Years pass by as Lightning McQueen has won four Piston Cups and is the pride of Radiator Springs. When he returns, Mater is there to try and have fun until McQueen goes on a date with Sally. Mater impersonates a waiter just to hang out with McQueen some more until a television talk show announces that a former gas guzzler named Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard) converted to electricity and has developed a new fuel called Allinol that is supposed to be healthier for the environment (I'll get to that later...) and holds a world cup Prix in honor of the fuel. McQueen is invited after Mater calls the show to confront an Italian rival Francesco Bernoulli (John Tuturro). The first race is in Japan, then Italy, and ends in the UK. During a party, Mater makes a fool of himself and meets up with a spy car (Bruce Campbell) who puts on a tracking device on him without him knowing. He is mistaken for a spy by British Intelligence and is assigned to work with agent Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) in solving an oil rig crime caused by a group of lemons (small cars that constantly break down) that plan on destroying the cars that use Allinol to make the alternitave fuel look bad and so more cars use regular gasoline instead. It's up to Mater to save the day and he does manage to do a surprisingly competent job working undercover. Meanwhile, McQueen had an argument with Mater before about costing him the race in Japan and feels bad for his friend throughout the movie. The two are reunited in England but the lemons put a bomb on Mater. He surprisingly manages to find out it was actually Axelrod that was behind the Allinol scheme and is arrested while Mater is knighted. He is made the second pride of Radiator Springs and the Prix finishes off in Radiator Springs.
I'm going to be completely honest here: this is a really mediocre film all around. It completely feels alienated from the first Cars film. And I may have criticized it for a weak story, it does have it's heartwarming moments here and there, the side characters were fun, and it does have a nice moral to it. Cars 2 feels like Pixar took all the negative aspects of the first film and somehow made it worse instead of improving it. The side characters are non-existent, the morals are gone and if there is one it's phoned-in, and the story somehow became even more generic than the first one. This is the same plot you'd see in any spy comedy but it's not well-written, the jokes fall flat, and its aims strictly for kids. What the flying spy-car happened here? The whole environmental message really confuses me too. At least with WALL•E, it made sense. But this is Cars! Everything in the world is a car! Wouldn't the o-zone have burnt up by now?
But I'll give the film some credit, it does have a better pace than the first movie and the animation is really, really good. The animators seem to be the only people trying here and the backgrounds are great. You really do feel like you're in these places. We go to Tokyo, then Rome, the London. And I'll admit, the action scenes are cool but some of the designs on the cars could use some work. It's not Pixar's best animation, but it's far better than anything else in the movie.
|The locale is really good from this pic.|
|Dat there bomb probably killed the other racers on accident?|
That's funny right there!
|*sniff!* Nothing at all!|