Cars 2 (2011) – 6/10 Disney Pixar CG animated espionage adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: John Lasseter
Co-Director: Brad Lewis
Producer: Denise Ream
Writer (Original Story): John Lasseter
Writer (Original Story): Brad Lewis
Writer (Original Story): Dan Fogelman
Writer (Screenplay): Ben Queen
Owen Wilson: Lightning McQueen
Larry The Cable Guy: Mater
Michael Caine: Finn McMissile
Emily Mortimer: Holley Shiftwell
John Turturro: Francesco Bernoulli
Eddie Izzard: Sir Miles Axlerod

Cars 2 (2011)

To promote green fuel Allinol, Sir Axelrod sets up a trilogy of World Grand Prix and invites the cream of the world’s racers to compete. Lightning wants to take time off after the long NASCAR season but Mater talks him into it. They travel out to Japan for the first race and while Lightning is most concerned that Mater will embarrass him, there is a sinister conspiracy going on behind the scenes that will affect them even more.


This feels like the first phoned-in Pixar production but it’s still fun, entertaining and good-looking with a couple of funny gags. Lasseter’s handling of the morality tale is clumsy (be yourself, groan, such dreadful advice) and it rather breaks the unsatisfactory story by having characters behave in an unrecognisable ("I’m not letting you get away again!") or nonsensical manner (Mater greedily insisting on a massive portion of a Japanese dish and blabbering thoughtlessly over the race radio). The first film did have the same problem but rescued it through some of cinema’s best racing sequences for ages. Here, the one-lap (!) racing sequences are well-animated (amazingly you can see the downforce-generated grip of the Formula car in turns) but succumb to the contemporary weakness of editing the shape and story out of them. Still, it’s certainly not a bad film, the production design continues to delight and it is funny and entertaining.

This movie contains mild peril.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.


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