Cars 2

Cars 2

Directed by: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Cast: (voices) Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine
Running Time: 1 hr 52 mins
Rating: G
Release Date: June 24, 2011

PLOT: Race car Lightning McQueen (Wilson) and his sidekick Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) head around the world to compete in the World Grand Prix race. Things take a turn when Mater gets mistaken for a spy.

WHO’S IT FOR? Do you wholeheartedly love cars AND dream they would come to life? Do you think Cars is the best Pixar film? What about anything spy related? And by anything, I mean you don’t care about the quality. Answer “yes” to those questions and it will be helpful if Mater is your favorite Cars character.

EXPECTATIONS: With Toy Story 3, I wasn’t very excited, but I assumed Pixar knew what they were doing. I didn’t have the same hunch with Cars 2. Cars was fine, but nothing magical.

SCORECARD (0-10)

ACTORS:

Larry the Cable Guy as Mater: Yup, Mater is the main character. He’s an idiot, right? Fine, maybe he’s not an imbecile, he obviously is a genius when it comes to automobiles. So, in a way, Mater is just an enhanced/exaggerated version of Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) from My Cousin Vinny. Mater gets mistaken for a spy. It keeps happening. What’s worse than the lack of jokes is he’s an idiot! Yup, I’ve decided. The problem is, he doesn’t have a filter. He’s loud and assumes he’s right without listening to others. It doesn’t make him an idiot that he doesn’t know what wasabi is, it’s the fact that he won’t listen when people try to explain. That all adds up to be pretty annoying.
Score: 3

Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen: Wow, he’s really become a second banana for this sequel. McQueen is racing the World Grand Prix against the best of the best. We don’t get to know any of those cars except
Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro) who’s simply doing a poor man’s Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Lightning yells at Mater with good reason; he cost him a race. Seems warranted. While the racing does look good, this character brings no excitement to the track.
Score: 4

Michael Caine as Finn McMissile: He’s our James Bond spy car. We quickly realize he’s almost perfect, able to always get out of trouble. Some of his tricks are interesting, but not compelling. This character actually showcases why Bond films have to sway toward inner turmoil to stay relevant.
Score: 5

Emily Mortimer as Holley Shiftwell: She’s the new spy on the block and accidentally identifies Mater as their U.S. contact. While kids might enjoy the potential light romance brewing between Mater and Holley, I just though it felt awkward, you know, cause Mater is an idiot.
Score: 5

TALKING: There’s a lot of talk in the beginning about how Doc Hudson (Paul Newman’s character from the first Cars) would be proud of Lightning. It feels forced, especially since I love Newman so much more than Cars. The message of Cars 2 is accept your friends, don’t try to change them. In this case, with Mater, I disagree. Electric fuel vs. evil oil is brought up many times with Allinol as the potential future fuel source. As far as the funny goes, I really only laughed once with Mater in a bathroom. I know, bathroom humor. Surprised me too.
Score: 5

SIGHTS: It’s technically interesting, just like a bad James Bond film. I never felt myself wondering what would happen next, but they pulled off some actions sequences with some flair. It’s interesting to think about Pixar films and the visuals. Most of the time, I’m dazzled. But clearly, it’s because I’m connected to the characters. It’s either that or cars that are alive are just plain creepy. The 3D is immersive, but unnecessary.
Score: 7

SOUNDS: Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams share a song because this is supposed to be a film where American country meets sophisticated English. Most perplexing for me was The Cars song “You Might Think.” It was a cover. Why? The only reason it’s in the movie is because … ha, ha, the name of the band is the name of the movie. Right? Well, Weezer covered it. The score doesn’t raise the film to new heights, but again, I think that’s because I wasn’t connected.
Score: 5

PLOT SPOILERS

BEST SCENE: Mater in a Japanese toilet. It exaggerates the culture to great delight. Plus, when Mater’s done, he over explains, showing a little intelligence (Celsius vs. Fahrenheit).

ENDING: You’ll never guess who turns out to be the villain, mainly because you won’t care.

QUESTIONS: I bring up a couple of questions in my OVERALL section below, but here’s another … A taco truck? They have tacos in this world? Who’s eating the tacos?

REWATCHABILITY: Argh. No thanks. And no part three please. I don’t care how much this movie makes.

OVERALL

The world of Cars and now Cars 2 just doesn’t feel quiet right. There’s no reference to humans, yet cars are clearly built. All signs point to boats and planes working for the cars. Is it a slave system? Are they paid? Also, cars can die (Doc Hudson did) without exploding. Yet, the engine isn’t the soul since there is a reference to it being replaced. Look, I know I’m diving in a little deep with Cars 2, wondering if at one point the cars became self aware, rose up, and killed all the humans to create a world that mirrors the one we live in. All of these tangents came to me for one important reason … the movie is boring, so my mind wandered.

Let’s dive deeper. There was also a very quick scene in which Mater was at a black market, and an old car had eyes where its headlights usually are. Did you notice how frightened Mater was? What does it mean? This freaked Mater out. It was like he was looking at something that just shouldn’t exist. Something that should be lifeless. That’s what this movie is, lifeless.

Pixar can bring bugs, toys and fish to life … but the car thing isn’t working unless you already worship the automobile. Pixar normally has the ability to appeal to everyone with their films. That’s not the case here.

One last thing about Mater. He’s an idiot. He’s a loud, obnoxious idiot. He should realize the problems he brings on himself and to his friends, but that doesn’t happen here. Instead we’re just supposed to accept him for who he is.

Pixar is allowed to stall on occasion, and that’s what they’ve done with Cars 2.

FINAL SCORE: 5/10

42 Comments

  1. JT says:

    Seriously? Did you watch the same film as everyone else?

    My two year-old son most have a better attention span than you; he and every other child and adult in the full threate had their eyes glued to the movie the entire time and were not “bored” at any point.

    While I would agree the movie rehashed some characters from other movies (James Bond / Talladega Nights / etc), this didn’t make it a “bad” movie. If rehashing a character were the criteria for a “bad” movie, 007 would have been retired decades ago for lack of interest.

    The whole complaint on trying to decipher the “people-less” world is mind-blowing. I mean, c’mon, you’re willing to accept previous Pixar movies with bugs running the planet, but not one with cars? And the comment on boats and planes being slaves shows you obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the movie anyway. The boat Finn rides on in the opening sequence even says how he was hired to take Finn to that location. The “deep” question you have was answered in the first 5 minutes of the movie.

    And your complaint about the moral of the story – accepting people for who they are – so what if Mater was an idiot? At the party in Japan everyone was so dead serious when Mater overdosed on Wasabi thinking it was ice cream (which was a pretty funny scene in and of itself). They should have just laughed it off; it was a party afterall. It’s guys like that that make parties entertaining and not stuffy uptight affairs. On the racetrack McQueen made the decision himself to go to the outside; he already knew something wierd was going on with Mater (even told him to turn off his headset) yet he listened to his words anyway (which were not intended to be directed to McQueen). Did Mater pick up McQueen with his tow cable and drag him to the outside to make him lose the race? I think not.

    I look forward to a Cars 3, and with money #2 is making, you can bet there will be a 3 eventually. If you don’t want to watch it (as you stated), go right ahead. Stay home and watch “Bad Teacher” or maybe “Gigli” on home video if that’s more entertaining to you.

  2. rich says:

    JT RIGHT ON BUDDY! this is a great movie. who cares who made the boats and cars? this is an awesome concept and an awesome movie..im 33 and me and my wife like it..and we dont even have kids

  3. jill says:

    reviewer, you are just an idiot..this was a great movie…Larry rules baby..email me at hammer@live.com.ph if u think im wrong.

  4. Rach says:

    Why on Earth are you dissecting a kids film as if it’s one for adults? Are you some kind of moron?
    Of course it’s not going to be perfect in your eyes, you aren’t 4! Saying that, the limited intelligence you show in this ‘review’ does point to a limited IQ

  5. RICH says:

    right on Rach! You are 100% right! This reviewer IS a moron.

  6. morrow says:

    So he’s a moron because he has a different opinion than both of you? You’d rather not outline WHY you felt compelled to defend this movie? Obviously, you two are a veritable duet of geniuses, so I’m wondering why you didn’t say anything worth saying. Bayer loves to have a good debate over a film. Why not engage him instead of being a huge pair of dicks? No, no, let me guess:

    1) Because you don’t want to waste your precious time on a moron
    2) Because I’m a moron
    3) Because we’re all just a bunch of morons

    Right? One of those reasons? Probably the second one, right?

    MAN, THIS CHICK IS A MORON! HI-INTERNET-FIVE, DUDE!

  7. RICH says:

    MORROW the moron, LOL

  8. Cars 2 is a horrendous wreck. what a waste of time and money. dumbest premise of all time. I’m with Morrow and Bayer on this, full stop.

  9. RICH says:

    Aaron is an idiot..youre obviously not from USA so who cares what u think? Nobody here uses “full stop” that way. Don’t worry about our American movies..this was one of the greatest Of All Time, Ruffcorn

  10. Rach says:

    Sweetie, it’s a CHILDREN’S film. There doesn’t need to be any in-depth plot analysis. It’s for kids to go and enjoy. There’s no need to rip it apart as an adult because you aren’t the target audience.
    If children enjoy it then who cares if the plot was shallow? It doesn’t matter!

  11. morrow says:

    I agree with you; adult’s aren’t the target audience. Kids are not picky, nor should they be, because they get to enjoy everything in the world. However, Bayer did not like the movie. He DID love all the movies in the Toy Story line and Up, which tells you that he isn’t just some out of touch adult who deems it necessary to judge all children’s movies from a mature and jaded standpoint. Not the case.

    BTW, Bayer doesn’t care about any of this. Insults roll right off his back. I, however, have an extremely hard time with bloggers who are only willing to say, “you’re wrong and a moron,” and that’s it. JT, the first blogger on this review, went into detail about why he/she thought Bayer was wrong, and that, I can dig. Sure, he/she was still a bit defensive and angry, as if Bayer saying he didn’t like Cars 2 was the equivalent of him insulting JT personally. But, he/she still made his/her case and that’s respectable.

    Don’t just call someone a moron. It makes you look like unpleasant cowards. Would you go marching up to someone on the street talking about how they didn’t like Cars 2 and tell them THEY are a moron to their face? No. You would be civil and explain why you disagree. Don’t hide behind the anonymity afforded you by the internet if you really want to make your point.

    Rich: I’m not 100% sure you’re even a carbon based lifeform.

  12. good post, Morrow, full stop (said with a thick British accent) — LOL!

  13. only the dumbest kids on the block would consider automobiles as anthropomorphic. animals, normal — toy soldiers, normal — robots, normal — automobiles, terribly abnormal.

    now if the automobiles are actually autobots, that would make sense, but just plain old cars, gimme a break — dumb!

    i’m sure i would have thought this premise was dumb, even as a four year old, ’cause i’m British, and i’m smarter than all of you on that side of the pond.

  14. RICH says:

    Morrow, u make personal insults about carbon ifeforms and u want to be taken seriously? You sir, are an idiot. Simple as that. You Brits subsidize (yes that’s the correct spelling) an idiotic, racist monarchy, and you will come at us? Go review your own films..we don’t review or insult yours….but oh wait, you don’t have any (or next to none actually). Aaron, you and your other Brit friends got your heads handed to you In The Revolutionary War, and you’re still bitter. Go kiss your idiot queen’s (with a small q) hands, or whatever you do. Cars is a great premise. You probably don’t Even Know who Larry the Cable Guy is…hes an excellent comedian….im 33 and i still pretend to be him, and Mater, and his voice (as Mater) is the greeting on my answering machine. Go drink your tea, And Warm Beer, and leave us alone. AND RIGHT ON RACH! 100% RIGHT BABE!!!!

  15. RICH says:

    FULL STOP, MY BUTT. ITS CALLED “PERIOD”.

  16. RICH says:

    I LOVE THE IDEA OF TALING CARS! THIS REVIEWER, AARON, AND MOREOW (MORON) ARE ALL IDIOTS

  17. angry caps lock + typos galore + grammatical annihilation + the occasional misspelling = you win!

    yes, even though Morrow is female and I’m an American, you still win! :D

  18. Rach says:

    I’m British actually hun…lol

    And why do I need to explain my reasons? It’d just be a case of copy and pasting JT’s post ;)

  19. RICH says:

    Right on Rach! you rock! I have many English friends like you who are really cool people! Too bad some of the idiots above give u guys a bad name! UK is our biggest ally and you’re awesome!!!!!!

  20. Bayer was “dissecting” this film because that’s his job. the best modern-day “kids films” can appeal to people of all ages. Pixar has traditionally done an excellent job at such, and so Bayer’s critique is fair here, as Pixar finally put out an inferior product — I believe this is their very first film that appeals to kids alone.

    From my perspective, any self-respecting adult would have a difficult time digesting anthropomorphic automobiles. I don’t even know how kids can digest it, but there ya go…just my opinion.

    I’m fine with people enjoying it, just can’t relate. I also can’t relate to these ad hominem attacks. Someone’s a moron because they slagged off your kid’s favorite summer film? seriously? Jeff gave this film an average score, a 5/10 — so he didn’t RAVE about it, and suddenly he’s a moron?

    I agree with Morrow here, the anonymity of the internet allows for people to puff up their virtual chests with phony bravado, allows ‘em to spout off with no consequence. It’s all really childish, just like ‘Cars 2.’

    One last thing (@Rich): when debating a point, you’ll earn a lot more respect if you don’t use all caps, if you proof-read your comment before posting, if you operate on passable grammar, and if you pay attention to the ragged redlines beneath your countless misspellings (Yes, those redlines mean you botched something — your computer is trying to get your attention). It does not work to call someone an idiot, while failing to adhere to the aforementioned societal standards. Your posts are reminiscent of Mike Judge’s ‘Idiocracy.’

  21. Rich’s thought process: “must…remove…foot…from…mouth,” right into, “er, I mean, er, not all Brits suck, just the ones that don’t like this movie.”

    And Rich, I’m not British. I already told you that. It might help to actually read people’s comments. The leaps you make, in your conclusions, are hysterical. Someone writes a somewhat British sounding phrase and suddenly that person is pissed off about losing the Revolutionary War? huh? brilliant reasoning employed! huzzah! (yes, some Americans say “huzzah!”)

  22. RICH says:

    First off, idiot, Im currently using IE7 which doesnt give the red underlines. When I use Mozilla, it Does have that…so I didn’t see any spell check redlines. idiot. Im 33 and this was in my top 5 movies…..i still with my buddies, pretend to be Mater…..i want a ride in a hel-i-copter….cars rule man!
    I could care less about gramemr. You are an idiot

  23. Jimmy Buff says:

    Hey Rich don’t listen to the idiots on here! Cars are awesome! Wonderful movie, both 1, and 2.

  24. rich says:

    Aaron, youre just a plain idiot. Write me at hammer@live.com.ph and we can settle this man to man

  25. rich says:

    Ya anyone who doesnt like this movie is an idiot who sucks. Including you, you stupid scumbag.

  26. ah, that’s odd…

    jill + rich have the same email address

    the plot thickens

  27. rich says:

    Jill is my girlfriend, you idiot. She doesn’t want mail filling her inbox..be a man and contact me

  28. rich says:

    jackass

  29. “be a man and contact me”

    you can’t be serious.

    here’s how this reads:

    Rich: “I’ve gotten my ass handed to me, and repeatedly, on a public stage…It’s time to take this behind closed doors!”

    That makes no sense. Why in the world would I want to write you an email? So you can call me an idiot privately? That’s an enticing offer, but no thanks, dude.

  30. rich says:

    No me and Rach have been handing your ass to u on a regular basis. I want u to email me, asshole, so I can set up a way to meet you in person and we can settle this like men.

  31. rich says:

    No me and Rach have been handing your ass to u on a regular basis. I want u to email me, asshole, so I can set up a way to meet you in person and we can settle this like men. idiot

  32. rich says:

    stupid ass wanna run your fucking mouth? come to my house and see what happens asswipe

  33. Nick Allen says:

    This review has 32 comments?

  34. yeah, 32 comments and threats of physical violence — Awesome! :D

    and all of this over a Disney film! Walt would be proud!

    I am sorry if I stoked any of this fire. I didn’t realize we were dealing with folks like this, didn’t know that they’d figured out how to use computers.

    This back-and-forth commentary does make for an entertaining read though. A good case-study in here somewhere, one out of several on ye olde internet, I suppose.

    I do apologize to Rich and to anyone else that I might have offended. It’s just a movie, and I’m sorry if me not liking it makes you want to beat me to a pulp. Sincerely, I apologize.

    Moving on…

  35. rich says:

    nobody threatened anyone..settle this like men means sitting and chatting Over A Beer , full ndisclosure….my lawyers made me add that statement, asshole

  36. Jeff Bayer says:

    For the first time ever, I have now banned someone from commenting on The Scorecard Review. I love that I had to resort to this over my “Cars 2″ movie review. Good day. I said good day.

  37. FlickDude says:

    Feeeeeed the trolls.
    Tuppence a baaaaag!
    Tuppence!
    TUPPENCE!
    Tuppence a baaaaaaag!

  38. MeME says:

    There is no way “rich” is a real person, just someone pretending to be a redneck jerk. Ignore and move on. I thought the movie review was pretty solid and agree with most all of the comments by the reviewer.

  39. real or not, he’s gone. :D

    deep breath…moving on…

  40. matt says:

    Boy, I wish I could have heard Rich’s Mater impression before he left. Did anyone call his answering machine?

  41. walt says:

    Ya me tto, Matt. And for the record, there’s nothing wrong with rednecks. I’m one myself, proudly. Great movie, incidentally.

Leave a Comment