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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Movie Review: Cars 2

Cars 2     $$$$
112 Minutes
Starring: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer
Director: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis

            When Pixar originally announced that they would be making a sequel to Cars I figured it was inevitable. The first movie was innovative, fun, and packed an emotional message. I enjoyed the characters and wanted to see more.
Then the film came out and some of the critics claimed that this was Pixar’s worst effort so far. My wife and I had seen a trailer for Cars 2 and thought it looked great. Was this a matter of critics being out of touch with us common folk on what constitutes a good movie? Or has Pixar taken their first step towards mediocrity?
Cars 2 starts with a very James Bond type opening. Finn McMissle (Michael Caine) has been given coordinates and instructions to rendezvous with an undercover agent who has information about a diabolical plot. The agent is killed and Finn is discovered and must flee the scene before he can get all of the details.
Switching gears, the film takes us to Radiator Springs as Mater prepares for Lightning McQueen’s return. McQueen has been lighting up the racing circuit with his unprecedented winning streak. Instead of getting a little rest and relaxation time with his girl, McQueen finds himself talked into joining the first ever World Grand Prix race.
Not wanting to disappoint his “best friend” McQueen takes Mater along. When they arrive in Japan, for the first race, Mater gets caught in the middle of all the spy action and is mistaken for an American secret agent. The Bondian plot intertwines with McQueen’s efforts to beat arrogant European racer Francesco Bernoulli and tests the strength of his friendship with Mater.

            I gave Cars 2 a rating of a 4. I don’t know what movie the critics are watching, but this was my favorite fun film of the year so far.  I love how Pixar has taken characters that are cars and developed a story about racing into a spy movie. It totally worked for me. I now believe that there is an alternate reality where we are all cars. (I’d like to think I’m a 74’ Dodge Charger, but I’m probably more like an old dented van.) See this movie right away, pay full price, it’s worth it.

            Randy’s Rating System

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.

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