Review: Cars 2

June 25, 2011

In many circles, Cars is regarded as Pixar Animation Studio’s worst feature film – Not bad, but not up to par with the remainder of the studio’s titles. Having seen every Pixar film except Cars, this is not a point I can verify, but a subject I can add to. If you wander over to RottenTomatoes.com you might assume that Cars 2, the sequel to Pixar’s least loved film, is abominable, and I have never been as disappointed in the mainstream critics as I am today. Perhaps I haven’t done this shizzle long enough to become an egotistical snob, but I fricking love Cars 2 and here’s why.

As the story goes… In a world populated with living cars instead of people, Lightning McQueen (Voiced by Owen Wilson) accepts an invitation to race against the world’s fastest cars in the very first worldwide Grand Prix. Tow Mater (Voiced by Larry The Cable Guy), who is Lightning McQueen’s best friend, tags along for support but stumbles upon a conspiracy by Big Oil, and per the usual, chaos ensues. Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer co-star, among others.

From the opening Toy Story short to the final scene of the feature, Cars 2 kicks butt and takes names, with a soundtrack that keeps the film perfectly paced. I could comment on how amazing the animation itself is, but I can’t say enough to do the animators justice. Additionally, the voice acting is perfect and, while this may be painful to read, Larry The Cable Guy did a good job as Tow Mater, something I never imagined saying. Michael Caine & his character Finn McMissile kick serious amounts of ass, and I could watch a spin-off film based around him alone.

Back on Larry The Cable Guy, it should be noted that this film surrounds his character. Fortunately (fortunately) his obnoxious style of comedy is kept to a minimum, and I counted two jokes in the entire film that had to do with bodily functions. The filmmakers at Pixar aren’t dumb, and they wouldn’t write Larry The Cable Guy’s comedy into any animated flick, so I reiterate, you need not fear Tow Mater’s leading role in Cars 2.

Scene to scene, Cars 2 is beautiful in both style and substance. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this if you enjoy animated flicks, or just want a good time at the movies. To put my money where my mouth is, I will be seeing this film a second time. Tho not in 3D – While the 3D in Cars 2 is fine and one of the better implementations of the technology, it isn’t a necessary moviegoing experience if you want to save a few bucks.

I struggle to think of anything wrong with Cars 2, which is why its ratings issued by the critics make no sense. This film has a highly obvious anti-oil message, which might tick off some Republican critics. Some critics might not be able to stand the idea of Larry The Cable Guy in a good film, even just his voice and without any of his ridiculous comedy. I know there exist people who have a disturbing desire to see Pixar make a bad film, with their minds made up prior to entering the theatre.

But according to my Twitterfriends, Cars 2 is receiving negative ratings because it isn’t as good as Toy Story 3, which to me is absurd logic. If we compared every film to Toy Story 3, almost every release would be garbage, and I would hope the critics judging Cars 2 with this reasoning go back and update their reviews for every animated flick they’ve reviewed. Every film should be judged on its own merits, and if you don’t judge one film that way, then you should judge no film on its own merits.

My general reaction to the critics’ reviews for Cars 2 [YouTube link]

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