Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cars 2

Cars 2
Directed by:  John Lasseter & Brad Lewis
Written by:  Ben Queen
Produced by:  Denise Ream
Released in theaters June 24, 2011

My Rating:  ★★★★★

This film is rated G.

Most of the original Cars favorites are back, with tons of fantastic new characters, like Finn McMissle (Michael Caine) and Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro).  This time, McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his motley pit crew take on the entire world (Tokyo, Italy, and London) as they participate in a World Grand Prix sponsored by the new green fuel, Allinol.  As Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) whole-heartedly supports his best buddy, while sometimes embarrassing him with his redneck quirkiness, he is mistaken by two British operatives for an American government contact.  The road gets a little bumpy when Lightning and Mater have a bit of a falling out, and Mater is pulled farther and farther into international espionage.  Finally, Mater must make a critical choice that could save his best friend, even if it means the great junkyard in the sky for him.

When my oldest son was around the age of my youngest son, he would watch Cars over and over all day, every day!  I can probably still recite the entire movie to you, word for word.  To this day, it remains a favorite in our house.

Most, if not all, of the familiar voices have returned for this new motor-powered adventure.  Tow Mater seems to take the lead this time, as he is inadvertently taken for an international spy and tossed right in the middle of a jalopy uprising.  I was pleased to find Mater had more on-screen time, not just because he is a “southerner” like me, but also because he is just so darn loveable and funny! 

While this film is certainly not short on humor, it is also much more action-packed than its prequel.  The spy cars, even Mater eventually, come fully loaded with automatic grappling hooks, machine guns, and missile launchers.  While the plot of this story was undoubtedly all in great fun and entertainment, even my six-year-old commented on the bombs and guns.  Perhaps it was a little more intense than what some people would prefer.

The graphics were superb, of course.  We did not see the 3D version of the film (I try to avoid these as much as I can!), but the colors popped and the story came to life before our eyes.  The soundtrack is subtle, but fun, including a track from Weezer.  The cast was spot-on.  Michael Caine was the perfect choice for the British spy, Finn McMissle.  I was sad that Doc Hudson was not included in this film (though he was honored near the beginning), but I later learned this was in respect to and in memory of the late Paul Newman.  Other voice actors who were lost prior to the filming of Cars 2 include George Carlin (Fillmore) and Joe Ranft (Red), but these characters remain in the story. 

Overall, this film was fantastic, and I know it will join our home movie collection when it is released on DVD and Blu-ray.  My entire family gives it an energetic “KA-CHOW!”