Movie Review Rewind: Cars 2 (2011)
For the past two years, the great animation empire known as Pixar has put a hold on original material and have decided to bring back some characters from the past. Now last year, it was Toy Story 3 and we all know how that went. It was one of the best they have ever created. The same cannot be said for this year’s Cars 2. While Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy return to voice Lightning McQueen and Mater, the story itself is almost too busy and a lot of what made Cars great has been left in the dust. Is Cars 2 awful? Absolutely not. But could it have been more enjoyable? Certainly.
Lightning McQueen (Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) leave Radiator Springs behind to travel the world. McQueen travels overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix to see who is the fastest car on the road. His biggest threat is the confident Italian Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). And while those two are mainly just competing against each other the entire time, the real story is about Mater.
He wasn’t even suppose to be going to the World Grand Prix but he finds a way to get there. And while he just wants to help his buddy McQueen, he ends up making things worse and in the process captures the attention of a British spy car named Fin McMissile (Michael Caine), a James Bond wannabe and his sidekick Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer). They believe Mater is just putting on an act and is actually an undercover American spy, but they are sadly mistaken.
Mater finds himself stuck trying to be there for McQueen who is competing in the biggest race of his career while accidentally being caught up in an adventure involving international espionage. And this is when Cars 2 becomes this big action adventure movie and it really is like James Bond on wheels. Now while this makes the story entertaining, it also becomes a little too much. There is a lot of animated chases and explosions, but the heart of Cars has been lost along with the rest of the original cast who have practically been forgotten.
I hate to say it, but Cars 2 almost runs out of gas by the end. Pixar has created some of the best, not just animated movies, but movies of the past decade or so. And Cars 2 is, of course, visually fantastic and none of us expect anything less. Yet there seems to be a lack of originality and the way the filmmakers cover it up is by making the material busier but not better.
I didn’t hate Cars 2 one bit. It is a good movie, but Pixar is better than this and we know it. So I will just say I was a little disappointed in the end. I believe I am ready for Pixar to return to making something new and different, and I am almost positive they will deliver.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.
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