Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“How would you like to come and see the world with me?” “You mean it?!” Says race car Lighting McQueen (voiced once again by Owen Wilson) to his best friend, Mater the tow truck, as they head out to travel to Europe to race in the World Grand Prix in the animated sequel, Cars 2. Their adventure together starts to go downhill quickly for McQueen when Mater keeps embarrassing him at the big social parties, and the cocky Italian race car Francesco Bernouilli, voiced by John Turturro, continues to slight and insult McQueen every chance he gets. Things get even more complicated for Mater when a British secret service agent, Finn McMissile (voiced by the great Michael Caine) mistakes the tow truck for an American undercover agent. Torn between helping McQueen win the high profile race and playing spy with real British agents, Mater’s action-packed journey leads him through explosive chases all across Europe. When it looks like both the World Grand Prix and the agents case are connected, it may be up to Mater to save his best friend Lighting from ending up in that big garage in the sky.
PIXAR’s Cars 2 is an animated adventure that unfortunately stalls not long after it starts. First off, making Mater the lead instead of the comical sidekick is a big mistake. Instead of the character being funny and endearing like he was in the first film, he’s now incredibly dumb and annoying. The race car McQueen falls to the background and his story is both uninteresting and empty. One addition, and possibly the only good thing about the film, is the British spy Finn McMissile who is modeled after James Bond’s famous Aston Martin DB5 in the film Goldfinger. The opening sequence in the film with him spying on the bad guys and trying to escape from certain doom is probably the only true fun, exciting scene in the film. This brings up another point about the film that some of the action scenes might be too intense for younger audience members. Yes the film is rated G, but it should have been rated PG.
What’s really missing from the film is the heart and soul that we expect from a PIXAR movie. It’s absent. All we get on the screen is loud noisy action, dumb jokes and a convoluted plot that no adult will be able to follow, let alone children. It feels more like a Saturday morning cartoon than an animated motion picture. I know it’s impossible for any movie studio to have a hit every time and that PIXAR was due for a Lemon. Well, that’s exactly what they have put up on the big screen here.
Cars 2 hits theaters on June 24, 2011 and is rated G. Cars 2 was directed by John Lasseter.
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