Pixar’s winning streak is over. Although I strongly disliked the original ‘Cars‘ when it was released back in 2006, upon seeing it a second time, I realized that it’s not that bad, despite being little more than an animated retelling of ‘Doc Hollywood’. I hoped that perhaps the drastic story and concept changes made for ‘Cars 2’ might make up for the original being so boring and uninspired. Boy, was I wrong!
‘Cars 2’ shouldn’t don the ‘Cars’ title at all. It should be titled ‘The Mater Show’, because that’s all it is. Larry the Cable Guy is one of the worst comics of all time. There are too many truly dumb people out there to make me want to watch a guy act like one for fun. His comedy is full of stupid puns and idiocies. So having the character he voices in ‘Cars’, Mater, be the central character in ‘Cars 2’ drove me nuts.
Unoriginal and über-clichéd, ‘Cars 2’ finds Mater mistaken for a secret agent. The fact that this is textbook spy movie formula limits the film’s potential. There aren’t any cool spy weapons because the spies are played by talking cars. They shoot grappling hooks, pour oil slicks, and have built-in guns and jet engines – the only four spy-like things a group of cars can possess. The movie cannot feature any exciting spy action sequences other than car chases. Following a predictable storytelling model, you know who the secret bad guy is from the first five minutes.
Pixar made the same mistakes with ‘Cars 2′ that it did with the original. It’s much too long for a kids’ movie. There’s hardly any kids humor in it and, despite trying, it’s completely void of heart and soul. It almost feels like Pixar didn’t know for what audience it was making ‘Cars 2’. It’s nearly two hours long, plays out like a bad James Bond movie, is unfunny, and force-feeds a disconnected, unimportant moral. Another odd thing ‘Cars 2’ shows is a lot of violence. Cars are crashed, crushed, blown up, sunk in the sea, tortured and killed.
The one good thing that I will say about ‘Cars 2’ is that it features some all-time best 3D. No joke, the first race of the World Grand Prix is breathtaking. If ESPN 3D looked this good and I was actually into sports, I would subscribe to it in a heartbeat. Not being a fan of 3D, it takes a lot for me to endorse it.
‘Cars 2’ is worse than the first. It’s terrible. It makes the ‘Ice Age’ movies (which I despise) seem like pure gold. It limits its audience to boys ages 2-10, which is undoubtedly what a toy-selling company wants. I honestly believe that ‘Cars 2’ director John Lasseter (head of both Pixar and Disney Animation) put this movie out just to sell more toys. ‘Cars 2’ is like one big product placement spot, designed to make Disney and Pixar billions from selling their own characters. It has no other purpose for existing.