Cars has always been one of the least popular films in the Pixar family. When people think of Pixar, they think of movies with great animation and big heart. The Cars franchise does have great animation, but their movies aren't big tear jerkers. Because of this, they steer away from what people are familiar with when it comes to Pixar. Different is a good thing, in my eyes, but to other people they have certain expectations. Cars 2, although critically assaulted by most critics, is a fun summer movie. It's not just a remake of the first film, it’s a standalone film all on its own.
It should be noted that this is Mater's movie at the end of the day. If you are not a fan of Mater, or even Larry the Cable Guy, you're probably not going to enjoy Cars 2. Yes, Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, is a big part of the movie, but he does disappear for a good portion of the film while Mater takes center stage. I'm wondering if this was done on purpose due to how popular Mater became after the first film and all of the spin-offs regarding his character. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it as Mater is lovable, funny, and easy to root for in this movie.
The plot for Cars 2 involves Mater and Lightning McQueen heading overseas to battle Francesco Bernoulli, voiced brilliantly by John Turturro, in the World Grand Prix race. While in, Mater gets mistaken for a spy by two other spy cars voiced by Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer. They see him as a brilliant spy because of how inept and stupid he behaves. Little do they know, it's not an act with Mater, but how he really acts. They team up with Mater and protect him as he ends up biting off more than he can chew. It makes for great comedy fodder to see Mater as a spy, completely unaware of the fact.
After watching Cars 2, I had a big smile on my face from not only Mater and his naive innocence but also from the high-flying action of the movie. I did think to myself, however, that I can't see kids really getting into this movie. A lot of the humor is pretty intelligent and might go over their heads. The plot, which is very James Bond like, might confuse and distance a younger audience. However, it's hard to deny how entertaining it is, how fast the plot moves along, and how engaging and likable the characters are. The script is witty and unafraid of being different and taking the movie in another direction.
When I walk into a movie over the summer, I expect a movie to fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. Cars 2 is exactly that. Cars 2 is not a typical Pixar movie, but why is that such a bad thing? You have to admire the creators for stepping outside the box and putting them in a new environment and giving Mater the chance to shine. He knocks it out of the park. Even if the kids are confused by the humor or plot, I truly believe that they love Mater. He's your every man, or every car in this situation. I saw the film in 2D, and it looked just fine, so I don't think 3D is needed, unless you feel like losing an extra three dollars. Cars 2 delivers on great summer entertainment, big laughs, and exciting action.
How should you see it? On the big screen