Saturday, June 25, 2011

Theater Review: Cars 2

There are a ton of naysayers out there who say that the original Cars film is not worthy of the Pixar name. They say it is the worst of the Pixar films - which technically still isn't a bad thing.

I, on the other hand, have watched Cars about 20 times thanks to my 4-year old son. I have to admit, after the first viewing I was probably having the same thoughts as many of you, but on further views I have really learned to love Pixar's red-headed stepchild.

So, when Cars 2 was announced I was very eager to take my family to see the film. And, I wasn't disappointed.

The gang's all back, led by Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). The lone missing character is Doc Hudson, who appears to have landed in that junk yard in the sky - which is a nice ode to Paul Newman, who passed away between the movies. Fillmore, however, does return - with a new voice after the death of George Carlin.

Anyway, the plot goes a little something like this. Sir Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard) has created a new green fuel Allinol, and plans to show just how great it is with a three races - Japan, Italy and England. Joining the races is Italy's hot racecar, Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro), who manages to rope McQueen into joining the race.

McQueen brings along Mater, Fillmore, Sarge (Paul Dooley), Luigi (Tony Shalhoub) and Guido (Guido Quaroni) as his pit crew. Mater is a fish out of water - and embarrasses McQueen on a number of occasions - and accidentally gets mistaken for an American spy and joins Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to find a criminal mastermind.

The film feels like two separate stories being told at the same time, Mater's spy game and McQueen's race. However, both come together in a good way.

I enjoyed the action sequences in the film and it was amazing to look at. The racing scenes were beautifully created - seeing the three different race courses in the different countries.

Although a little Mater goes a long way, I didn't get too Matered out, like I thought I would. This was mostly his story - McQueen's story was told in the first film. And, it was enjoyable.

Again, it will be attacked - I know it will be. No, it is not the best Pixar film - but I don't feel anything can touch Toy Story. But, it is not a road bump either - it has a great, touching story about the meaning of friendship. And, enough action to appease the spy junkies.

Attack it if you must - but my son and I will watch it another 30 times, and enjoy it more with each watch.



  1. Have you watched The Pixar Story on Netflix yet? It's an amazing documentary on the rise of Pixar. It's fascinating to see how these types of films come to be.

  2. Oh yes - twice actually. I love it.