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Dazzling and charming!
bopdog26 June 2011
I knew I would like this film, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how amazing I found it. As a hold-out and a bit of a cranky git, I confess I am one of those who find the 3D experience an annoyance. Maybe if they someday come up with a contraption-free (no glasses) way to see it, I might like it. My cinema only had it in 3D. Drat.

However, the 3D annoying gimmick aside- I was thrilled by the lush beauty of this movie. I was also gratified by the depth and meaningful quality of the story. Recounting the plot here would not accomplish anything, so I'll skip it. Let us say that if the outcomes of all the plot points were probably predictable, that's OK--- As a "comedy" that is the formula- and it was well served.

I was entranced throughout.

Emily Mortimer's solid feminine sweetness and likability came through- and Michael Cain was a hoot. And the skillful comedic actor Eddie Izzard's characterisation was also true to his particular form. The cast from the first Cars film all seemed to be here as well- to good effect.

I will note that this did not seem like a film made for small children at all. My auditorium was filled with the little guys- a cute and amiable crew, to be sure. But I cannot imagine that they would find the characters and the intricate story intelligible. And the jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery and artwork would also likely be lost on them.

I loved this movie!
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It's not terrible
doomedmac5 April 2021
This is not the worst movie ever made, contrary to popular belief. It's honestly pretty entertaining.
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frenchlerner5 November 2016
It is true that this film is not like others Pixar films.But it is not acctualy so bad.Many review-writers is telling that this film is huge disappointment,and I think it is not true.I think that expectations was too big.

So,this is story about cars.About one friendship.They are completely different,but they are best friends.There is lot of nice,simple humor in the story.The scenario is "smooth" and it is easy watchable.There are much of action,surprises,cool techniques,like in James Bond. Yes,we could not expect that,but it is really OK .The characters are in many different places and they are meeting a different people.Characters are 3D,they have feelings and we feel empathy about them.

But,there is a "dark side" of film,which is not like Pixar.Enemies,propaganda and that stuff.These problems confuses and my 10 year old brother.It is not ugly or violent,it is just confusing to kids.

About animation,I will not discuss.It is still Pixar;great animations and visuals and everything about it.

This is family film and it is really relaxing and enjoyable.Maybe sometimes is confusing,but it is not acctualy so bad.Because of action and messages that film gives: 7/10
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A Great Summer Film, that the whole family can enjoy
Loving_Silence11 June 2011
We all know that Pixar makes incredible movies, I personally have never disliked a Pixar film. The first "Cars" film, was a great movie, not a perfect film. It was one of the least better films, Pixar has made, but that's like saying, Insomnia was one of Christopher Nolan's worst films. I had high expectations when coming to see the film, like I always have before I see a Pixar film.

After my viewing of the film, I have to say Pixar never fails to produce a great, entertaining film. Although it doesn't reach the heights of Wall-E, Toy Story 3, etc. It still stands by itself pretty high up there. The animation is extremely well done, the look of the film is amazing. The voice actors are great, I miss Paul Newman though. Although the film is not perfect. The movie is not perfect though, the story is not great, but not bad, the movie does not have the emotional as other Pixar films, but it is definitely not a heartless film. But the film is definitely entertaining and a great beginning to 2011 Summer movie season. Take your whole family to see this movie, it will probably not disappoint. It will not only satisfy kids, but also the adults, this film is for everyone. Fun for kids, but the adults can also connect with it and will have a great time watching this movie in theaters. It is quite an adventure and I will be glad to give it a second viewing.
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Top shelf sequel
dfranzen7026 June 2011
Pixar seems immune to the problems that studios normally have with their sequels, in that Pixar's sequels don't, you know, stink. Cars 2, like the Toy Story films, captures every bit of sincerity, thrills, and pitch-perfect animation that the original did. It's a beautifully shot movie with terrific voice characterizations, including a surprisingly awesome turn by Larry the Cable Guy.

In the movie, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) has settled down in Radiator Springs with his girlfriend Sally Carerra (Bonnie Hunt) when he is goaded into joining a three-country race by an Italian Formula One car voiced by John Turturro (who's hilarious). Naturally, Lightning must take along his bestest best friend, Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), who's - shall we say - not as world wise as McQueen or the rest of his crew. Hilarity ensues.

To add to the tension, all of the racers are required to use a new alternative fuel invented by eco-awesome-dude Sir Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard), but when a few cars mysteriously explode during the first leg of the race, in Tokyo, people start to wonder if the fuel is indeed safe. Of course it is - because the real culprit - as we learn right away! - is employing electromagnetic pulses to disable the vehicles in the hopes that people will blame the fuel, which will bring them back to good ol' yummy oil. But tipped off to this subterfuge is British agent Finn McMissle (Michael Caine) who, along with his new-to-the-field sidekick Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), is out to stop whoever's behind all of this - and that, my friends, is where Mater comes in.

This isn't really a Lightning McQueen movie; he's more of a supporting character, as Mater is unwittingly pulled into the espionage business by the Brits, who mistake him for a fellow agent (those English are so gullible!). But because of Mater's inelegance and lack of focus, McQueen winds up losing that first race, a result for which he blames a crestfallen Mater. There's your friendship conflict, always a reliable trope in animation.

The race then shifts to Milan and then London, with Tuturro's Bernoulli and Wilson's McQueen trading many a barb and insult (with Bernoulli usually winning). This allows the animators to mix in some awesome scenery from both countries, and you'll swear it's filmed rather than animated. Absolutely spell binding.

The two plots, the spy angle and the brotherly friendship deal, dovetail nicely by movie's end, but not before we're honestly treated to some spectacular stunt driving (ahem) - off roofs, down parking garages, and so on. It's like parkour for cars, which most of us would call driving but the cars here probably call walking and climbing.

I saw this movie not only in 3D but also in IMAX. I've said harsh things about 3D, and IMAX costs even more per movie. It's all worth it here. The colors are vibrant, and when something SHOULD leap out at you, it does, and it looks really, really good. The sound is shattering; your seat will rumble. It's a visual orgy.
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Such a disappointment
markdroulston22 June 2011
16 years ago, Pixar Animation Studios released the first feature length computer animated film in history, Toy Story. What followed was an incredible run of success, an 11 film hot streak that yielded dozens of awards (including 11 Oscars), billions of dollars in box office receipts, and the admiration of audiences and critics everywhere. Year after year Pixar was a company you could rely on, and while not all the films were perfect, they all were at least of decent quality, and light years ahead of their competition from the likes of Dreamworks and Sony. So therefore it's heart-breaking to say that Pixar's hot streak has come to a crashing halt in 2011. Cars 2 is not just the weakest film in Pixar's catalogue, it is the worst high-profile animated release for some time.

If there is one Pixar film that divides opinion much more than any other, it is 2006's Cars. While by no means a bad film, it just didn't hit in the same way as films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles. It did middling numbers at the box office (by Pixar standards) and currently sits with a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the only film from the studio below 90%. For director John Lasseter (also head of Pixar), Cars is obviously a very personal film, a nostalgic story about the loss small-town American values in the face of increased modernity. If it's not a complete success, credit must be given to Lasseter for at least trying to say something meaningful, and in typical Pixar fashion the film stands out in the increasingly crowded computer animation film market for at least attempting thematic depth, and it's ability to reach audiences both young and old. Cars 2 on the other hand is completely devoid of depth and subtlety, and will more than likely annoy adults while at times being arguably inappropriate for children. Returning director Lasseter takes the worst character from the first film (in my opinion the biggest reason for Cars' failure), and structures the whole story around his infuriating exploits. Imagine George Lucas, upon seeing the negative feedback following The Phantom Menace, making all of Episode 2 about Jar-Jar Binks. That's the kind of thing we're left with in Cars 2. Compounding the story problems is the troubling amount of guns and violence in the film. To make the argument that 'it's OK because they're just cars' is inexcusable. This is still supposed to be a children's film, and while the espionage sub-plot does have potential, there are elements that seem shockingly unsuitable for young kids.

This brings up a question: why would Pixar choose to revisit the only film they have produced which could conceivably be called a failure? Lasseter is on record as saying that the company would only explore sequels to their films if a good story could be developed, and the level of quality of the two Toy Story sequels seems to back up this sentiment, but it's hard to believe that anyone would think the script of Cars 2 is worthy of that high standard. Interestingly, there is one other way that Cars stands apart from other Pixar films: the estimated $8 billion merchandising revenues. While all Pixar films have profited from merchandising, none have had the global appeal of Cars. It's upsetting to think that Pixar, a company who seemed previously to place greater importance on the quality of its films than the bottom line, have gone for the easy cash grab, but there really seems to be no other reason for the existence of Cars 2. Everything about the films seems designed to increase the potential for selling merchandise, whether it's the films global locations which pander to international audiences, or the increasingly ridiculous characters and set-pieces, tailor made to be toys and video games. It's a cynical opinion, one which I had hoped I'd never feel towards a Pixar film, but it is undeniably true: Cars 2 is a film created not as an artistic endeavour, but to feed ancillary markets.

Pixar's golden run had to end sometime, and one bad film is a small price to pay for 11 good, with two or three being genuine masterpieces. What is most unfortunate is the catastrophic level of Cars 2's failure, and Pixar will undoubtedly lose a lot of respect for making such a soulless film, unworthy of the studio's name.
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How the Mighty have Fallen
ARTaylor24 June 2011
We hoped it would never happen, but no one is perfect. Even the best can stumble. This had to happen eventually. Even the string of terrific Disney's classic films and the 90s Disney Renaissance didn't last forever. I'm afraid that, yes, Pixar has made a bad film.

Cars 1 was their least ambitious film. The story was predictable and character development obvious making it their most mediocre film. It was good but it lacked that little extra touch that made their films great. However, they had some great side characters, a heart, and wonderful scenes that elevated it up beyond most other films. But ever since this film's announcement I always wondered why. McQueen had his story and there's not much else to tell. Like Finding Nemo, where else is there to go? And I'd rather see sequels to better movies like The Incredibles, even Bug's Life seems to have more potential. It's easy to see why they made a sequel to it, since all you need to do is go to Disneyland or any Disney Store and see it covered in McQueen and Mater, which happened to be two my of three year-old cousin's first words. Off all the Pixar films, Cars made the most with the merchandise.

The biggest problem is the story. Cars 1, while predictable, was touching. Cars 2 has almost no heart or character development. The focus shifts from McQueen to Mater. McQueen had his story in the first and there's little to tell here. He has one character moment that's essentially the same realization as the first film's. The problem with Mater is that he's such a simple character. Everything about him is on the surface for all to see. He's the same person throughout the movie, with one predictable realization which goes no where, that he doesn't warrant his own film. He's like Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. They're both terrific side characters but lack enough complexity for a full story. And Larry the Cable Guy has always been better with the other Blue Collar guys rather than on his own.

While Cars 1's highlight was its side characters, this movie almost abandons them. They do nothing. McMissile is a moving plot device and little more. Shiftwell is supposed to be a love interest but lacks any interesting moments. The rest of Radiator Springs basically sit back while McQueen and Mater have all the fun. Their stories and character are pushed aside so Larry can have fun being Mater. Because of this, there are almost no funny little side scenes where characters just have fun being themselves. Instead, most of the humor is derived from seeing Mater do silly things.

The look is impressive but not more than anything else Pixar's done. With each movie, the studio has pushed the graphics into new levels. Each movie has had some wow moment where audiences can't help but be amazed by what they're seeing. There were times in Cars 1 when it looked almost real. Cars 2 lacks any wow factor. One of the most impressive sets, Tokyo, were already spoiled by the Tokyo Mater short. This more than anything makes me wonder if Pixar was even trying to up the ante or if they were just using what they had to make a movie a year.

Spies and Cars seems to work well together. After all, any Bond or Bourne film will easily demonstrate why the two go together. Indeed, the opening scene on the drilling platform is easily the best with the fast chase and cool gadgets. But they weren't able to properly combine the racing and spy elements, almost as if you're watching two movies at once. There's too much spy stuff for the racing to be interesting, which becomes pointless against the overpowering and overly clichéd spy story. Perhaps Pixar should have set it as simply a spy movie set in the Cars universe and had McQueen and his friends in cameos or as a background story.

Another lousy spot is the music. Cars 1 had a terrific soundtrack with excellent uses of popular songs like Life is a Highway and Route 66. But there's not one memorable song or music cue in this movie. Giacchino usually does terrific work like with The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up. But he too fumbles the ball here. Perhaps he was just uninspired by what he had to work with.

Cars is Lasseter's pet project. But I think he's too close to it. He's got that Lucas Star Wars prequel trilogy problem. The people around him either were in awe of the man who made Pixar and Toy Story or they were afraid to hurt his feelings since he loves the Cars franchise so much. Pixar efforts have been so well done because they were collaborative efforts, each fixing each other's problems to make a better project. But with Lasseter off working more directly with Disney, he really should have had a co-director or perhaps given the reins to someone else like he did with Toy Story 3.

I almost rated this movie higher. It is fun while you're watching it, even if as soon as it's over it becomes too easy to pick apart the problems. But this is Pixar. They've dominated the animation market since Toy Story and have been pushing the boundaries at the Academy Awards ever since. To see them stumble with a not-so-great film would be one thing. But they're coming off from two Best Picture nominees to a movie that's simply flashy but with little substance. Kids will love the bright colors and silly antics, but parents will hate having to then buy twelve new Mater toys. Cars 2 is stalled and in need of a tune-up.
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Better than the first
Luigi Di Pilla4 December 2011
My nine year old son liked Cars 2 a lot and me and my wife too.

The special effects are really phenomenal. I was very surprised how realistic all the sceneries were built up. Congratuilations to all the staff for all these fireworks. Then the story was packed with some good spy elements à la James Bond. The fly scenes were well executed too and there was more action than in the first Car. It offers also a great tour in Europe nicest countries as in Paris, Rome, Riviera, London and in Tokio.

I think this is the plan how all the coming animation movies should be made. Suspense and in the same time very near plot to the reality could like children and adults. Just take the examples Ice Age or Rio.

Final vote: 9/10
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Something's Missing
TourettesPersonal27 August 2011
The saddest thing about Pixar today is, they don't know what movie they are going to release on their 25th Anniversary since one of their upcoming projects "Newt" was cancelled despite from Blue Sky's Rio plot. Cars 2 feels like it's a direct-to-DVD film. It's not really bad but it's just unnecessary. Though, the action is pretty cool. The kids will enjoy it but the rest is like Rango. Instead of Western Themes, it's Spy movies. The story isn't bad except it doesn't give anything emotional and heartwarming unlike the other Pixar movies. Cars 2 is pretty fun but the most important ingredient of their movies is missing.

Firstly, the lead of the film is Mater. The theme of the film is Espionage but it's just some sort of an animated version of a particular spy movie. Everything moves here. There are too many action that any kid can enjoy but the story is probably too interesting for grown ups. If the movie gets focused to the plot, the kids might get bored. The missing Pixar element here is the heartwarming moments. The movie still has a heart but it fails to be compelling. Don't worry about the humor, that is one thing they will never fail. Some of the writing seems rushed.

The voices do what they do best. John Lasseter knows what to do in this movie. The animation is obviously pretty good. The score is a bit generic that you may hear in any movie or television show. The action keeps everything moving. Watching the car fighting scenes is like watching a kid playing his little toy cars and let them do something fun. Which is pretty impressive.

In Pixar, the craftsmanship or the animation doesn't quite matter. It's all about the compelling story and the emotional heartwarming moments. It's hard to say Cars 2 is bad film. Pixar still knows how to make a good movie but without their important elements, it's like you're watching a movie from a different studio. Once again, it's pretty fun but if you expect a lot of Pixar magic then you might get disappointed.
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An action-filled fun change of pace
rjung26 June 2011
Sometimes you go to a Pixar movie and get a deeply insightful, heart-tugging classic that sings to the deepest corners of the human condition.

And sometimes you go to a Pixar movie for some uncomplicated fun and adventure.

"Cars 2" is unapologetically the latter; it never reaches the emotional depths of "Up" or "Toy Story 3", but it never tries to be. Instead, this is a family-friendly action-packed adventure movie, the kind of movie you watch because you just want to sit back and enjoy the spectacle. Whether it's the gorgeous scenery, the breakneck chase sequences, or Finn McMissile's never-ending arsenal of cool gadgets, "Cars 2" is a movie that simply wants you to have fun as you follow along with its whirlwind escapades.

Some might feel this is a disappointment from Pixar, but I think that's being unfair -- after all, no one begrudges Steven Spielberg for producing both "Schinder's List" and "Indiana Jones".

"Cars 2" isn't high art, but it never tries to be. Even the best creators deserve to cut back and have fun once in a while.
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arielsiere19 May 2022
Cars 2 was great movie from 2011 along with Winnie The Pooh in my opinion i understand why people hate it,it's because Tow Mater became a superficial character in the film guys i like Tow Mater but only in 1st and 3rd movie, he always helped Mcqueen come on this movie needs positive reviews rather than hate.
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Mater may be a good Sidekick, but a good Lead he is not!
3xHCCH24 July 2011
"Cars 2" is an unusual case of a highly anticipated film that was not simultaneously released here locally as in the States. I wonder why? Anyway after I watched this film, I think I know why. For all the positive goodwill that the first Cars film had, this film was a relative disappointment.

I will not knock the artwork. This definitely maintains the high standards that elevate all Pixar films with regards to quality of animation. The racing and hi-jinx spy sequences done in familiar landmark locales all over the world were all very excellently rendered. There was action in the roads, underwater and the skies. This time we get to see talking boats and planes, aside from just the titular cars.

For me the problem was with the story. I think the complex spy story that underlies this installment, and the highfalutin spy lingo it uses, flies over the comprehension of the young kiddie audience it caters to. I do not think kids would fully understand about the issues on alternative fuels or on "lemon" cars. These "adult" issues that motivate the villains' violent actions will make it hard for kids to really get the story without parental explanation. I think it was not too cool to see cars being "killed" in some very violent scenes. I do not think it was a good idea to kids to see their gentle favorite Mater with rocket boosters and machine guns.

Contrary to most expectations, Lightning McQueen is NOT the hero of Cars 2. The central character in this one is Mater, whom we knew as the loyal sidekick. Unfortunately, for me at least, Mater did not cut it as leading man. His awkward country bumpkin demeanor and hick-town country drawl were only funny from the side, but was rather hard to take when it was front and center most of the time.

After Mater, the cars with more screen time than McQueen were British spy cars Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. While they were both quintessentially cool British secret agents, they also blow the beloved "heart and soul" of the first Cars movie out of this film's focus. You hardly even see Sally and the rest of the Radiator Springs gang. It was also that the focus of the whole film was more the "James Bond"-like spy story, while the races were merely incidental.
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some fun but not as good as the first one
SnoopyStyle20 September 2013
Spies Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) and Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) are trying to contact an American spy to help stop an evil plot. The problem, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) was mistaken as the American spy. Meanwhile Mater had accepted a challenge on behave of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). Although Lighting McQueen's friendship with Mater is sorely tested as Mater keeps embarrassing himself in front of the competition.

The franchise is continued with this sequel. This time they added a 007 storyline. But the main storyline continues to be the friendship of Lightning McQueen and Mater. The 007 storyline gives it something different and interesting. There is some fun, but it's not as poignant as the original. It comes off as more silly especially because with an evil plot.
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Not As Good As the First But Still Good.
cayers404217 February 2014
I know I'm WAY late on this by over a year. Overall I liked it. Loved a lot of the new characters, especially Finn McMissile and the arrogant Italian car guy (whatever his name was). Liked Raoue Carole as well. I just had two major pet peeves with it: it focused on Mater. Mater already had his own little spin-off of "Mater's Tall Tales" which I love. A movie centered on him just didn't do it for me. Had it been on Lightning (like the first one) or any other character I would have been okay. It may have to do with the fact that I'm no Mater fan. My second beef was Doc Hudson wasn't in it. I know why, I understand wanting to honor Paul Newman (whom I adored), hate to sound callous, but the show goes on. If he ended up with a different voice then so be it. Better yet, he could have been in it for a few seconds, and just not say anything at all. Fillmore's voice actor passed and he was still in it so to me there was no excuse not to have Doc in it. My two cents, of course.
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Rachel from penrith professionals real estate
rachel-106-88119713 July 2011
Cars 2 The sequel to Pixar's success movie about one car's journey to achieve his dreams follows the same premise; however it's Mater turn in the fast lane, this time. When Lightning McQueen brings his best friend along to a world cup racing championship, based in Tokyo, Mater finds himself caught up in serious matters concerning spy cars and terrorism on an international level. What turns out to be a series of potentially deadly situations throws Mater into a fast-paced world of secrecy, gadgets, guns, disguises and heroics. It's James Bond meets the original Cars, in this film packed with racing, romance and rendezvous. A fun flick for the whole family to enjoy!
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Flawed but still enjoyable
thomsedavi24 June 2011
The best of Pixar's films have protagonists who are a small part of a very large world and are almost helpless against incredible odds - Toy Story, Wall-E, Finding Nemo etc. The protagonists of Cars are very big in a very small world, so do not play to the strengths of Pixar.

However, being Pixar, they still make these films better than anyone else would have with the same material. Cars and Cars 2 are intelligently written and filled with more detail than you could comfortably fit into a single screening.

This movie is not so much a sequel to the first as an affectionate James Bond parody that happens to be set in the Cars universe. Whereas the original Cars was thematically slow and patient, this one deliberately takes things in the exact opposite direction. Whether anyone will prefer the first film or the second is entirely their preference, and it is wrong to say that one is better than the other. Each film has its own appeals and drawbacks.

The main weakness of this film is a failure to create any kind of sympathy for the characters. They are not alone, they are not lost, they have friends and allies and the resources to get out of any situation. It never feels like there is any real danger, as there is with the Toy Story films. Whereas the first film had enough focus on character development to compensate for this, the subplot about the tested friendship between McQueen and Mater seems especially insubstantial here.

Nevertheless, I feel like this is an enjoyable installment in the franchise, never letting your attention wander and always ready with a clever idea. They have demonstrated that they are willing to go in entirely new directions with this world - maybe if they make a third film, they can make something truly worthy of the Pixar name?

If I were rating this in comparison to other Pixar films, my score would be lower... but scoring this as a film on its own, I think it is deserving of between five and seven stars.
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Peak cinema
moviematthewh-6078314 July 2021
I'm so disappointed this got snubbed at all the award ceremonies in 2012. Best animated film of all time.
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Not what my kids and I expected...
atrpunk24 June 2011
Espionage, assassinations, sabotage of renewable energy, propaganda, corporate cover-ups, media manipulation and The Mob...

James Bond? Nope. Jason Bourne? Nope.

Disney/Pixar's CARS 2. Wow. This movie wasn't at all what I was expecting. In the second serving of Lightning McQueen and his pals, they take their show to the international stage in a world championship race-off sponsored by oil-alternative manufacturer, Allinol. But turmoil behind the scenes pulls the gang into a world of spies, the Mob, Big Oil, evil German scientists and hit men. Now they have to save the world before it's too late. Oh, and they race too. The animation is amazing. Water, large balloons, backgrounds during attention because the quality of the graphics in this one are world-class. There are some goofy, funny moments and some nice one- liners for the older crowd. The themes of being true to yourself and bonds of friendship run strong throughout this film but it's the remainder of the message that worried me. There were non-stop put downs throughout and some other questionable topics. I was beginning to question the G rating when the villain ordered his henchmen to "kill" several other cars. Thinking back to the innocence and the good spirit of the first movie, I began to wonder how we got from there to here. Adventures in racing take a back-seat to the more mature plot of an espionage thriller. Looking around the theater, I could tell that kids younger than 4 or 5 were beginning to get lost. Even my ten-year-old had a hard time understanding the socio-political messages. On top of all that, I'd be willing to bet that Cars 2 is a contender for most guns, explosions and bullets fired in a G-Rated movie. This movie had much more violence than the first one.

Aside from the appropriateness of the movie, it wasn't bad. All the likable characters from the first movie were back with bigger roles like 'Mater & Luigi and there were many new characters added that also brought their own personalities into the mix. To me, this was an espionage-thriller so the added bonus of some comedy made the movie move right along at a good pace.

It was engaging for me, I enjoyed it, but the entire time I couldn't help but wonder why Disney/Pixar chose to tell this story through a kids movie.
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Feels like a bad Saturday morning hangover; Pixar has definitely run low on gas!
Hellmant29 June 2011
'CARS 2': Two Stars (Out of Five)

Pixar Studio's 12th animated feature, and without a doubt it's all time low point, is this sequel to the 2006 hit original. Another tale of the adventures of Lightning McQueen and buddy Mater in a world of all living cars and other automobiles. John Lasseter (who also directed the original and first two 'TOY STORY' films) returned to direct the film (his first time doing so since the film's predecessor five years ago) with newcomer Brad Lewis. It was written by Lasseter, Lewis, Dan Fogelman and Ben Queen. The film is only the third sequel Pixar has released (after the second and third 'TOY STORY' films) but many more are planned. This is not a good sign by the looks of 'CARS 2'. Hopefully this was just a speed bump but it was not a good film by any means and by no measure lived up to the previous standards set by the respectable studio.

The film picks up with race car Lightning McQueen (once again voiced by Owen Wilson) returning home to his hometown of Radiator Springs after a successful racing trip. His best friend, the tow truck named Mater (once again voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), is overjoyed to see him. After spending a day together catching up Mater quickly becomes jealous when McQueen wants to spend time with his girlfriend Sally (Bonnie Hunt reprising her role) alone. He then gets heated up when he hears a cocky Grand Prix race car named Francesco (John Tuturro) boasting how he could easily take McQueen in any race, on TV. Mater calls up the news show and challenges the race car which leads to McQueen entering the Grand Prix and taking Mater along with him. Once there Mater becomes involved in an espionage adventure (through a classic movie mistaken identity scenario) and teams up with two spies (voiced by Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer).

The film does have a positive message about friendship and being true to yourself regardless of how others treat you because of it, as well as an environmental message about alternative fuel sources, but it seems tacked on and forced. The rest of the movie is a pain to get through to get to it and not quality entertainment for anyone (of any age). I was extremely bored and annoyed by the film and I could tell most others in the theater I was seeing it in were as well. Kids were crying and being antsy and parents were moaning and constantly yawning. The film barely got any laughs or signs of positive emotion from anyone in the theater that I could tell. The magic just wasn't there like with other Pixar films. The movie is loud, clanky and simply put a mess. The characters are underwritten and the story barely holds together for it's nearly two hour running time. Nothing about the film works. It feels like a bad Saturday morning hangover. All except for the visuals, the visuals are still grade A but for the money spent on the film ($200 million) they should be a lot better. Pixar definitely has run low on gas, at least for the time being. Hopefully it can get a jump start.

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More exciting than Cars!
OllieSuave-00722 February 2015
This is a Disney/Pixar sequel about hot-shot race car Lightening McQueen who travels to Japan with best friend Mater for the World Grand Prix. While McQueen tries to win the race, Mater gets himself caught in the path of Holly Shiftwell and Finn McMissile, spies on a mission to stop a sabotage plot created by old cars called "lemons."

John Lasseter and Brad Lewis did a great job in directing this movie, grasping the audience's attention from the start with a thrilling espionage sequence. The story then picks up steam pretty quickly with McQueen getting himself into the Grand Prix race by Mater and then inadvertently getting Mater into the espionage ordeal. With all the spies searching for clues to the "lemons" trying to sabotage the good cars, the plot gives you good ol' fashion spy movie excitement and quite a lot of thrills and suspense.

The entire voice cast did a nice job in their respective roles, making the characters memorable. Owen Wilson continued with his convincing hot-shot personality of McQueen, Larry the Cable Guy did his country-old style personality of Mater, Michael Caine did a nice job voicing Finn McMissile with his British accent and Emily Mortimer did a charming job in voicing Holley Shiftwell. I enjoyed seeing the various the human traits exhibit in the car characters and also enjoyed the terrific visual/special effects and animation work, especially capturing the splendid scenery of Tokyo, Paris and London.

I thought too much emphasis was placed on Mater and not enough on Lightening McQueen. But, overall, I believe this sequel is more funner and exciting than the first Cars movie - definitely worth the watch by the entire family!

Grade B+
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Pixar's weakest effort
cardsrock25 December 2019
This felt more like a random animation studio's film than the mighty Pixar's. Cars 2 is seriously lacking in Pixar's trademark depth and maturity. The story is pretty weak and the humor is is not really there. This is probably the lowest point in the iconic studio's filmography.
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Mater is like Tabasco sauce, a little bit is fine, but too much is overpowering.
cricketbat25 July 2018
Even though Cars 2 is a Disney/Pixar production about espionage, it's sadly quite boring. I think part of the problem comes from the fact that they rely on most of the humor coming from Mater - and that doesn't work. Mater is like Tabasco sauce, a little bit is fine, but too much is overpowering. This movie just doesn't have the heart that other Pixar films have.
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Good movie! Uplifting message for ALL!
peacedisturber9 July 2011
The first part of the comment is long and if you get tired of reading it, I understand, skip to the next part. But, there are some good points.

First, DO NOT DOWN RATE IT JUST BECAUSE IT WAS A PIXAR/Disney MOVIE WITH SPY ACTION AND GOT A 'G' RATING. Pixar/Disney is not responsible for the G rating. The MPAA is! I think it probably got a G rating for all of the intriguing and educational cultural subtleties and for some reason that's the way movies seemed to be rated. No sexual innuendos, no cursing (including the Lord's name in vain). Oliver! the Musical is a great example of an interesting G rated film. It has drug usage and theft all over it! Why is it rated G? Who knows? Anyway, if you are going to judge this movie based on: "Well, it has too much violence for a family movie" and not on its actual quality and without considering the really wholesome and uplifting messages then think about movies like 'The Incredibles', which has certain marital innuendos, plus more violence than Cars 2 AND more references to and scenes of death; think about "Prince Caspian", which CS Lewis in his books wrote for children around the ages of 6- 10, which has mild war scenes and scenes of betrayal and murder. They are movies which are wholesome which can be enjoyed and discussed by the ENTIRE family (maybe excepting really young ones). The ONLY difference is this: The two titles mentioned above involve people and not automobiles! Please don't kill good quality wholesome movies with your low ratings just because some MPAA people didn't give it a PG rating. And don't base your opinion of it based on whether it was appropriate for your 4 year old. Do you watch plenty of other movies that you don't let your children watch which actually contain swearing or violence or innuendos of any kind and like it and give it a good rating? If you don't want your kid watching CARS 2, then don't let them watch it till they're 8 or 9, that's all.

Second, it was a REALLY good quality movie with an amazing message and really witty and hilarious cross-cultural humor which is in no way offensive. It has a really good message about friendship and not putting others down and calling them stupid (PERFECT MESSAGE FOR FIRST GRADERS!) and that everyone has some type of special ability or talent or knowledge and is vital to completing a mission.

Third, I was surprised at first when I heard they were making a sequel to Cars. I mean, what more could they do with the plot if it is only about racing? McQueen already learned his lesson about not being boastful. I was pleasantly surprised to how they shifted the attention to the supposed idiot and turn him into a hero and conveys, once again, the message that anyone can be a hero.

I loved it! Everyone that has seen it with me loved it! I spoke with a guy in the theater who could probably relate to Mater's story, someone who probably seems to be an idiot and who is disabled. He excitedly told me that it was his third time watching the film. I could see that Mater was the hero with whom he could relate. I am sure that there are a lot of kids who may feel out of place at school and they can relate with Mater's story. Perhaps that is why it is rated-G, so that kids can learn at an early age those wonderful lessons as well as gain a deep appreciation for cultural diversity.

(Again, if you really don't want your children to watch it, then that's fine. But, don't give a less-than-deserved low rating for it not meeting your idea criteria of a rated G movie.)
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About as much fun as a migraine.
planktonrules31 March 2021
I truly hated watching "Cars 2" as it is not only a sequel no one other than John Lassiter wanted but it also has a plot that manages to squeeze all the joy out of the franchise. Additionally, it does something with Mater that I didn't think was made me hate him about as much as Jar-Jar Binks! Yes, this movie is that bad.

Before I talk about the bad, I should at least point out that the CGI is incredibly well done and beautiful. Even seen a decade after it was made, the look of the movie just blew me away.

That being said, the plot is a garbage fire. Instead of making it about race cars, racing and Lightning McQueen are only a small part of the film. Instead, it's mostly a film about Mater and spy cars. Yes, I said spy cars...godawful and totally out of place spy cars. While I am sure some of the Pixar folks thought this was clever and cute, believe me, it's not. It really seems as if the script and stupidity of the plot never was a concern to anyone at the studio...and you wonder how it got made in the first place as common sense says to only use Mater in moderation and DON'T MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT SPY CARS. I did give the film a chance but found myself wanting to turn it off repeatedly because all the cleverness and joy of the first film was gone...replaced instead with spy cars. Did I mention there were spy cars?!? Ugghh!!!!!
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I was impressed.
carolsh18 July 2011
Pixar have had better films, I will admit, but this was actually a good film. I saw this film yesterday, in London, and it was on the big screen and in 3d . I was very impressed by this film and it is very hard to say which one of the cars films was the best.

I went to see it with my family which had not seen the first film. They could understand it. I'm sure that shows that Pixar don't just make identical films.

Cars 2 is a film for all the family and you must see it, it will be worth it. Just ignore all the other reviews that say 'Pixar could have done better' and all that. When people say that it was a waste of time to make it, it was not! Do you realise that Pixar have been working on this since august 2008! This film is not repeat not a waste of time and money!
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