Cars 2 movie review

Is Cars 2 Pixar's First Lemon?

Cars 2, the latest offering from Pixar, will be released this weekend. Mater and Lightning McQueen are back, and this time they're traveling the world. So is this film all revved up and ready to go or is it broken down by the side of the road? We'll give you the scoop.

Cars 2

The gang from Radiator Springs is back. In Cars 2, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) has just returned to the town he loves to hang with his best buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and his girlfriend Sally (Bonnie Hunt). But before he can relax for an entire day, he's challenged to compete in the World Grand Prix.

He's off to travel the world with Mater and win the day... until Mater embarrasses him in front of his rival and leaves him during a race. While trying to figure out a Japanese bathroom, Mater is mistaken for an American agent by British intelligence cars Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) and swept off on an adventure of his own.

It breaks my heart to say this. It really does. Cars 2 is my least favorite Pixar film.

Visually, it was beautiful, from the stunning water scene in the opening of the film to the shine on the chrome. There is just something about cars as characters that doesn't warm the heart. And that is what's missing from this film. Heart. They're cute, I guess, but they just don't grab you the way another piece of metal, WALL-E, did. There is a message about accepting your friends for who they are, and that is admirable. But something is missing here that all other Pixar films (with the exception of the original Cars) seem to have. It's that ability to grab your heart and never let it go. Understand that I, like most people, hold Pixar to a higher standard. When compared to so-so fare like Megamind, this film could certainly compete. It's like the worst jellybean in the bag. Sure, you might not like licorice, but it's still candy. It just can't compete with its predecessors.

And it wasn't just the heart that was missing. There is so much more. The story makes no sense, though it would be a spoiler to explain why. Let's just say that there is really no reason for the villain to do what he does. The locations are beautiful, but we barely spend any time in them. Lightning is no longer the protagonist. That job falls to Mater, who, though funny, just can't carry a film.

Cars 2 movie review

It also doesn't help that as loveable as Mater is, anyone would be embarrassed to be with him. Accepting people for what they are is a noble message, but if my friend peed on the floor, broke things all over the place, screamed after mistaking wasabi for ice cream and made a general fool of himself at an event I took him to, I'm sure no one would fault me for getting a little annoyed. You don't feel bad for Mater here. You, like McQueen, would rather be anywhere else but watching this train wreck. The next day, during the Grand Prix, Mater is distracted and causes McQueen to lose the race of a lifetime. Yes, that too would make anyone mad. All this is after McQueen, who didn't want anything more than to take the summer off, is goaded into the Grand Prix because of Mater's actions. See where I'm going here?

This is also one of the most violent Pixar films, with cars being shot at, thrown into the ocean to drown and dying. Yes, dying. It tries to be a Bond film, but when was the last time you let your five-year-old watch one of those? Would he even know who James Bond is? And isn't your five-year-old the one begging to see this film?

Sad to say, Cars 2 just doesn't have the magic of Toy Story or Up. Even the 3D is forgettable. I'm going to erase this one from my brain and wait for the next film, Brave, which looks amazing.

Cars 2 review

Out of five stars...

two stars

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Comments on "Cars 2 movie review"

RICH July 12, 2011 | 8:31 PM

Mater can carry any film. IM GLAD ITS VIOLENT. and nobody should be annoyed with Maters antics...accept him as he is

tracy July 10, 2011 | 10:19 PM

I just wrote the same review for rotten tomatoes when I came across your review. I even told my sis and mom it was an animated Bond film. The movie should have been rated PG due to the graphic violence and everything being about killing. After the watching the movie with me, my 4.5yr old nephew got in his car seat, picked up his Toy Story Blaster, pointed it at the back of my head and told me he was going to kill me. If this movie had been rated PG, I never would have taken him in the first place.

Keziah June 25, 2011 | 12:22 PM

Totally agree with you, Jenna. And I did enjoy the first one, mainly because it was a nice storyline, good visuals, and wonderful soundtrack. It was sweet, in a fun way. But this stinker, phew. I kept thinking that some imposters had invaded Pixar, used their splendid equipment to produce their terrible script, plunked Lasseter's name on it, and vamoosed! I still can't believe Mr. Pixar, JL, actually put his name on this and sent it out the door. :((( Great review, though.

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