The first reviews are here for Disney/Pixar's Incredibles 2. Early Incredibles 2 social media reactions were largely positive when they dropped last week, with most members of the press commending the animated superhero movie sequel for being worth the 14 year wait. Brad Bird's film has since begun to outpace its fellow Pixar sequel Finding Dory when it comes to ticket pre-sales, and is currently on its way to setting an opening weekend record for the animation studio. That's all the better news for Bird and Disney, seeing as their last film together (Tomorrowland) was an expensive misfire at the box office.
Despite taking more than a decade to come to fruition, Incredibles 2 actually picks up right after the ending to the first Incredibles movie. Since being a superhero is still technically illegal at the beginning of the film, Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) agrees to return to the field as Elastigirl and work with the U.S. government to revitalize supers' reputation in the public's eye. That leaves it to Bob aka. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) to stay at home and take care of the kids, including baby Jack-Jack and his still-developing superpowers. However, when a mysterious new villain emerges, it's going to take every superhero available to stop them.
Disney has now officially lifted the review embargo for Incredibles 2, a few days ahead of its debut in theaters around the globe. To find out what critics make of the film so far, read on for some SPOILER-FREE excerpts from the first reviews for the Incredibles sequel. (You can click the corresponding links for the full reviews.)
Meg Downey - CBR
It doesn’t really try to comment on the state of superhero movies today or wax poetic about the pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe days of yore and Incredibles the first, and it absolutely doesn’t need to. Instead, it stays comfortably in its own wheelhouse, serving up a family drama and slapstick comedy with superpowers as the garnish rather than the main course. Incredibles 2 sits as a more than worthy entry into the pantheon of Pixar sequels and a bright, stylish, hilarious return to the Parr family’s high-flying, Silver Age-flavored world.
Angie Han - Mashable
It's like the best of the Avenger-on-Avenger bits from Captain America: Civil War or Avengers: Infinity War - only better, because it's easier to follow [the] crisp, colorful action. Granted, animation has some advantages over live-action on that front. Movement can be more precisely controlled, and is less constrained by the limits of believability. (It's difficult to imagine Elastigirl, in particular, working quite as well in hyper-realistic CG.) Still, it's hard not to hope Pixar's cousins over at Marvel will borrow a few pages out of their playbook.
Robert Abele - The Wrap
[Lately], Pixar’s been quite OK mining its past to mint its present. And now Bird is in greatest-hits mode with “Incredibles 2"... The good news is that this continuation is a similarly rousing and savvy adventure that energetically serves up more of what we love - from the sleek retro-futurist designs to the ticklishly severe Eurasian super-clothier Edna Mode - and yet wisely, wittily, reverses the first film’s accommodating traditionalism to make for an even richer, funnier portrait of its tight and in-tights family.
David Griffin - IGN
Brad Bird’s strong script and direction elevate this animated adventure to new heights. Instead of trying to copy or parody the superhero films of the past 14 years, Incredibles 2 embraces what made its first outing so memorable: The Parr family and their willingness to work together in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Matt Goldberg - Collider
Sequels, especially sequels that came out over a decade since the original, are a tricky prospect. The original casts a longer and longer shadow as its popularity grows, and it becomes difficult for a sequel to make a splash on its own terms while retaining what people liked about the first movie. While it never quite reaches the delirious highs of The Incredibles, Incredibles 2 is a worthwhile sequel that never loses sight of why we fell in love with these superheroes in the first place.
Darren Franich - EW
The final act’s revelations confuse and deflate much of this. What we learn about the villain is unconvincing, and the smash-up climax races backward from the earlier complexity, devolving to the family-together fun of the first Incredibles. The thrills are always there, and you can enjoy the jazzy Michael Giacchino score, the sweet stay-at-home-Dad gags. But don’t let the dazzle fool you. Bird’s made the weirdest Pixar movie ever, revolutionary and retro, an anti-authoritarian ode to good parenting.
Todd McCarthy - THR
Boosted by central characters that remain vastly engaging and a deep supply of wit, Incredibles 2 certainly proves worth the wait, even if it hits the target but not the bull's eye in quite the way the first one did... Still front-and-center are the key elements that made Brad Bird's original creation so captivating: The tested but resilient bonds within the middle-American family with secret superhero lives, the fabulous late-50s/early-60s space-age-obsessed design scheme, the deep-dish reservoir of wit, a keenly expressed sense of what it takes to maintain a balanced marriage and great command of a narrative curveball employed to register frequent surprise.
Owen Glieberman - Variety
[The sequel has] a lot to live up to, and I wish I could say that “Incredibles 2,” which [Brad] Bird also wrote and directed, is the great sequel “The Incredibles” deserves. It is not. It’s got a touch of the first film’s let’s-try-it-on spirit, and it’s a perfectly snappy and chucklesome and heartfelt entertainment, with little retro felicities you latch onto, yet something is missing: the thrill of discovery - the crucial sensation that the movie is taking us someplace we haven’t been.
Based on these reviews, the initial consensus appears to be that Incredibles 2 is a worthy continuation of its predecessor that doesn't quite scale the same artistic heights. Of course, considering how far the superhero movie genre has come in the 14 years since the first Incredibles hit theaters, it was always going to be a challenge for the sequel to have the same impact, much less feel as fresh or innovative. At the same time, however, most critics seems to agree that Incredibles 2 has better action and spectacle than most live-action comic book tentpoles released nowadays, thanks to Pixar's stellar as ever animation.
These reviews further assure that Incredibles 2 isn't a cash grab sequel either, and truly expands on the ideas and themes of its predecessor, similar to the Toy Story sequels and Finding Dory before it. Bird's animated film will be the third superhero movie to hit theaters in the past two months after Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, but so far critics by and large agree that it's a worthy addition to the genre that brings something genuinely different and exciting to the table. With a 94% Fresh rating and average score of 8.5/10 on Rotten Tomatoes after 32 reviews (at the time of writing), Incredibles 2 may even wind up being the best reviewed superhero film of the summer.
Source: Various [see the above links]