#162 / 365 – ‘Cars 2 – 3D’ – 112 mins
Cinema Challenge #66 / 115
Cocky racing car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his pick-up truck pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) are leaving Radiator Springs for Europe. The plan is to compete in the first ever World Grand Prix in order to determine who’s the fastest car on the planet. But they’ve scrapes a-plenty ahead of them, involving a whole bunch of new four-wheeled friends and villains. While Lightning concentrates on winning that coveted title, Mater becomes drawn into the world of international espionage. British master spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and rookie field agent Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) recruit him for a dangerous mission. But Mater’s loyalties are divided. Although Lightning needs his assistance to win the race, he finds himself embarking on a high-speed chase through Europe and Japan, watched by the whole world.
When Disney Pixar ‘Cars’ roared onto our screens in 2006, for me and many others, because it lacked their secret weapon of originality in the storytelling, it was considered their weakest entry in their otherwise flawless portfolio to that point. So it came as surprise that John Lasseter had sanctioned a sequel, that said when your predecessor movie has made $10bn in merchandising sales, I guess this clearly becomes your motivation.
Once again, the visuals are of the highest quality possible and are what you come to expect from any Pixar adventure. The animation works best during Lighting McQueen and Co many race and chase scenes throughout London, Rome, Tokyo and America which are rendered positively accurate and beautiful.
Unfortunately, Cars 2 lacks any heart in its storyline and ends up equally unambitious as Cars 1. Netherless it’s not the worse animated film out there and it does have some fun in places, and as we are in the school holiday period the kids will lap it up in these summer months, even if the adults don’t, which has always been Pixar’s broad appeal.