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Is ‘Incredibles 2’ the best superhero movie ever? Read the first reviews of the new Pixar sequel

POSTED June 12, 2018 4:39 a.m.
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Last week, “Incredibles 2” hosted its world première to movie reviewers and early screeners in Hollywood.

First reactions appeared to be pretty positive. Those who attended the première called the film a delight and a well-worthy successor to the hit 2004 Pixar film.

But full reviews show a mixed bag of reactions from critics.

In a direct sequel to the first film, “Incredibles 2” will follow the story of Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), who will struggle to become a stay-at-home dad now that his wife, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), is off saving the world. Mr. Incredible’s life becomes even more chaotic as he raises the young Jack-Jack, a baby blessed with superpowers.

So far, critics remain mostly positive about the film, giving it a 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 9.4 out of 10. Only two of the 31 reviews have labeled the film as “rotten,” according to the movie rating website.

Many critics praised the film’s aesthetics and artful animation:

Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com: “Pixar films are famously beautiful when it comes to character design and art direction, but 'Incredibles 2' is one of the most significant achievements in this regard.”

Michael O’Sullivan of Washington Post: “Perhaps most intriguingly, 'Incredibles 2' is both pop-culture eye candy and a sly critique of it.”

Brian Truitt of USA Today: “The animation is stellar and detailed in excellent action sequences, Michael Giacchino's score swings harder than ever, and the first film's family-friendly warmth is just as appealing now as it was then.”

Others celebrated the film for carving its own place in the superhero genre:

Tim Grierson of Screen International: “Amidst a Hollywood landscape cluttered with superhero movies, 'Incredibles 2's' greatest power may be its ability to re-establish its own witty, whiz-bang niche.”

David Crow of Den of Geek: “It's an easygoing and sometimes overly familiar slouch toward retro superheroics, yet unlike Pixar's last several bland sequels, and almost the entire whole of the superhero genre these days, 'Incredibles 2' has something to say.”

Angie Han of 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.”

One reviewer, Mark Jackson of the Epoch Times, gave it GOAT status.

“‘Incredibles 2’ is not only one of Pixar's best movies ever, but also arguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made,” he wrote.

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times praised the film for delivering all the goods:

“Though it would be unrealistic to expect ‘Incredibles 2’ to have quite the genre-busting surprise of the original, it is as good as it can be without that shock of the new — delivering comedy, adventure and all too human moments with a generous hand.”

Still, reviewers said the film can feel formulaic at times and maybe a little too confident.

Owen Gleiberman of Variety:"'Incredibles 2' offers a puckishly high-spirited but slightly strenuous replay of the original film’s tale of a superhero family working to prove its relevance. Once again, the family’s members are on the cusp between humdrum domesticity and saving-the-world bravura. Yet what was organic, and even obsessive, in the first outing comes off as pat and elaborate formula here. 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."

Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair: “'Incredibles 2' is that kind of full-bodied picture, engaging and inventive and rendered with muscle. I suppose my only real issues with it are the same things that vaguely bother me about almost all Pixar movies: it’s almost too slick, too assured, too cute and clever. (Is the word for all of this 'smug'?). That’s a wan critique to make if you can’t point to anything specific that bothered you about a movie beyond it seeming too confident, but there it is. 'Incredibles 2,' like so many other wonderments from this premier animation house, left a little pebble in my shoe, a pea under the mattress, that kept me from fully embracing it. Maybe it’s the whiff of stale gender politics wafting off the movie’s domestic comedy. Or it’s the stain of all that Atlas Shrugged stuff lingering from the first film — and not challenged by the second.”

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