Incredibles 2 ★★★

Well executed though labored production that manages to entertain on the surface and disappoint below it.

It's better than the trailer, and for that I'm grateful. But surprisingly for Pixar, the action sequences are what carry the day while the story lacks emotional weight.

Bird is a good enough writer that the film avoids cliches, but it never really surprises. That combined with the lack of any real mystery surrounding the plot makes for a pacing problem.

I didn't really want or need an Incredibles 2. I would have much preferred new stories. But even recycled Pixar is better than three-quarters of the animated fare that passes for entertainment these days.

The Incredibles works better as a stand-alone than a franchise in large part because its best moments were self-aware riffs on the genre. Since franchises have to touch as many of the same bases as possible, the evolution from fresh-twist to stale formula is pretty speedy. It's not there yet, and I did like it. But it sure didn't leave me wanting to see Incredibles 3.