Movie Review: Cars 2

Well, I finally did it. This was the only Pixar movie I haven’t seen. Last night, I fixed that. I didn’t have high expectations as I didn’t care too much for the first installment. Now, it seems like it could have done more without any of the characters from the first film.

The first seven minutes are filled with a Bond-like car gathering intel on some kind of weapon. He makes a getaway and as soon as our false villain makes a comment about who can stop them, that’s when my heart sank. It cuts to Mater towing a lemon back to the shop.

Now why did I lose heart then? It had so much going for it that I would have liked to see this as “Spy Cars”, a stand-alone installment that takes place, like Planes, in the world of Cars. I wouldn’t mind that. But as soon as Mater appeared, I remembered why I disliked this character: constant overplay on our TV, thanks to my brother. I have only laughed once at this character during the “Piston Cup” joke from the first movie. After that, I failed to find anything remotely funny about him as each joke decayed so quickly with each viewing of one of his shorts.

Oh yes, Radiator Springs. Well, much has happened since the first film, including the death of Doc Hudson. How it exactly happened, I don’t know but I learned that it was done because Paul Newman, the voice, died in real life. Mater sees a race car trash talk his best bud and throws him into a grand prix race. Off to Japan!

The locations are beautifully rendered, only to be outdone by Pixar’s next two films. After some episodes of public humiliation, Mater becomes the butt, or fender since it’s an all transportation world, of the joke and Lightning isn’t too thrilled. Some misunderstandings in a restroom (I don’t want to know how that works with cars but never mind) lead to some agents believing that Mater is one of them.

Betrayal, truth, forgiveness, explosions: you’ll find them here. The plot is resolved but the logic is a bit unclear. Sure you can see the guilty party a mile away but how they got to that conclusion is murky at best.

The extra vehicles, now that a spin-off with two announced sequels has been released, include planes, boats, and trains, all with faces. Trains with faces. Where have I seen that before? Hmm… It’s only a matter of time before each mode has their own series.

Is it good? Yes, if you have little ones obsessed with the franchise, I’m sure you have seen everything at least ten+ times. I live in a town where classic cars are everything. The best part is that they have much to say without saying a word. Maybe the characters can do the same.

5/10

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