Movie: The Incredibles

Our Rating: 3.50

Pixar's hyper-hyped foray into PG territory isn't enough of a disappointment to vindicate Michael Eisner's negotiating-table kiss-off, but it's still a major letdown after the glories of Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. Style consistently trumps substance as a married pair of superheroes (voiced by Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter) come out of enforced retirement, bringing their power-endowed kids along for the ride. The look is first-rate, Shag-inspired retro, set off by sophisticated character modeling that represents the studio's best-ever work with humanoid forms. Too bad there's not as much wit to the laughter-challenged script, whose cleverest developments appear cribbed from various (mostly superior) graphic novels. What's most disheartening is that the film doesn't feel the need to be about much of anything at all, eschewing the life lessons we thought we could expect from Pixar in favor of straight-up action. For long stretches, we're watching an ersatz Spy Kids with greater marketing muscle – and trying to remind ourselves that it's still a better product than that dodgy-looking Fantastic Four feature will probably be.

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