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Lightning McQueen's European Vacation in Cars 2

Pixar’s Cars franchise takes a sharp turn from NASCAR mayhem and rural red-state-targeted ’50s nostalgia to 007 espionage with this upgraded sequel, though in its delivery of Matchbox-machine superheroics for its young male demographic, it stays true to its prime function as an advertising vehicle for lucrative merchandise. Nonetheless, if this shift can’t stave off monotony, it’s still welcome, as the series at least dispatches with conservative cultural pandering in favor of be-yourself platitudes and—following WALL-E’s lead—pro-environment messages, all delivered via high-octane chases over land, sea, and air. Those high-speed pursuits revolve around hot-rod Lightning McQueen’s (Owen Wilson) participation in a globe-trotting world grand prix, during which his redneck tow-truck BFF, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), is mistaken for a spy by a British secret agent (Michael Caine), becoming embroiled in a plot involving outmoded auto “lemons” and alternative green fuels. Director John Lasseter’s 3-D-enhanced animation sparkles, but it can’t energize centerpieces lacking in suspense, and shoving bumbling sidekick Mater—here cast as a Southern-fried Inspector Clouseau—into the spotlight does little to offset the dullness of these cloak-and-dagger machinations. Notwithstanding John Turturro’s amusingly smug Italian F1 speedster and a few lighthearted jabs at Japanese TV and technology, Cars 2 generally remains stuck in neutral.

 
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11 comments
David
David

Oh Joy, pro environmental brainwashing for the kiddies, pass.

Sanddollarqueen
Sanddollarqueen

OH NO! Guitar Hero is a great game for teens, young adults and even preteens with an interest in music. The average Cars fan is way too young is all I meant. Went to Cars 2. Fantastic movie for kids and adults. Great effects , great story. I give it 2 thumbs up!

Sanddollarqueen
Sanddollarqueen

Fun. The movie is fun.Thats all we need when taking a Grandchild to the movies. Hmm crass commercializm? Whats not? I would much rather my 7yr old Grandson be hooked on CARS then Guitar Herto or violent video games. Let kids be kids.

A Real Movie Lover
A Real Movie Lover

Nick you fool. Name me one animated movie by any studio that doesn't have ton of merchandise to go with it. Don't let your not too perfect childhood rob you of enjoying another great piece of work by Pixar. It is what it is, a great family movie and another hit for John Lassiter.

Colleen
Colleen

This was a fun adventure for the kiddos. I would not call it neutral at all. I thought it was a fun, action filled film. Calling it neutral is an understatement.

Emailatomic
Emailatomic

Well, Toy Story did not have a ton of merchandise to go with it back in the day. Most of the Dreamworks and Blu Sky animated films don't get a ton of merchandise flowing. This is the first Pixar film to score a rotten on the rotten tomatoes tomatometer. So Nick is not standing alone on this one. The critical reaction is dropping like a rock and is currently at 48 percent and falling fast. Cars two has been falling at a rate of about two points per hour from its initial rating of 67. Initial scores are always higher because early reviews are rarely negative,

crazycollegeguy
crazycollegeguy

Yeah but those films could be enjoyed on their own as a piece of art. Cars 2 is basically an overlong commercial for toys.

The Real Slim K
The Real Slim K

Yes, maybe, but you got to figure in the influence of political correctness on the reviews of the Village Voice and others who believe it is their higher calling to accent their inner girlhood. I've never met a kid who preferred toy story 1 to toy story 2, yet the white guy village voice folk always rank them the other way. Similarly things like bugs life and incredibles score just an 'aiiight' to little boys. Yes, of course, they liked Wall.E and 'Up', but they love the Cars films too. Because their dad doesn't shame them into behaving like girls all the time. You know, like people do in New York.

Sabo1
Sabo1

I typically don't pay a lot of attention to what the critics say because, well, sometimes they get it wrong. That same rating on rotten tomatoes says that 77% of the audience liked it, and I would pay more attention to that.

The Real Slim K
The Real Slim K

you posted this 1 day ago. The earliest screening of the movie was only 10 hours ago. How can this be, crazy college guy? How would you know about this being an overlong commericial for toys? Can you admit that you are really just another of those bitter selfish East Coast types who are predjudiced against West Coast car culture, Highway 66 American history, and well, practically anything other than your own East Coast navel?

 

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