Title: Cars 2 Director: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis Year: 2011 Run time: 1hr 46
A long, long while ago, Mr C and I saw the trailer for the Cars sequel and we were concerned. There appeared to be a lot of guns and it didn’t seem quite fitting for the Cars theme. Then it came out in the cinema and reviews were mixed. Molly Wood, in particular, was quite vehement about her dislike of the film and how it had been inappropriate for her child. I don’t have kids, and I don’t know what they like to watch in the cinema, but it’s fair to say that I was not really looking forward to watching this. However, I knew I had to see it to decide for myself.
1:24 - Already I don’t like it. I may not be going into this with an open mind. 3:04 - The water is amazing. 5:45 - When does Mater appear? Don’t care about any of these other cars. 7:46 - Mater! 7:57 - By the by, that was the cutest evil villain ever. He had a monocle and everything! 9:45 - Wheel bump! 14:54 - TV show within a film is confusing me. 15:50 - “He’s nice to look at, being open wheeled and all.” 19:17 - I may be determined not to like this movie, but so far it has plenty of those awesome little details like all good Pixar’s do. 20:43 - Lewis Hamilton’s starring role! 29:41 - Your secret message shouldn’t just be general knowledge. 32:44 - Ooh, he’s not the big villain. I should have known, he’s too mint green. 33:33 - Did he say LMP? Is Franck there? 37:30 It’s interesting, didn’t there used to be a conspiracy about an EMP being used on Lewis Hamilton? Art imitating life! 45:13 - Far too many fireballs in this. 50:45 - They’re good at capturing countries, stereotypical though it may be. 53:32 - “Is the Popemobile a Catholic?” 1:00:04 - They’re saying Italy, they mean Monaco. 1:08:41 - The lemon part of it doesn’t really make sense. 1:09:45 - “That’s what I’m talking about!” You’re kidding me that he said that. 1:12:07 - Mater shouldn’t have guns, even if he is using them by accident. 1:15:19 - Do they think we weren’t watching the last hour? Long old recap. 1:17:44 - Is this the race around London that Bernie wants? 1:24:08 - Love Francesco’s “What is happening?” 1:29:49 - I like the police car too. 1:32:16 - Beefeater cars! 1:38:40 - Mater has rockets and a girlfriend. Things have changed.
Oh dear. It’s hard to know where to start really. Firstly, I suppose, it is important to say that I was convinced this film was going to ruin the entire Cars franchise for me. It didn’t do that. There was enough of the fabulously simple Mater and the racy arrogance of Lightning to keep that essence. The trouble is, there wasn’t the story to do them justice.
The first film had a simple premise. McQueen was stuck somewhere he didn’t want to be but eventually learned that it is what you make of it. The characters were strong enough that they didn’t need a massively complex story to keep them going. Many of the scenes involved Lightning tarmacing a road and that was all that needed to happen.
This film has no clear premise. Something about spies, and perhaps Lightning not being mean to his friend. To make up for that fact, there are about 17 different story strands going on and none of them meet in the middle. It’s too much to follow, there really are far too many guns, and much of the action is misplaced. Mater flies through the air over London, sailing in with a parachute, dragging Lightning behind him. Um… no.
There are glimpses of the old Pixar genius. Moments for true racing fans, moments for those with eagle eyes, snippets of dialogue that are to die for. But it is all spliced together in something that is a big old mess and not at all endearing or worthy of repeat viewing. Also, spoiler alert they really do torture a car to death. I can totally see why Molly was upset.