Cars 2, Film Review
Well a little later than I planned. But I finally got to see Cars 2, this weekend.
So to kick off this review lates start off with Pixars Short, Hawaiian Vacation witch is one of the Toy Story shorts that will be seeing.
Hawaiian Vacation, is set months after Toy Story 3. Bonnie is heading off to Hawaiian, and all her toys are looking forward to the break. The Gang are shocked to find that Barbie and Ken have stowed away in Bonnie Backpack hoping to join her in Hawaii. However to Ken horror, she has left the backpack home and gone without them.
The gang find out from Barbie that Ken was planning their first romantic kiss on the beach at sunset. So in order to give the two a romantic trip the gang get together give them just that. After various adventures in “Hawaii”, Ken and Barbie share their first kiss in the snow at sunrise, recreating the scene from the brochure. However, the two step off the edge of the porch without realizing it and end up buried in snow; a post-credits scene shows the other toys trying to free them from a block of ice in which they are now frozen.
With a run time of 6 mins, Pixar has managed to pack a fun little short that keeps hold of the fun that made the toy story movies so popular. It’s fun to see the whole gang again. However, given Pixar past short, this dose not live up to their standard.
But if the rumours are true that Pixar are starting pre-production on a forth Toy Story film? How many of these shorts are we going to see? One thing is for sure, if Toy Story 4 will be realised it will most likely be in 3 years after Brave, summer 2012 & Monsters University (Monsters Inc 2) due out at the end of 2013.
Now onto the main review.
“Cars 2” is an action packed movie form start to finish. Which is a relief as the first movie started off fine but became very boring in the middle and the action at then was too late to save the film for me. Even though it was still enjoyable, for me it’s not one of Pixar best.
This time round Lighting McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) plays second fiddle to Tow Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.), Which is a great move by Pixar as McQueen is a bit dull. “Cars 2” also has a different feel to it than “Cars” did.
Just with any of the other Pixar movies, the visuals are stunning a full of little in-joke that adults will pick up on, but with out them if would not be a Pixar move and just like any other CGI movie. Unlike the first film, this time we are taken around the world, with the main places being Tokyo, Italy and London.
The movie starts out with a very Bond opening with Finn McMissile (Voiced by Sir Michael Caine), investigating a missing British agent in the Pacific Ocean.
We quickly move on to Tow Mater waiting for his best friend Lighting McQueen to come home after winning his fourth Piston Cup. There is a little homage to the late Paul Newman, I have read that this scene lacked emotion but I did not see this. I think Pixar did this rather well considering that it got nothing to with the plot except to explain why Doc Hudson is not there.
McQueen want to take some time off and spend it with Mater and Sally, however that dose not go to plan as Mater gets McQueen involved with the new World Grand Prix, that pits the best of the best of motor racing cars (NASCAR, Road Racers, Formula one and more) in three races, in Tokyo, a Coastal Italian town and London.
McQueen bring Mater along, despite his misgivings at how his friend will fare in these sophisticated surroundings. With some mistaken identity Mater ends up in a bond-style spy mystery.
As with the first film everyday object in the background are made out of car parts. Like the rocks surrounding Radiator Springs, that look like the ends of a Cadillac sticking out of the ground.
The Villains are lemons in the automotive sense. The key henchmen are AMC Pacers and Gremlins. The key to discovering the villains come when Mater recognizes the obscure motor mount blots of the head villain.
Mater really shine in the only way Mater can in a fun scene in an automated toilet in Tokyo. Mater interacts well with the British spy’s Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell (Voiced by Emily Mortimer). As I have mentioned before the film has a Very Bond feel to it, which Pixar own Incredibles had. This is a welcome change form the sleepy tone of the first film. With the increase in energy it a much more child friendly film. (my own children tend to get a bit bored with the first film.)
But it not all Bond as there are other movie homage’s as well; When the bad-guy bosses get together, it’s like a scene out of “The Godfather: Part III.” All the Racing shots are out standing and could come form some of most entertaining Formula One races. After seeing these scenes I knew this is the one thing that was lacking from the first film. Though the race scene from that film was fun, there just were not enough of them. While in “Cars 2” this is still a lacking, but this film is not about race car racing, it’s a spy movie and “Cars 2” ticks all the right boxes for this.
As with all Pixar movies there is a message within the story, this really comes though in a comic-action sequence near the end that plays as both a chase and couple’s therapy session.
Fans of the original movie who want to see a focus on McQueen may be disappointed, but Mater keeps the sometimes-intense action light. Pixar has done it again and they still have the magic to do a great film that is stunning to look at and story that is light hearted, even with it dark moments. This is a film that you will enjoy over and over again.
I give this film a 4.5 out of 5.
Finn McMissile: My apologies, I haven’t properly introduced myself. Finn McMissile, British intelligence.
Mater: Tow Mater, average intelligence.