Cars 2

Cars 2

Static Mass Rating: 2/5

Release date: July 22nd, 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 112 minutes

Directors: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis

Voice cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro

The world of Cars is not so different from our own. They have drive-ins, bars, their cities look just the same and they even have races like we do. And just like us, they have intelligence agencies too.

Lightning (Owen Wilson) returns home to Radiator Springs with a string of race track winnings and though he’s looking forward to some alone time with his girlfriend, his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) just seems to be getting in the way. He ends up talking him into another race, the international Grand Prix in Tokyo and for the first time ever, Lightning decides to take him along.

Cars 2

It’s a decision he soon comes to regret because the dim-witted tow truck ends up embarrassing him in front of everyone and causing him to lose the race to Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). Unknown to Lightning, Mater is somehow mistaken by British spies Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) as an American spy!

Despite Mater trying to explain, they think his low intelligence is part of his disguise and he gets roped into a mission to help the government unmask who’s behind a plot to sabotage the future of alternative fuels. Thinking that Mater went back home, Lightning has no idea what’s going on but he soon becomes a target when terrorists decide to blow him up as he’s running on Allinol biofuel.

Cars 2

With no apparent cause for such an explosion the world will think it’s unsafe and switch back to fossil fuels. Mater rushes to rescue his best friend and a lesson is to be learnt about the importance of being one’s self and appreciating others for what they are.

It’s not that hard to see another message, one that’s about the importance of alternative fuels, but in a kid’s film that’s almost 2 hours long and with dialogue more suited to a Bond film, Cars 2 tries to pack a little too much in and ends up not giving much as a result.

Cars 2

Visually, it’s very slick and the renderings of entire cities in the Cars universe does look impressive, but the world is so hard to relate to and this is mostly down to the characters being very one-sided and uninteresting to listen to and watch.

Although the message is admirable, it ends up coming across in a very convoluted way. Cars (2006) wasn’t that great and this sequel shows that Pixar missed the mark once more. Third time’s a charm they say, but I wouldn’t mind if this one gets towed away.

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