 2.”
Vulture: “Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 is, much like its predecessor, delightful as an animated feature but really, really delightful as a superhero picture. It’s proof that someone (not anyone, mainly Bird) can make a Marvel-type movie that’s fleet and shapely, with action sequences rich in style rather than tumult.”
Slate: “Incredibles 2 is a movie that lavishes attention on the details but loses sight of the whole, where you can’t see the forest for the meticulously rendered trees.”
The Village Voice: “Pixar’s not-so-secret secret has always been that they understand parenting better than anyone else who makes movies for children. And Incredibles 2 is at its best — which is to say, it’s funniest and most exciting — when it tackles the internal dynamics of the family itself.”
Variety: “The new movie, energized as it is, too often feels like warmed-over sloppy seconds, with a what-do-we-do-now? Riff that turns into an overly on-the-nose plot.”
Incredibles 2 opens June 15.
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