25 jun. 2011

My Review: Cars 2 (5/10)

¨-Finn McMissile, British intelligence. -Tow Mater, average intelligence¨

I`m glad kids don`t read my reviews because they would probably disagree with everything I have to say about this film. The kids I saw the movie with in the theater had a blast and thought this was the best film they`ve seen. I on the other hand felt the story was really weak. When it comes to a Pixar film my expectations have grown exceedingly high, and they`re to blame for that because with Toy Story 3, Up, and Ratatouille I`ve come to love Pixar movies for their heartfelt stories. Cars 2 on the other hand is missing that important aspect: there is no heart in this film. The story is loaded with a lot of action, it’s simple, predictable, and the jokes are mostly targeted towards kids. Young audiences will be pleased, I`m ok with this as well, but I know Pixar can do much better. Cars 2 won`t remain in my mind like the characters from Toy Story or Up did. It is light entertainment and many adults will be unpleased with the movie. I know other adults will be glad that their kids enjoyed the film so much so they won`t have complaints about Cars, but for those of us who really enjoy these Pixar films on their own we know this movie just didn`t live up to expectations. It`s like the producers didn`t even try and relied on the known characters to entertain the audience without worrying about writing a better story. Kids love spy movies so all they did was turn Cars into an action spy movie and voila: we got Cars 2.

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) has just won his fourth consecutive Piston Cup and is heading back to Radiator Springs after another successful season in racing. Doc Hudson is gone, but McQueen has dedicated yet another trophy to his mentor. Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) is the most excited about McQueen`s return, and Sally (Bonnie Hunt) is also glad to be back with her hubby. McQueen is looking forward to spending some quality time with them, but Mater convinces him to enter the World Grand Prix race which is being sponsored by multi billionaire Sir Miles Axlerod (Eddie Izzard). Miles has invented a new type of green fuel and the cars will be using it for the races. McQueen`s biggest competitor is Italian Formula 1 racecar, Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro), a cocky driver who drives the ladies crazy. The race however is only the subplot because once Mater arrives in Tokyo he is mistaken for a spy. Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) are British spies who are after Professor Z (Thomas Kretschmann) who seems to be trying to burn the Grand Prix by making the cars using the alternative fuel blow up. The British spies confuse Mater with an American spy and so he inadvertently becomes immersed in the action. Mater becomes the lead character in this film, and McQueen is just a supporting one.

John Lasseter and Brad Lewis couldn’t bring back the magic in Cars 2 that they had brought to their previous films. The first film wasn’t one of my favorites among Pixar movies, but it certainly is much better than this sequel. One of the major problems I had with it is that Mater took central stage and I don’t think his character had what it takes to be the lead. He was always meant to be just a supporting character for other more depth characters like Lightning McQueen. The visuals are stunning as always. There are some scenes in Tokyo, London, and Italy that are just breathtaking, but the story falls way too short. Cars 2 is entertaining, but it`s just missing everything that Pixar has accustomed us to. Little kids won’t be disappointed; they will have fun with all the espionage and explosions, but adults looking for a heartfelt film will be leaving wanting and expecting more. The fun was targeted almost exclusively for kids and some adults may find this movie lame and predictable. Other Pixar films have made us enjoy going to the movies with our kids, but this one might make adults think twice about going with their kids to the movies and perhaps sending them with their nanny`s the next time. I was disappointed with Cars 2, but only because Pixar has done way better in the past. It’s not terrible, just light entertaining fun for the children.

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