Published On: Fri, Jun 24th, 2011

‘Cars 2’ movie review: International Grand Prix brings great new characters, beautiful in 3D

 By: Mike Gencarelli

Everyone knows that Pixar can’t do anything wrong. That is a fact for its films to date. “Cars 2″ is no different. It takes what was great about the first film…keeps it and turns it into an exciting large-scale sequel. The first film focused a lot more on racing and how to race, where this film has a more James Bond/secret agent/action hero feel to it, with racing in the background. This is the first series for Pixar to make a sequel to besides “Toy Story” and it definitely comes in first place.

For this film we leave the comfort of Radiator Springs and heads out to travel Japan, Italy and England to race in the World Grand Prix. Mater while on this trip gets mistaken for a secret agent spy by Finn McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine)and Holley Shiftwell (voiced by Emily Mortimer). While Mater is off battling the baddies, McQueen also meets a new nemesis Francesco Bernoulli (voiced by John Turturro), who is his competition for the Grand Prix. We find out that the race is linked up with an evil plan to wipe out all the fast celebrity cars during the Grand Prix. It is all up to Mater with the help of his new spy friends to save the day.

This film definitely centralizes on Mater’s character the most, which I enjoyed. Lightening McQueen is definitely a great character but he had the first movie and got a chance to tell his story, so it time to pass the torch. The action in the film is totally kicked up a notch and due to this it actually gives the series more legs going forward.  Leaving Radiator Springs was the best thing this film did, it is relaxing and laid back but this most is action packed and needed room to breath.

Finn McMissile is a great addition to this series and really set the film up for some great action. Michael Cain does a great job with this character. John Turturro voices Francesco Bernoulli and steals some really good laughs as well. Keep an eye out from cameo voice appearance from the great Bruce Campbell early on in the film.

Oh, I should probably bring up the 3D, since everyone is a hater when it comes it this subject recently.  I would have to say that when it comes to animation vs. live-action, animation is always better in 3D, if not just for the color.  I thought the film was beautiful in 3D and did not overuse it all.  No cheap tricks, no gimmicks.  Just adds depth to some really get action and racing scenes.

Make sure you get at the theater on time to catch “Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation”.  The new short is nothing shy of amazing!! It just makes you wish that Pixar will just keep making them.  Actually I want more for Pixar to finish and release its follow up to “Monsters Inc.”, titled “Monsters University” set for release next November. I have a feeling that one is going to trump them all.  Keep the good work up Pixar, you haven’t disappointed me yet!

Directed by John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Starring: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jason Issacs, Thomas Kretschmann
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Rated G
Running time: 113 minutes

Warner Brothers MOVIE MIKES
SCORE: 4 out of 5 stars

 Jay Ward discusses Cars 2, being the franchise guardian and other Pixar projects HERE

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