June 24, 2011
Review - " Cars 2 " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: John Lasseter & Brad Lewis
Starring: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily
Mortimer, Bonnie Hunt, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro
Cars 2 is a Disney film released June 24th, 2011 as a sequel to the
2006 hit animated film Cars. The first Cars belonged to Lightning
McQueen - Cars 2 is all Mater. Our favorite rust becket tow truck is
the star and center of attention.
In Cars 2, you are taken on quite the adventure as Lightning
McQueen, Mater, and the gang travel the world for McQueen to race
in the World Grand Prix. The context of the movies is rather generic
for Disney films which in most cases would make a par film, but the
overall delivery of the content and story of the movie allowed Disney
to capture attention once again. Though it is really debated on who’s
film it really was, I believe Cars 2 more focuses on Mater, the tow truck
who becomes Lightning McQueen’s best friend in the first Cars movie.
Along the way, amid clever sight gags and belly laughs, "Cars 2"
offers good lessons about friendship, family and self-esteem.
"Cars 2" picks up where its predecessor left off, in Radiator Springs,
whither Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) returns home
after winning his fourth Piston Cup race. Waiting for him is his faithful
pal, the hapless tow truck, Tow Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy).
"We've got a whole summer's worth of best-friend fun to do," Mater
But there's more in store than tipping tractors in corn fields. McQueen accepts a challenge from cocky Italian
Formula One racecar Francesco Bernoulli (voice of John Turturro), to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix
across three countries. The race is organized by Sir Miles Axlerod (voice of Eddie Izzard) to promote Allinol,
his alternative clean-burning fuel. (This is just one of the film's many environmental messages.)
Traveling by equally anthropomorphized airplanes, trains, and boats (with Disney's merchandising possibilities
taking, no doubt, a quantum leap in the process), McQueen and Mater visit Tokyo, Italy and London, and the
inevitable clash of cultures ensues.
Meanwhile, there's a parallel
story straight from the James
Bond playbook. The super spy
of British Intelligence, an Aston
Martin named Finn McMissile
(voice of Michael Caine) and
his assistant, the comely
Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily
Mortimer), are tracking evil
autos bent on world domination
An American agent holds the
key. Mater is mistaken for the
Yank operative, and the
entertaining mix-ups begin.
As with "The Incredibles," our
car spies face danger with
much bravado and derring-do.
The villains are cars no longer
in production - such as Pacers
and Gremlins - unloved by the
public and labeled lemons.
Subject to ridicule, they share a lack of self-esteem with Mater. Acceptance of others and embracing differences are among
the film's key themes.
Much of the humor springs from sight gags, as director John Lasseter claims the human world for machines.
Passing through airport security, cars remove their tires. Gambling cars throw fuzzy dice at casino tables, and
head for the restroom when they begin to leak oil.
Asked an obvious question, Mater responds, "Is the Popemobile Catholic?" And before you know it, there he is,
in a nonspeaking cameo, a stately white vehicle topped with a miter, watching the Italian leg of the race, and
escorted by trams which appear to wear clerical birettas.
Traveling around the world with Fin McMissiles and Holly Shiftwell, Mater helps to figure out what is causing
the other race cars to blow engines during the first two races of the World Grand Prix. Eventually in the end
Mater is the last hope for finding the root cause of all the engine explosions bringing the founder of the
World Grand Prix in the movie, to justice.
To not spoil the movie too
much more, I would have to
say that I recommend this
movie for the amazing
visual effects, decent story
line, and overall the action
packed adventure that
demands your attention
throughout the movie.
Though there are parts of
the movie that are a little
sketchy, the overall movie
was fantastic. Overall
the movie did what it was
supposed to. And that is to
Entertain, and to keep the