Star racecar Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Starring the voice talents of Larry the cable guy, Owen Wilson, Michael Caine and Eddie Izzard.
Cars 2 was a lot of fun. I could easily spot the voices, especially Michael Caine who plays the ever so dashing British spy Finn McMissile and a few not as noticeable ones like Bruce Campbell and Franco Nero. The film pretty much starts off as quickly as possible and doesn’t bore you with a recap on the previous film, there is nothing wrong with presuming your audience knows what is going on, children lose interest very quickly.
The second installment in the Cars franchise was a lot funnier than the previous one with more gags present instead of relying on the same one over and over, They kept the relationships simple and chose to centre the chemistry around two best friends rather than two lovers, something that children can relate to a lot better, I welcome this transition back to the traditional buddy movie. There was however a lot of talking. If I were say five years old and wasn’t really paying attention I wouldn’t know what was going on, they needed to simplify the story a bit more. The film lagged in the middle and I could see that the kids in the cinema were getting restless, they wanted to either see some action or see something funny but the movie was too busy explaining the intricacies of inferior engines in “lemon cars”.
The animation was magnificent; the first scene-taking place on the ocean was incredibly well animated. There is a certain amplified vibrancy to 3D animated films and everything looks so tangible. I have said about previous animated films, it’s the film’s imperfect renditions of objects that make them seem real, e.g., rust, scratches, dirt and dust. Cars 2 was like an old spy film with cars driving themselves, something that the older generation who grew up on jams bond films will appreciate, the kids will love the action. It was also fairly surprising that the focus shifts in this movie from McQueen to Mater, perhaps the next one will be about another character.
Adults will enjoy this installment more than the previous and children just as much, just encourage them to stick through the parts that offer too much talking. There is some genuinely exciting action in this film and a great mate ship story, which we have seen before but still feels very sincere.
I give Cars 2, 3 and a half stars out of 5.