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Cars 2

A 2011 movie directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis.

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A Cynical Clunker

  • Jun 26, 2011
Rating:
-3
For the last five years, Pixar has been on quite a roll, churning out one reliably solid animated film every summer. The last four have won Oscars for Best Animated Feature, and the last three (WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3) are, in my mind, stone cold classics. This winning streak and reputation for quality are what make Pixar’s latest, “Cars 2,” not just disappointing, but puzzling.

The hero of the first “Cars” film, a race car voiced by Owen Wilson, returns to Radiator Springs to spend some time with his best friend Mater, aka Larry the Cable Guy. If there’s any time left over, he might take his sweetheart out to dinner. But before he’s in town for a day, an Italian race car challenges him, and Cable Guy signs him up for a series of races that take place in various exotic locations around the world. So we’re off to the races, where Cable Guy(seriously, doesn’t this guy have a real last name?) can engage in a series of fish-out-of-water comedy gags, mess things up for Wilson, and get himself embroiled with a couple of James Bond-ish spies (Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer) who are chasing a ring of Hugos and Gremlins who are trying to take over the world or something.

So basically, “Cars 2″ is a mashup of “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” and “The Man Who Knew Too Little.” The plot devices at work here are rustier than Mater’s fenders. The mistaken identity spy plot is particularly tiresome; Cable Guy (ok, I just looked up his real name; it’s Daniel Lawrence Whitney. From here on out, I’ll refer to Larry the Cable Guy as Whitney) manages to accidentally hear just the right things to believe he’s getting involved in something quite innocent, then, once he’s in too deep, say just the right things to convince Caine and Mortimer that he’s acutally a spy cleverly disguised as an idiot tow truck. The fish-out-of-water stuff occasionally plays better. For every lame joke that has Whitney mistaking wasabi for pistachio ice cream (and by the way, how is it that a tow truck can even eat wasabi or pistachio ice cream? So much of this movie concerns itself with engine models, spare parts and fuel types, where does the ice cream fit, exactly?) there’s a clever joke about Whitney trying to use a Japanese bathroom.

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June 26, 2011
Great write-up, thanks for sharing! I was curious about this one because I had enjoyed the first one so much but, I guess it went the way of the disappointing sequel curse!
 
June 26, 2011
good commentary on the references of "Man who knew too little" and "Herbie".... I thought this was alright as long as one doesn't compare it too much to other Pixar movies. Nice one.
June 26, 2011
if this had come from anyone else but Pixar, it would've been just another mediocre kids' film, like Rio and Ice Age and Shrek the 17th, etc. But Pixar's been so much better than that. To see them stoop this low is heartbreaking.
 
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More Cars 2 reviews
review by . June 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
KA-CHAO!!!!! (Cue James Bond Music...And Turn On
Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the original “Cars”, it wasn’t bad but I thought it was the weakest Pixar production to date and so I was dumbfounded as to why Pixar would make a sequel out of it after “Toy Story 3” when “The Incredibles” (my second favorite Pixar movie next to “Ratatouille”) was just screaming for an expansion-sequel of its premise. I guess Pixar wanted to add more ‘zest’ on “Cars’” fanciful …
review by . June 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Cars 2' 'Two Jews On Film' Celebrate Their 100th Review With Pixar's Newest (Video)
      'Cars 2 is the new 3D wonder from director John Lasseter.  John and his crew at Pixar have once again proven why they are the best at what they do.      To really enjoy this film, you have to put aside any ideas that cars can't talk, can't have friends and girlfriends, can't experience human emotions and can't be killer spies.  (Something the other half of Two Jews On Film, John my husband, wasn't able …
review by . July 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Bit Curiously Thematic But Well Presented
   When one thinks about Pixar, the term failure is typically no part of the equation and indeed what the powerhouse pixel-pushing studio might consider a disappointment would have its hordes of imitators doing cartwheels in the streets.  Keeping that in mind, Cars 2 could very well be the first Pixar film to put such theories to the test. Generally speaking the first Cars never fully overcame criticisms that individuals outside of car culture (a group that naturally includes the …
review by . June 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The first Cars film was a surprising delight.  The first (and until now only) Pixar film that had no humans to connect with still managed to have quite a bit of its own humanity and satire.  It had funny and delightful characters that gave off a family togetherness vibe.  Radiator Springs was a place that, once the first film was over, you felt like you wanted to come back to.  If there is one film where a sequel is something somewhat questionable, it is definitely Cars.  …
review by . June 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Vroom Vroom!
CARS 2   Written by Ben Queen   Directed by John Lasseter   Voices by Larry the Cable Guy, Owen Wilson, Emily Mortimer and Michael Caine       Luigi: No fight more important than friendship.       CARS 2 marks the first time where I could not care less about a Pixar release. I didn’t buy the world made up entirely of cars in the first instalment and thought the idea of a race-car learning to slow down in life …
review by . July 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
U - 112mins - Animation/Adventure/Comedy - 22nd July 2011   Cars 2 picks up several years after the first with Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) ruling the Piston Cup. This leads him to be invited to the first World Grand Prix where he can pit himself against the best of the rest and in particular Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro) the cocky Italian stallion F1 car. McQueen's crew led by Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) gather together and set out on the trip of a lifetime to Japan, Italy and …
review by . June 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         It seems inconceivable, but for the first time, the Disney/Pixar team has made a movie that misses the mark. I never thought I’d be writing these words. For sixteen years now, they’ve produced nothing but quality entertainment, and that’s not the kind of track record you come across every day. The Toy Story films were bright, imaginative, and fun. A Bug’s Life was cute and colorful. The Incredibles was energetic and engaging. …
review by . July 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
My family and I saw Cars 2 in the theaters and while the effects were outstanding (water! speed chases! explosions!)--the story-line was so-so.    Basically, a bunch of lemons take ownership of a secret oil reserves in the ocean--and they want revenge on the "pretty" cars that never break down.    It's a weak premise, and lacks the heart of the original Cars.     I didn't care about any of the new characters, which are basically James Bond-type …
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Willie Krischke ()
I write reviews for the Durango Telegraph, Indian Life, StudentSoul.org, TheKnifeFight.com, and other publications from time to time.
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Wiki

Lightning McQueen (voice by Owen Wilson), Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Sally (Bonnie Hunt), and the rest of the gang from Radiator Springs return to the screen in this sequel to Pixar'sCars(2006). But instead of evoking a nostalgic vision of Route 66 through the American Southwest, director John Lasseter and his artists spoof James Bond films in a fast-paced adventure that mixes espionage and road racing. After a successful season on the track, Lightning is looking forward to some rest at home, but Mater gets him involved in an elaborate three-part international race sponsored by Sir Miles Axlerod (Eddie Izzard) to promote his new synthetic auto fuel. While serving on Lightning's pit crew, Mater inadvertently gets mixed up with two British secret agent cars, Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), who are investigating a plot to sabotage the race. Myriad complications ensue before Lightning and Mater get back to the (relative) peace of Radiator Springs. The Pixar artists clearly had a lot of fun spoofing locations in Tokyo, London, Paris, and the Italian Riviera, and creating auto versions of sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors, Queen Elizabeth II, and a doting Italian mother. The use of 3-D adds adrenaline to the racing sequences.Cars 2lacks the emotional impact ofToy Story 2,Up, and most of the other Pixar features, but that will do little to lessen its appeal to its target audience, boys who love cars, driving games, and car toys.Cars 2is ...
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Details

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Release Date: 24 June 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
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