Sequel to Disney/Pixar's 2006 Cars. Racing star Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) teams up with his best friend Mater for an international adventure... Now playing nationwide, click here for movie times and trailer.
As Pixar’s most successful film in terms of merchandise, it’s not surprising that a sequel to Cars was given the go ahead. Given the prestige of the studio, however, it’s quite a surprise that this one’s a bit of a backfire. An average follow-up to one of Pixar’s weaker entries, Cars 2 is a kids-only outing that will be good for babysitting duties but won’t be remembered in years to come.
The spin here is shifting this world of automobiles into the genre of the spy movie. It’s a little forced, kind of like the spy-lite makings of Johnny English or Cats vs Dogs. There are some nice touches: Michael Caine voices a British spy who resembles an Aston Martin, there’s a shady Moroccan Reliant Robin ‘informant’ and an evil professor with an oversized monocle.
Leaving behind the homely dustbowl of Radiator Springs allows for some globe-trotting. From the neon sheen of Japan to the sunny glamour of a Monte Carlo-esque locale, Cars 2 is a bright and breezy excursion that avoids the slow patches the original had and provides plenty of high-speed action scenes (all of which make good use of 3D, if you choose to see it that way).
Whilst there many more characters here (toyshops rejoice), too many of them are spread too thin across the plot. Owen Wilson’s Lightning McQueen barely features as a supporting character, while we have to be subjected to the grating tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) in nearly every scene. Whose idea was it to give him a leading role?
Cars 2 lacks the heart and the emotional engagement of other Pixar films, turning out quite predictable and running a little flat. But it’s fun for the eyeballs and younger audiences will be entertained so maybe give it a spin.