REVIEW: Cars 2

Ironically, being on a critically acclaimed streak after Cars was released, Pixar Animation Studios have given us the likes of Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 and then there was Cars 2 that had the honours of continuing on this streak. However, admittedly at the time, the first Cars film was my least favourite Pixar film and the idea of a sequel wasn’t exactly an exciting idea. When the trailer was released, I was actually really impressed with it and it actually did look like it could be better than its predecessor. The outcome of Cars 2 was surprising on some levels, but on others, it was a disappointing film.

And of course, the effects were sublime and so colourful! It perhaps has the best effects in any animated film that I have seen. So, for the first time Pixar have made something less personal but more creative in terms of effects and action. The film also has it’s bad (or at least lower than satisfactory) key segments, but the one that made it not like a typical Pixar film was that it really lacked charm, a soul and a message that gives us all something to think about. Even the first Cars film gave us that, but on a few occasions, Cars 2 was quite flat so therefore it really doesn’t belong in one of Pixar’s finest films. It was perhaps too childish for it to appeal to adults as well as kids (every other Pixar film has made its target audience towards both kids and adults) and even the first Cars only just got away with that. It would have perhaps been a really great film if they perhaps stuck to one story; the World Grand Prix and added like a personal background story into it without avoiding too much similarity with the first one. As for the other side of the story involving Mater being a spy, I’m sorry but spies and cars do not work. Action is fun, but the story with the car spies just didn’t work.

Owen Wilson reprises his role as the voice of Lightning McQueen, and what really surprised me about the sequel was that Lightning wasn’t even the main protagonist of the film so therefore, it wasn’t really focused on him. Mater was more the protagonist this time, and despite from one’s point of view that Mater is an incredibly annoying character, there were moments where you would feel sorry for him and would want him to change his ways. So, in a way, I’m glad it wasn’t all about Lightning this time than before. Unfortunately, the great Paul Newman who portrayed Doc Hudson in the first film, passed away in 2008 so we weren’t going to see Doc return in the sequel (which was the right decision). However, in Cars 2, there is another veteran actor who doesn’t so much replace Newman, but perhaps steps in and takes the honour himself: Michael Caine. Caine portrays Ö. and he is almost a totally different character to Doc and focuses more on Mater than Lightning, so I’m glad replacing Newman’s involvement in Cars (which was one of his last films) wasn’t jeopardized in the sequel.

John Lasseter, the guy who gave us the first two Toy Story films (and the story of the third one, but didn’t direct), A Bug’s Life and, of course the first Cars, goes somewhere a tad bit different with Cars 2. As I said, he makes this one more appealing towards kids than adults and goes aside from making it a personal, thought-provoking film and just making it just a fun piece of entertainment instead. Yes, admittedly it could have been a lot better and could have surpassed the first film, but it lacked an in-depth story and a gripping side to catch the audience’s attention.

Overall, Cars 2 is a somewhat enjoyable film and does have a few good things about it, but at the same time, it is quite a disappointment. If you’re looking for explosive action and great effects, I would recommend Cars 2. It’s a decent recommendation for kids as well. There perhaps doesn’t need to be another Cars film, so it is now time to put Cars aside. It is perhaps Pixar’s weakest film to date and really does not match up to any of Pixar’s previous films, so I think they’ll miss out on winning Best Animated Picture this time. However, upcoming filmsBrave and Monsters University simply must improvise massively if I am to keep faith that Pixar won’t fail.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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