Cars 2 – Movie Review
By Anne Brodie Jun 23, 2011, 1:13 GMT
Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an ...more
The casting of Cars 2 is positively mind blowing. When would Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Thomas Kretschmann, Bonnie Hunt, Joe Mantegna, Michael Caine, Owen Wilson, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, Eddie Izzard, Paul Dooley, Katherine Helmond, John Ratzenberger, Jennifer Lewis and my new fave Larry the Cable Guy ever get together? Well officially, voice artists record in isolation, but I’m sure there was a wrap party.
The cast which spans every kind of film, stage and TV format is positively sensational and another feather in John Lasseter’s Pixar cap. You get the feeling Lasseter, who seems to be a kid at heart, picks his favorite actors, using them for sentimental and professional reasons. It’s good to be the man.
For this outing, out Lighting McQueen accepts a challenge from a world weary but vainly over confident Italian race driver Francesco Bernouli to eat his dust in the World Grand Prix. The race takes place in various locales in Europe and Britain.
So after some prodding, McQueen and his best friend tow truck Mater prepare to leave their desert home and cross a continent and an ocean to get to the race.
McQueen sees trouble ahead and become pre-emptively embarrassed by Mater’s down home bumpkin style. They will be rubbing elbows with celebrities, movie stars, and Euro trash and McQueen doesn’t want to tarnish his image. This doesn’t feel right.
These two are best friends and to hear McQueen chew out Mater for this lack of finesse is unexpected and a tad unnecessarily nasty. It doesn’t fit the Cars spirit. It’s credo is that friendship and loyalty are precious. There’s no room for snobbery. And yet there it is.
Cars 2 is Mater’s film. He is the focal point and the engine that drives it. Larry the Cable Guy skewed well in the original film and the reward is top billing and fattest script. His energy is remarkable and that unique delivery is pretty bumpkin, but it’s all part of the tow truck’s endless charm.
Cars 2 is a spy caper, which plays out in the high stakes world of race car driving. Caine and Mortimer provide voices for a couple of English spies who are tracking developments and involve Mater who shows some solid brain activity.
There’s liberal use of guns, bombs and other weapons which is surprising and a total turnaround from the original film.
Scenes of the locales in Italy France and England are pretty spectacular; Pixar’s hyper realistic animation really does wonders for squeezing a lot of imagery into a frame. It’s like being there only without the fresh air.
In all, a fairly big improvement over the original Cars. There’s a more diverse milieu, a better story and better character development and revelations. The spy angle is genius especially as voiced by Mortimer and Caine. And a message about loyalty and steadfast friendship is never wasted.
Visit the movie database for more information.
Animated IMAX adventure
Written by Ben Queen, John Lasseter, et al
Directed by John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Opens: June 24
Runtime: 2 hours
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CEddie Izzard Biography -
Eddie Izzard Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesEmily Mortimer Biography -
Emily Mortimer Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMichael Caine Biography -
Michael Caine Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesVanessa Redgrave Biography -
Vanessa Redgrave Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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