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June 27, 2011

"Cars 2" finishes last

by Rachel Auerbach, Online Managing Editor
For the first time, Pixar has disappointed. "Cars 2" does not live up to the standards that Pixar set for itself by producing cute, funny, and clever animated films that children and adults alike can enjoy. As the most highly anticipated kids' movie of the summer, "Cars 2" lets down viewers who hoped that it would outdo its prequel. If anything, the producers of "Cars 2" tried too hard to cram as many cinematic elements as possible into this film and it just ended up being an overly complicated spy film spoof with forced relationships.

Cars 2

(released June 23, 2011)
Cars 2 has impressive visuals but lacks in emotional subtext. Courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
Chips Rating:
2 stars
G
User Rating:
0 stars Votes: 3
"Cars 2" has impressive visuals but lacks in emotional subtext.
When Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), a hotshot race car with a kind heart, brings his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), a goofy, loyal tow truck, to the World Grand Prix, Mater gets mistaken for a spy. This catapults him into an international espionage scheme to figure out what is behind a mysterious camera-like object that consistently shows up at races. Multiple subplots are thrown in, the most notable being the strained relationship between Mater and McQueen, who grow apart as Mater is overwhelmed by McQueen’s stardom. This clichéd subplot is not successful - it seems like it was added on just to get some emotional subtext into the film.

"Cars 2" does have some redeeming qualities. The visuals are up to the impressive Pixar standards, with vibrant colors and extremely detailed cities adapted to the world of cars. The 3-D element truly makes the scenery come to life.

While the original "Cars" focused on McQueen and his life in the town of Radiator Springs, the sequel puts Mater in the spotlight and takes place in Tokyo, London, and Paris. The different settings make for a few comedic moments, focusing on Mater’s culture shock, like when he mistakes wasabi for pistachio ice cream.

The soundtrack of the film amplifies its attempt to be a spy movie; James Bond type music is okay for the first few times, but after the fourth or fifth round of spy music it gets tiring and overdone.

While other Pixar movies have situations that could relate to real life, Cars 2 had no basis in reality. Because of this, children will probably enjoy the film, but parents seeking a fun, cute movie that might even teach their children a few lessons will most likely be disappointed. The ending is predictable and in line with other spy movies.
Even though the movie is cleverly done, the lack of emotion and the overly complicated plot cannot be bypassed by its impressive visuals. Although it may have a sleek paint job, "Cars 2"’s engine could use a tune up.

Cars 2 (112 min.) is rated G and has no inappropriate content. In theaters everywhere.



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  • have perfume will travel (View Email) on June 27, 2011 at 9:54 PM
    This movie is almost redeemed by the rumored presence of Polyrhythm.
  • nice on June 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM
    beautifully written article, great job
  • ...wow on July 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    way to spoil this:"like when he mistakes wasabi for pistachio ice cream."
  • almost unbelievable on July 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM
    Great movie review, Rachel! This is a bit of a shock after the articles in so many major publications about the high anticipation levels for the film. I like how you incorporate a number of elements nicely into your review, which is pithy and inclusive. As it is, I haven't seen the film, but I am no longer interested.
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