Director : John Lasseter and Brad Lewis (co-director)
Starring : Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Thomas Kretschmann
Running Time : 112 minutes
Release Date : 23rd June 2011 (Australian release)
Cars 2 is a highly anticipated sequel from Disney and Pixar that was 5 years in the making. This new movie is very much James Bond meets Fast and the Furious which was lots of fun to watch.
The kids were enthralled by all of the gadgets on the high tech spy cars, not to mention the fast pace of the movie. Almost all of the characters you love from the original Cars are present and accounted for. One very noticeable omission was Doc Hudson and it was never explained what happened to him which disappointed me a little though his memory certainly lived on in the movie. The Radiator Springs crew were present though only briefly throughout.
If your child is a Lightning McQueen-aholic and no other character matters then you might want to wait for the DVD. McQueen is here and forms a strong basis for the movie thought he is definitely not the lead character. Tow Mater takes centre stage, and most of it, as his special brand of country hick gets him caught up in international espionage.
The story is quite complex and some of it may be lost on younger viewers, but they will be so entranced by the revving engines and the racing cars that it won’t affect their enjoyment.
This film has been met with VERY mixed reviews and from all I’ve read it certainly seems to be a love it or hate it kind of situation. Usually I wouldn’t go and read a lot of reviews before writing one but wasn’t quite sure where to start so thought I would do some background research, I really wish I hadn’t.
I am not one to allow a bad review to change my decision to watch a movie and you will generally find that everything gets at least one bad review. In the case of Cars 2 it wouldn’t have mattered if every review was scathingly negative, I still would have been going to see it because my Master 2 is very attached to Lightning. So we headed out the day after opening as a family; Mum, Dad, Miss 7 and Master 2 to watch Cars 2.
The opening scenes are very James Bond-esque, complete with missiles, car chases and numerous spy gadgets. Everything about Finn McMissile reminds me of Bond, right down to the accent. They seem very far removed from anything you would expect from the movie, and it isn’t until later that they are tied in to the rest of the story. These scenes wouldn’t be spy movie complete without the evil scientist plotting world domination.
We move back to Radiator Springs from here as McQueen returns from his latest Piston Cup win to spend some downtime with his friends and catch up with best friend Mater, who is the ultimate third wheel and jealous of the time McQueen wants to spend with Sally.
Cars has taken the modern world and everything we are familiar with and transformed it into a vehicular vista. There is not a person in sight and all the landmarks have been morphed into cars as well. The TV show that has McQueen agree to take part in the World Grand Prix is a classic American Talk Show hosted my Mel Dorado – reminiscent of the Jay Leno show and the restaurant serves engine oil cocktails.
The car puns fly thick and fast and had me laughing out loud in the middle of the movie theater. The landscape was eye catching and I found it interesting to watch out for landmarks that may have been changed and see what had been done with them.
This is a spy movie as much as a racing car movie and that indicates many spy gadgets, weaponry and shoot em up scenes. In Australia it has been rated (PG) Mild animated violence and coarse language. There are a couple of car explosions and some fight scenes in the street. As an adult I knew what was happening but neither of my children made mention of the symbolism.
At the heart of this movie is friendship and accepting people for who they are, and being true to yourself. A lesson that we all could stand to have reinforced.
I loved this movie and can’t wait for the DVD release so that we can have a Lightning McQueen rotation happening at home!
3.5 / 5 stars