Cars 2 film review – Home Entertainment
(Rating: U, 106 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro.
Lightning McQueen (Wilson) is back, well actually, I should say Mater (Larry) is back because it’s the kooky, rust-bucket that’s the star of the show in Pixar’s sequel to the 2006 released Cars.
As is standard protocol with Disney Pixar there’s a short story to set the mood ahead of the main event – enter the cast of Toy Story.
The short featuring the much-loved gang of playthings has the charm offensive at full disposal, which sets the mood for Toy Story 4.
After the Hawaii themed tale, which focuses on the blossoming romance between Ken and Barbie ends, comes the high octane, rubber-burning sequel of Cars 2.
If you’re expecting a group reunion from the pleasant folks of Radiator Springs and a gentle journey over the desert from Lightning and the gang, this isn’t on the cards.
The film opens in such a Bondian style, I was half expecting the entrance of Daniel Craig to shoot his PP7 at the camera thus beginning the musical spy opening but that was just my imagination getting away with itself.
Finn McMissile (Caine) is the British secret agent working on a big plot when his partner goes missing in action and after getting taken out to sea to investigate, Finn puts his impressive array of never-ending gadgets to fine use in order to board the vessel full of criminal automobiles.
Cue the big bangs, oil slicks, an intense chase and this sets the tone of what Cars 2 is all about.
Back at Radiator Springs, after being hoodwinked into entering a World Racing Tournament, Lightning accompanied by his team set off to Japan and here among the sushi and wasabi is where everything goes pear-shaped.
A case of mistaken identity occurs and Mater becomes an unwitting member of the plot that Finn is investigating and it’s from this moment onwards that Mater takes centre-stage and drives the film forward.
As this is a family film, a varying age group will be watching, but of course the primary target audience is children who will find Mater’s hijinks and idiocy hilarious. For anyone older than 12 however, although endearing, Mater’s foolishness does get a bit tedious especially as he is the main player in the film.
Visually the film is great, with three spectacular races set across the globe, the sound of the engines roaring at full power recaptures what we saw from the first outing.
Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli, Lightning’s rival, is a welcome new addition as are Finn and Shiftwell (Mortimer), who for all intensive purposes is “the Bond girl”. You can also expect a cameo from our very own Lewis Hamilton, of course in car form along with The Pope and her Royal Majesty.
The highlight is the arrival in London as the backdrop comes complete with ‘Big Bentley’, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and turbo charged chases to complete the spy vibe perfectly.
Proof that product placement has gone mad comes in the form of a rather unnecessary mention of iPhone apps, something the cars have positively nil use for.
A totally different follow on from the first film but a welcome burst of freshness thanks to Finn and his Q style contraptions.
As for Mater, if he’s to be the lead for Cars 3 should it get made, hopefully he’ll be in the garage for repair at the time.
Cars 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.