Eagerly anticipated Pixar sequel Incredibles 2 is almost upon us. And reviews from US critics paint a glowing picture.
The belated follow-up to the animation studio's much loved 2004 superhero movie releases over on the other side of the Atlantic this week, around a month before audiences get to see it here.
Incredibles 2 sees the super-powered family return once more, but this time matriarch Helen (voiced by Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight.
This leaves Bob (Craig T. Nelson) at home with the kids; rambunctious teens Violet and Dash, and teething baby Jack-Jack (whose abilities are only just emerging).
Positioning Helen at the head of the pack, especially after the first film established a "two-point-four-children" family set-up - is something that's been welcomed by reviewers.
The New York Post's Sara Stewart noted that she'd one day like to see "an Incredibles 3 where Violet and Elastigirl team up against a baddie who goes by The Patriarchy".
Helen/Elastigirl's positioning as the head of the family has been met with praise from reviewers (Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
"It's satisfying to watch Hunter's character get to stretch her legs as she heads out on her Elasticycle, thrilling a car full of teenage girls she passes.
"As she saves a runaway train at sunset, the clouds turning a psychedelic pink overhead."
According to The Wrap's Robert Abele, Incredibles 2 "wisely, wittily, reverses the first film's accommodating traditionalism to make for an even richer, funnier portrait of its tight and in-tights family."
A refreshing take
Given a cinematic climate where superhero films are everywhere, critics have also been noting Incredibles 2's wildly fresh take on the genre.
Incredibles 2 sees the Parr family team up once again to take down a new threat (Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Incredibles 2 serves upÂ "the best superhero action sequences in our superhero-drowned decade", according to Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich.
"Since 2004, there have been untold eons of comic book heroism adapted to the big screen... but the writer-director [Brad Bird] brings a snazzy Pop Art kineticism to his heroes' journey."
Though the film is getting near-universal praise from reviewers, there are some who are slightly less bowled over.
The film currently holds a 97% approval rating on reviews aggregator, butÂ Molly Freeman's 2.5/5 ScreenRant review voices a few criticisms.
"Incredibles 2 captures most of the fun of Pixar's The Incredibles," she says, "but feels somewhat outdated in the modern Hollywood landscape of superhero movies."
Owen Gleiberman's review for Variety pulls no punches, claiming "what was organic in the first outing comes off as pat and elaborate formula here."
'The animation is stellar and detailed inÂ excellent action sequences' (Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
"The new movie, energised as it is, often feels like warmed-over sloppy seconds."
Not a cash grab
But Bill Goodykoontz, of Arizona Republic, notes that whileÂ "by definition it can't be as groundbreaking as the first film", Incredibles 2 is still "funny, smart and contemporary", and "never does it feel like a cash grab."
"It would be unrealistic to expect 'Incredibles 2' to have quite the genre-busting surprise of the original," adds the LA Times' Kenneth Turan, who says the sequel still delivers "comedy, adventure and all too human moments with a generous hand."
Overall, the film is wowing critics.
MovieWeb's Julian Roman simply says: "Incredibles 2Â is top notch family entertainment."
Incredibles 2 is in UK cinemas from July 13
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, iNews.