Before I begin, let me clear the air a little bit.
I know what you’re thinking. “Cars 2” really? Is that worthy of the title “summer blockbuster” and the resulting presence in the Crusade’s summer blockbuster review collection?
Let me assure you that much discussion went into that very subject.
In the end we determined that the explosion to action sequence ratio in conjunction with its sequel status put it well within the blockbuster quota…and with that I present to you “Cars 2” the review:
When you come from the same family as “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo” and “Up” and “Wall-E” (and need I go on?) it’s got to be tough to deal with the expectations.
Nevertheless “Cars 2″ cannot avoid the inevitable, it’s the sequel to one of Pixar’s less successful films.
Since”Cars” round one, the folks at Pixar have clearly (and accurately) identified Mater (as in Tow-Mater voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) as the strongest piece of this car-dominated universe.
Having already starred in his own series of shorts, Mater steps in as the hero of this sequel.
The rest of the gang from Radiator Springs is back of course in a whirlwind, transcontinental adventure.
Our plot takes form as racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) sets off to prove he’s the fastest car in the world, while learning important life lessons and promoting alternative fuel sources.
Anyone really shocked that there’s a secondary environmental message?
Shortly into their international excursion, Mater finds himself mistaken for a CIA agent by British Intelligence Officials Finn (Michael Caine) and Holley (Emily Mortimer), and needless to say hilarity and espionage ensue.
This film moves much faster and makes a lot more noise than it’s predecessor. Things explode, cars die, and all while travelling the globe.
The location animation in this movie is stunning, Tokyo, Italy, Paris, and London, are all well represented.
Of course with all of the beautiful scenery, there is always the risk of distracting from the plot, but aside from Paris, which had me thinking on “Ratatouille” for a moment, the location shots enhance the story for the most part, rather than cause travelling daydreams.
In the end, what starts out feeling like an extended Mater short eventually comes together as a rather adorable story about appreciating the dents and lemons in your life.
It may not be Pixar’s crown jewel, but we can’t all be race cars (or incredibly insightful wooden cowboy dolls), but when life gives you lemons sometimes you just might eke out an adorable sequel.
Perhaps in the next Cars film, and rest assured there will be a “Cars 3,” they can address the fact that the automobiles in this universe seem to rule over the planes, trains, and boats.
Why do the rich cars own boats which also have faces, Disney?
Check out this and all of the Crusade’s film reviews, blockbuster and otherwise, on our new “Crusade on Cinema” page…go ahead, click the link, it’s the blue words that say “Crusade on Cinema“…now there’s two of them, it’s almost irresistible…or if you like scrolling, there’s also a link at the top of the page…but that seems like a whole lot of work, and you still have to click on a link…now you have four options…tell your friends.