Disney Pixar’s CARS 2 – Movie review

CARS 2 is the second installment of the successful Disney Pixar’s CARS (2006). This is our review of the movie, but remember, we still recommend for you to go and watch the film, because there is no better critic than yourself!

Before start this review, we have to mention a great bonus of the movie, courtesy of Pixar, as the short-film Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation is attached to the film. In this short film all our beloved Toy Story characters are present, giving you a great time and leaving you ready for the feature film.

CARS 2, is co-directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis. It follows the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the cable guy) who are heading abroad to participate in a race to determine the world’s fastest car at the Grand Prix. Mater and the gang are invited by Lightning McQueen to be part of his crew at the races, but Mater manages to embarrass his best friend in the first leg of the race held in Tokyo, breaking the relation between them, and somehow by consequence, on his way home, Mater is confused for a secret agent by British Intelligence Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and his girl agent Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer).

The scenarios of the Grand Prix are magnificent. The first leg of the race, as we said before, is held in Tokyo and it shows the best of Japanese culture, gorgeous car-geishas, sumo fights, advanced Japanese toilets and gorgeous views of the city.  Here, it’s important to mention the appearance of “Frosty”, the Australian representative in the races, voiced by V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom who makes a cameo in this part of the film. Moreover, British actor, Michael Caine has a great role as Finn McMissile, the head of espionage against the lemon cars as the automotive anomalies who are the bad guys in the film.

The best thing in CARS 2 is the amazing work made to recreate the races in Tokyo, London and Rome, the art direction is just spectacular, with a perfect job from Pixar as usual on this area. However, the sequel is mostly centered in Mater and his story as a secret agent instead of the races between Lightning McQueen and his new rival Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro) which is very disappointing for many fans of the original CARS. If you are not a fan of Mater in the original film, you might get confused in this sequel, because the story is centered in this character. It’s a bit shame that the other beloved characters of the original CARS, including Sally are taken to a second level and had a small role in the story.

Overall, CARS 2 is a very entertaining movie with magnificent animation, art and sound as you can expect from any Pixar movie. The characters are very well designed and you can even spot many funny sequences of the pope-mobile and The Queen of England in Car’s version. Maybe the risk of this sequel is the script, that sometimes looks like it was created more for adults rather than focus exclusively on the kids. However, CARS 2 has great comedy moments that remind you a little bit of Austin Powers or old spy comedies that for sure the entire family will enjoy.

So, get your engines ready and go to your local cinemas next week, because Disney’s Pixar CARS 2 will hit Australian cinemas this June 23rd, 2011.

Also, don’t forget to check our coverage of CARS 2 Australian Premiere at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter.