Film Review: Cars 2

Film Review: Cars 2 (Disney)

So most people will have heard of Cars – a very popular Pixar feature film – but, personally, I took one look at it and thought that it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen. Personally, I thought it was a stupid idea and the whole concept seemed really annoying to me. That said, I never in a million years thought that I’d be sat in a cinema screen watching the sequel. Cars 2. I was, unfortunately, dragged to the cinema by a small ten year old boy to see this movie and I have to be honest, I was dreading it! But the strange this is… I actually really enjoyed it… or at least I could see why kids would enjoy it. I was really quite surprised at myself! But that’s what happened. I guess this shows that you should never judge a movie before that you’ve seen it because you could end up being pleasantly surprised!

If I had to sum up what I think Cars 2 is about in just one sentence I’d probably say: A funny children’s James Bond with anthropomorphic cars. Basically, Lightning McQueen decides to participate in a  new racing series called the ‘World Grand Prix’. After persuasion from his girlfriend, McQueen agrees to allow his best friend, Mater, to accompany him; however, Mater – a clutzy tow-truck – repeatedly embarrasses celebrity McQueen and so Mater decides to go home.

At the same time, oil tycoons are plotting to secure oil profits by making all Allinoil fuel catch fire during the race and subsequently these cars would be severely damaged and unable to compete. This would make the public doubt the safety of the Allinoil and so they would rely further on the tycoon’s oil instead. Two British spies try to stop this from happening  and attempt to meet with an American spy who will give them more information on the mastermind behind this plot; however, these two spies mistake Mater for their American contact and so he gets sucked into the world of spies. Then the rest of the story kicks off and the action begins.

As for the movie itself, I thought that the animation was absolutely brilliant. The movements were flawless and smooth, not that I really expected anything less from Pixar, and there was such attention to detail. The action is this movie is perfect with all the cool moves, the big explosions and random things flying through the air. Whoever did did the graphics and animation for this really deserves a pat on the back.

Although most of the movie looks like a real child’s animation, at one point, I really did think that the setting looked realistic. In addition, I thought the soundtrack was excellent, and it’s extremely rare for me to actually notice the soundtrack in a children’s animation. The suspense music was sleek and spy-like to give the movie a suave and cool edge, and they had cheesy music playing in all the funny moments which just made the whole experience that much funnier.

The voices and accents are excellent and the actor’s all do a great job of portraying their car’s personality. There are quite a lot of famous names behind the cars with Owen Wilson, Larry The Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Jason Isaacs, Emily Mortimer, Lewis Hamilton and many many more! Sometimes the voices don’t quite match their characters or they just feel out of place, but in this movie they really do seem to embody the cars and take on their personalities.

I genuinely thought that this movie was quite funny. The design of the cars is an over-exaggerated version of their personality so there are cars with buckteeth, eyepieces, French moustaches, all sorts! Their ‘accessories’ are also matched by their accents, be it Italian, West American or British. My favourite line was: ‘Wasabi?’ ‘Oh same old, same old, what’s up with you?’I especially loved how each and every car had it’s own personality and you could tell from just one look at it’s model/colour/size/design exactly what sort of car it was. There are loads and loads of cars in this movie and they’re all different and unique. Even the ‘extras’ were all really well animated an designed and not all of the characters are cars! There are also anthropomorphic planes/boats/trains, which is all great fun.

Cars 2 received mixed reviews, with most critics saying that although visually it was brilliant, the plot didn’t match up. I disagree. I thought that this was a funny and heart warming tale about a car who’s mistaken for a spy and is thrust into a world he doesn’t understand. There were some really emotional moments where the cars showed what real friendship and love is which was awfully cute. Perhaps it’s more like Alex Rider or Agent Cody Banks than James Bond as the protagonist wasn’t that suave and he was new to the whole ‘spy’ thing. This was a funny secret agent movie with cars instead of humans. There were plenty of high speed chases, explosions, camouflages, car crashes etc. I think that the plot was interesting for the kids and highly entertaining, so I’m going to ignore all the bad reviews.

This may sound stupid, but whilst watching this movie, I didn’t even think that what was going on was that unrealistic. I thought it was going to be ridiculous, but I was actually so immersed in the world of Cars that I actually started to believe that Cars could actually have feelings. Initially I thought that as cars don’t have arms or legs they couldn’t possibly make the characters in this mimic the actions of humans, but somehow, they can!

I love how they adapted everything from our world to match theirs, especially when the characters were in Tokyo – or should I say, Towkyo. They actually captured the Japanese culture really well with sumo wrestling and Japanese theatre – everything you would expect – the only difference is, all the characters are cars. There was the same attention to detail when the cars all came to London. There were the iconic big, red, double decker buses and even a car who was the ‘Queen’ of England! My favourite sort of foreign scene was when Mater went to the loo in Tokyo. Now in most oriental countries, the public toilets is still a hole in the ground, and I was glad (and amused) to see that they used these ‘hole-in-the-ground’ toilets AND that they were extremely high-tech (there was even a TV in there), which sort of mocked how good Japan is with technology.

All in all, with bright colours, lively action and catchy music, this makes for an excellent family film. The kids around me were captivated from the very beginning with the humour and cheesy banter and I highly recommend you take your kids to see this. (Even if you don’t have kids I think you’ll enjoy this as this is one for all ages!)

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