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Cars 2


You win some and you lose some. For Pixar Studios, the winning tends to happen more often than the losing. Unfortunately, they have one major slip-up now on their record. That blemish is Cars 2.

Grade:

What should be the main plot is Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) racing in the World Grand Prix against the top cars from Formula1 and beyond. What actually is the main plot is Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) being sucked into the underbelly of espionage and treachery with Finn McMissile (Michael Caine).

From the get-go it is obvious Pixar mailed this one in just to get it out in time to bleed the Cars fan frenzy dry. They were still able to sneak in some of their trademark flair with the spy gadgets put into car form, but as we all know, the story is what makes a Pixar film great. Basically all of their films are wildly unique in their storytelling and content, but Cars 2 sadly breaks that mold. The only slice of originality is the adaptation to cars/trucks/trains/planes/etc., but even then you realize a lot of that has been included in live action films; they just aren’t the main characters.

I am admittedly not a big fan of Owen Wilson, but I would choose him every time over making Larry the Cable Guy the main star of a film. Cars 2 becomes “The Rusty Tow Truck That Could” and loses all traces of adult connection. Usually we get a sly wit that is loved by both children and adults, but this one was catered solely for the kids. This is totally fine; don’t get me wrong. You just can’t shake the nagging sensation of expected greatness when the name Pixar is attached to a film.

I usually don’t feel the need to justify my grades, but for this one I feel it is necessary to explain why Cars 2 is not in the D and below range. Three names: John Torturro, Brent Musburger and Eddie Izzard. John Torturro turns Lightning McQueen’s new rival, Francesco Bernoulli, into the most entertaining character of the film. He is simply an entertaining guy who was an excellent addition to the franchise. I mention Musburger only because I found it amusing Pixar got him to play the announcer role as Brent Mustangburger; that’s all. Lastly, everything Eddie Izzard works on is immediately made a bit better as a result. He doesn’t get much of a chance to shine in his role as Sir Miles Axelrod, but like I said, “you win some and you lose some.”

Most people, justifiably, will end up watching this due to the Pixar name and will be sorely disappointed. They’re a name you can’t avoid and always should be curious about viewing, but this one can and should be avoided. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d suggest just waiting for Brave to come out. That looks like a return to normalcy.

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