Monday, July 4, 2011

Cars 2 - Movie Review


Starring the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, Eddie Izzard, Tony Shalhoub, Bonnie Hunt, Jason Isaacs, Thomas Krestchmann, Cheech Marin, Vanessa Redgrave and John Ratzenberger. Directed by John Lasseter.

If the message of the first Cars movie was to slow down and appreciate the little things, that's been oblitherated here. Speed up! There are rocket-launching cars trying to kill you!

Cars has generally been considered the weakest title in the Pixar canon by critics, although it's more friendly for repeat viewing by little kids than, say, richer fare like Ratatouille or Wall-E. Now Cars 2 will have that dubious distinction, and while I liked it, it's not going to make my top ten, and Pixar movies usually do.

This movie has twin storylines. The first revolves around Lightning McQueen (Wilson), who agrees to enter a tri-country world-class race where the cars all run on Allinol, an all-natural fuel poised to replace gasoline. The second revolves around Mater (Cable Guy), who is mistaken for a spy and gets sucked into the world of automotive espionage. Turns out someone from Big Oil is trying to sabotage the race.

If this had been from DreamWorks or Blue Sky, it'd probably get higher marks than what it's getting. But it's Pixar and it's supposed to have more heart than this. Emphasis here is on action and humor, and this movie winds up being more about Mater than McQueen. When we get to the climax and McQueen finds out what's been going on, he stops short of yelling, "You mean there's this whole other movie that been going on?!"

It's cute. More on par with Rio than Rango in this year's Best Animated hunt. In fact, with what's coming, it may be the first Pixar movie to not get nominated for Best Animated Film since the category was created.

Sai my 5-year-old: "It was AWESOME! Except for the sad parts."

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