Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.
Larry the Cable Guy,
It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they're hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.
When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Written by
Presenting itself as an episode, and not a sequel was key for Disney - Pixar in releasing Fire and Rescue. The subject, by all appearances in the trailer, sounded more like a children's TV show than a hour plus experience. As such, expectations of viewers are adequately set low for this pseudo sequel. Following the old adage, promise low, deliver high, Planes Fire and Rescue does just that; it promised little, and delivered more, showing that they may have learned from the lackluster cars 2.
The key here is that they delivered more, not to be confused with being great, and with sober expectations, can be enjoyed for what it is; a warm and fuzzy story for kids that is relatively content safe and funny. Strengths include revisiting a consistent portrayal of their source material, which is growing expansive. As such there are nods, often irreverently funny, to some of the recognizable entities in their other films. Rusteeze medicated bumper ointment and Dusty's former employer's pungent fertilizer make a return, one even justifying a short film on the Blueray/DVD release.
When looking at the plot itself, the writers come harrowingly close to undermining the basic point of the first film. By the end of the movie, they have corrected the deviation, though only by resolving things through the most obvious of manners. This resolution was so glaringly obvious that my own small children complained they could see it coming, though this shouldn't detract from the journey of getting to the end, which is a visual spectacle. They may have gone a little overboard on the fire, but the concern for Dusty is the anchor that keeps you engaged throughout the film.
With a significantly smaller story, and an ever ready abundance of new characters, this movie is sure to delight the small child audience for which it is intended, though sacrificing the depth of the original. Parents should know that there is more innuendo in this film, and like the original also contains several stereotypes that may offend. These include an native Indian helicopter and an inappropriately behaved fan who is present through most of the film.
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