Today: May 22, 2024

Cars 2

Of all the Pixar productions of the last decade, Cars seemed the most Disney. Not without

Of all the Pixar productions of the last decade, Cars seemed
the most Disney. Not without groundbreaking animated sequences, enjoyable
characters and generally uncomplicated narratives, it just seemed to lack that
Pixar backbone that is best presented in the opening sequence of Up or Wall-E’s
flight through the solar system, which fall nothing short of mesmerising.

It also seemed the one that was made with kids of a certain
age in mind which, for anyone who is or knows a grown man who cried at Toy
Story 3, knows this is rarely the case for the studio. After a neatly tied up
first instalment it was a little surprising when news of a sequel appeared on
the wire, and with a safe but used plot it seemed Lightning McQueen had been
stretched as far as he could.

Extra weight was required for the series to continue, and
with the film’s previews came the assurance that John Lasseter knew what he was
doing. Complex stills of famous global locations completely vehiclised to the
same heavy-lidded transport of Cars promised colourful thrills that reached far
beyond the boundaries of Radiator Springs. Our four-wheeled amigos were taking
the world and it seemed more than the young folk were intrigued, especially
with the addition of Michael Caine to the cast as British spy Finn McMissile.

Cars 2 sees Lightning McQueen (Wilson) back at the height of
his career, though this time with the help of his new found mismatched
entourage, including rusty tow truck and “BFF” Mater (Larry the Cable Guy.)
After some mild taunting from an Italian race car McQueen enters into the World
Grand Prix, where friendships are tested and a dirty plot surrounding the
competition ties in with Caine’s Bond spoof.

Oddly Wilson is barely in this chapter, the spotlight
falling instead on bumbling clown Mater, who’s intolerable clumsiness lands him
slap-bang in the middle of a cut-throat conspiracy.

The plot is silly; overcomplicated, misguided and greatly
hindered by Mater’s indecipherable dialogue. At times amusing, Cars 2 opts
instead for the easy laugh; European stereotypes, chaotic slapstick and
childlike misunderstandings. Scraping just under two hours in length, it also
proves too long for its runny-nosed demographic and bums are definitely
wriggling out of chairs by the last 20 minutes.

But with its simplistic concepts there is still an element
of fun. The spy cars bring with them a good excuse for gadgets, fights and some
precise, clean-cut chase sequences. The new locations also allow the
opportunity for Pixar’s animators to really show off, from Japan’s throbbing
neon structures to the lulling courtyard’s of Italy. The 3D factor illuminates
this beautifully but brings little else to the show, which with several on
high-speed races feels wasted.

Cars 2’s biggest mistake is the infamous Pixar short. This
time round it’s a Toy Story spin off that, with its uncontrollable charm, daft
quirks and fool-proof characters sets the bar impossibly high for whatever has
to follow. In comparison Cars 2 still looks shiny and vibrant, but under the
bonnet there’s little to get excited about.

Beth went along to the Cars 2 premiere, check out her photos from the event here.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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