Excellent seafaring adventure, kind of in the same tonal vein as How To Train Your Dragon.
Animation, performances and production design are all top-class, with great action and colourful creatures for the kids, and elements of historical revisionism and imperialist undertones for the adults.
Would be genuinely surprised if this didn’t turn into Netflix’s flagship animated film franchise, since there’s plenty of room to grow from here.
Finding this post-cancellation was a damn shame, since it fairly abruptly comes to an end while it has so many balls still up in the air.
As a comedy, it’s perfectly written. There’s an expert balance with saccharine tone and dark subject matter that really works here — it’s a champion of the “yes, and” ethos in that it’s continually building off itself and reintegrating throwaway gags into the overall plot.
But, as mentioned, it died an unceremonious Netflix death while it still had a comfortable season or two worth of steam left in it, which is a damn shame. Not a lot of shows manage this level of sharp dialogue without feeling overwritten or trying too hard.
The practical effects are horrifyingly over the top, but it’s all anchored by Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant’s brilliant comedic timing (the whole remainder of the cast is pitch perfect too).
If you can handle the fact that it doesn’t have a satisfying conclusion, this is a really fun one and well worth your time.
Everything on show is bigger, wilder, more ambitious… and dammit if they didn’t manage to pull it off. It’s crazy that they can put together what is essentially an entire season of mid-budget movies and not have the thing collapse into itself like a dead star.
Of course, the performances and production design do a lot of heavy lifting, along with some incredible VFX and makeup work.
It’s always worn its influences on its sleeve, but more than any other point in its run, it really feels like its cohering into something more than just slick aesthetics and a stack of well-executed homages. Finally, it’s leaning confidently into itself, and is all the better for it.
If you like the show but thought the last two seasons were lacking somewhat in direction and growth: good news! It’s great.
Keeps going from strength to strength, and this was the season that finally tipped me over from just really liking the characters to loving them.
Yet again there’s an apocalypse to avert, so yet again the Academy has to work together to save the world. Only this time, they’ve managed to erase themselves from the timeline so there’s another family of dysfunctional heroes with weird powers to contend with as well.
Everyone’s grown and changed in some way, and so having the season remain relatively static in terms of locations allowed for more focused character work, dressed up in probably the best that the already-great production design has been for the show.
Casting and performances are pitch perfect, VFX are fun and creative, story’s weird and fun.
This is up there with Stranger Things and Dark as the more consistent Netflix fare, so hopefully we’re getting at least one more season, since it really feels like it’s moving towards another big shakeup going forwards.
Above average family action film, but never quite rises to truly exceptional.
All the individual elements are well done: the cast is charismatic, the VFX are top notch. But there’s something in Shawn Levy’s execution, same as with Free Guy… they’re kinda flat?
A bit too polished and clean, so that all the real quirk and personality has been buffed out of them. They feel like products. Products with heart and charm, sure, but never truly unique enough in their own rights to elevate them above pretty good.
My hope is that having the Molyneux sisters (Bob’s Burgers) handling the script and Kevin Feige doing his Marvel overlord thing, the next Levy/Reynolds collab on Deadpool 3 will really click.
As for The Adam Project, it won’t stick with me longer than the next big action film I see.