Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cars 2 (2011)

Running Time: 112 mins
Directed By: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Starring: (voices) Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Joe Mantegna, Cheech Marin, John Turturro, Emily Mortimer
Screenplay: Ben Queen, John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, Dan Fogelman
UK Release Date: 22nd July

Quick Plot: Every one's favourite race car, Lightening McQueen is back and this time competing in the World Grand Prix but while in Tokyo, McQueen's best friend Mater gets mistaken for a spy involved in a top secret investigation that might just affect the World Grand Prix.

Review: Everyone loves Pixar. Without a doubt they are at the top level of animation films, it's no surprise that the films are getting more vibrant, stunning and magical as they go along. Cars 2, I think, is so far the most beautiful and colourful Pixar film out of all 12 of their feature length films but that could be based on the evolution of the technology. My 4 year old cousins enjoyed the film a lot, they laughed, adored the new cars and thoroughly loved the action. Asking them what they thought after they gave it a thumbs up and one of them asked if they could go to the shop to buy it on DVD already! It's a must see for the kids this Summer and it does everything it tempts in the trailer, explosions, guns, new cars and laughs.
When I first heard of the plot to have Mater a more central character than Lightening McQueen for Cars 2 I was intrigued to see how Pixar would manage to keep the child audience fixated on Mater but they seemed to breeze past and the turnout was an incredible choice and made the sequel a different plot concept all together that worked perfectly. In the first film Mater was the additional character who added the humour but because he was the main character in Cars 2, I found the film a lot more funnier than the first and a lot more entertaining. Though I believe the English voice talents were part of my like for the film with Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer having such iconic voices, especially Caine's.
This visuals, like I've said, were completely stunning and the bright, vibrant colours got me completely enchanted by the beauty of Cars 2 but with that being said I feel as if it could have had a whole lot more in everything else. The story wasn't predictable which was great for people like me who try to guess everything, even in children films but I still felt something was missing.
But let's not dwell on my emotional disconnection with the film instead everything I loved about it.
I loved the energy and friendship bonds in Cars 2. It's nothing compared to Woody and Buzz or Karl and Russell but McQueen and Mater's friendship in this film has come a long way from the first film which I think gives off a good message for youngsters. Although the love story involving Mater is cute, but that's the extent of it and the ongoing romance between McQueen and Sally reaches the same level as the rest of the romance in the film.
I feel proud I noticed the A113 in Cars 2 (that is in every Pixar film if you didn't know) but I feel even more proud that I might have found the character who resembles a character in Pixar's next film Brave. In a few months time or when the DVD is released I will find confirmation of that character but at the moment I have a tiny hunch that one of the cars in the film had the, already, iconic Princess Merida's big, frizzy red hair- but I could have been imagining or creating things in my young Pixar fan head. Didn't spot much else because I was too fixated on the film but am sure a second viewing of the film in a few months time will give me the chance to spot more Pixar Easter Eggs!

It's a great film and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first in fact! The animation is absolutely beautiful and Pixar have made yet another great feature but with the success of  the magnificent Toy Story 3 last year, it was always going to be a steep mountain for Pixar to climb to try and create a good sequel. They've accomplished it but not greatly. I will no doubt watch Cars 2 again for my own delight and buy it as part of my Pixar collection. It's a hit for the kids this Summer and it's in my good books.


Cars 2 Trailer


Feature aside, the latest Pixar short 'Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation' is extremely enjoyable, entertaining and fun. The characters showing off their individual charm like always and it's delivers a funny storyline and works superlatively. It's a great add-on to one of the greatest film trilogy's and it definitely needed to be mentioned in my review.

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