Cars 2 Review: Start Your Engines…..And Drive Away

On DV Release From 21st November

There’s a good reason why Finding Nemo, Toy Story and Wall-E are classed as ‘beloved’ Pixar films. All of them have engaging characters, compelling stories and, most importantly, they have heart. This indefinable trait is what will keep children and adults alike talking about these films for years to come, why they’ll share them with the next generation and why no one cares whether or not they’re one of the highest grossing films for Pixar. I only wish the same could be said of Cars 2 but whenever this film is written about, the biggest point of the story seems to be how much money it made which is unfortunately the most interesting part of the Cars 2 phenomenon.

Rural tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) takes over the leading role from Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) as the latter is entered into an international race and takes Mater along for the ride. After some difficulty fitting in with the others on the race circuit, Mater winds up being mistaken for a secret agent by newcomers Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) and Finn McMissile (Michael Caine). When the agents uncover a plot to kill off the racers, including McQueen, Mater must find his inner spy to save his best friend.

It’s comprised mostly of tired, old movie plots glued together with scenes of Mater fumbling around, muttering his down-home colloquialisms; it’s more Johnny English than James Bond. Much like Pirates of the Caribbean 4, when you make the wacky sidekick the main character, the story tends to fall apart, especially when Mater, while good for a laugh, doesn’t have the leading man qualities that McQueen does.

Though amusing in places and having some decent action scenes, there isn’t too much of value here. The simplistic animation design is adding insult to injury as the basic concept is so lazy; why could Pixar not come up with something better than cars that behave like people? Why do these cars seem to live in a world made by people when there are none in the film? Adults will have to go the extra mile in order to suspend their disbelief while children will be blissfully ignorant, which explains the obscene amount of money Cars 2 has made.

Despite its two-hour running time and lazy concept, young children enjoy the bright colours and the funny voices and will undoubtedly find Cars 2 amusing. Parents might want to grab a pillow before sitting down to watch because falling asleep is almost inevitable. Stay awake for the extras though as, aside from the Cars short film, there’s a fun Toy Story short that almost making buying Cars 2 worth it. Almost.


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