If there’s one thing that can be said about Pixar it’s that when they develop a sequel they do make sure it’s not a tired retread of the original movie. They have an incredible track record of making high quality original movies and the sequels they have produced are some of the best around. Toy Story 2 and 3 prove that. The black sheep of the Pixar family so far has been Cars. While it was not a bad movie it was considerably less in terms of story than what we’re used to get from these guys, so when news came out that it was Cars that was getting a sequel I was as skeptical as the rest of the world, but hey they could’ve learned from their mistake and blow us out of the water with the best sequel ever right?
While in true Pixar fashion they craft a completely original story line and make Cars 2 into what is Predator 2 to was to Predator; it strips almost everything from the original movie and uses a new setting and new characters. While this should be applauded and make Cars 2 feel fresh compared to the original movie it’s pretty obvious that this choice is partially made due to merchandising possibilities. As the original cars from the first movie are still available in toy stores everywhere it never hurts to have some fresh toys to sell.
Cars 2 shifts from Radiator Springs and puts Mater front and center while Lightning McQueen is only used as a secondary character and revolves around a spy movie where Mater is mistaken for an undercover spy and so the hi-jinx commences. Yeah this mistaken identity does sound somewhat familiar but what’s worse is that they not even acknowledge this and give it a fresh spin. This is what makes Cars 2 nothing more than than an animated version of The Man Who Knew Too Little or If Looks Could Kill. Meanwhile the story revolving around Lightning McQueen reminded me of Talladega Nights; a Will Ferrell movie for your info.
But surprisingly though I did enjoy the movie and considering Cars has become the movie of the Pixar staple that speaks to kids more than adults they’ll probably enjoy this new movie as well though my guess is the espionage plot is a bit lost on them.
Like all Pixar movies the look of each new movie surpasses the previous one and Cars 2 is no different. Every shot is astonishing to look at and the level of detail is incredible. I laughed at the way Japan was designed and gazed when there were tracking shots of France and Great Britain on the screen. The animation and design of the movie is unworthy of such a lackluster plot which is Cars 2’s biggest fault. For a movie so polished there is sadly little under the hood.