After a 14 year wait, the sequel to Brad Bird’s celebrated and beloved Incredibles is about to arrive in theaters, and reviews have begun rolling in. But does Incredibles 2 live up to the original’s flawless blend of superhero action, family drama, and villainous monologuing?
Based on the reviews below, plus many more at Rotten Tomatoes — where the film currently enjoys a 95% score — it’s safe to say that Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozone, et al. have once again successfully saved the day.
But the filmmaker is clearly not interested in repeating the first movie, nor is he content with delivering visuals that are bigger for bigness’ sake. Things are more sophisticated this time around and the action sequences crackle with cleverness and verve (there’s a sequence where Elastigirl rescues a runaway hover train, her new motorcycle splitting up to serve her stretching powers, that is jaw-dropping). If anything, the action is more intimate and character-based, including a moment where Jack-Jack battles a raccoon outside the family home while using all of his nascent powers that is howlingly funny.
Germain Lussier, “Incredibles 2 Is a Super Sequel That Was Absolutely Worth the Wait”:
Pixar has developed an almost unfathomable level of success and expectations, and sequels like this one are the rule, not the exception. All of which made it seem like Incredibles 2 could be the perfect storm for disappointment. Happily, that is not the case. It’s not just a great superhero movie, it’s a great sequel, and a great Pixar movie too. Incredibles 2 is an absolute delight that was worth the long wait.
Alissa Wilkinson, “Incredibles 2 is a fun sequel with a lot to say. Maybe too much.”:
While writer-director Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 is undeniably a good time at the movies for the whole family, it’s the rare superhero movie that may have too many ideas knocking around in its noggin, none of which seem terribly coherent. And that, in the end, makes the film less than it clearly wants to be.
Andrew Mack, “Brad Bird Does it Again, Another Excellent Family Superhero Film!”:
Once again, Brad Bird and Incredibles 2 prove that this franchise is as good as animated classic superhero movies will ever be. Bird simply can do no wrong when it comes to animation. His story expertly balances the mystery and action of Helen’s story with laughs of plenty as Bob navigates Violet’s adolesence and Jack-Jack’s superpowers, while discovering his other superpower, taking care of his kids.
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. The word that I kept thinking of was fluid. I have three kids, so trust me when I say that this is not a common word when it comes to family entertainment, much of which shoehorns in messages between clunky comedy scenes with no concern for flow and pacing. “Incredibles 2” just moves beautifully, sliding from one scene to another with such grace and momentum.
David Edelstein, “Incredibles 2 Flies High”:
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. He’s a crackerjack filmmaker first and a marvelous animator a close second, and he has made the jazziest hybrid in years.
Lindsey Bahr, “Family fun and insight in sprightly ‘Incredibles 2’ “:
It’s still fun to watch smart storytellers like Bird working within the system and using his platform to self-evaluate or comment on what’s going on, even if the conclusion is a little flimsy. Bird could have easily just brought back his lovable characters, leaned on Jack Jack’s antics and cashed in the check. It makes the effort and care here seem even more incredible.
Kenneth Turan, “ ‘Incredibles 2’ is the superhero family saga we need right now”:
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.
Incredibles 2 officially opens on June 15. Watch the film’s trailer below.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.