Don't believe the critics.. DaddyB and Chris give Cars 2 Two Thumbs up!
On Rottentomatoes.com, Cars 2 is currently sitting at 34%. Really? It's THAT bad? That score is reserved for the worst of the worst, right? It's getting hammered by the critics, but in my opinion, they are judging it on a scale where it simply doesn't belong. Cars 2 isn't 'Up' or 'Toy Story 3' in terms of emotional impact, but it's a fun movie for kids, especially young boys. Does it soar to the same heights as 'Wall-E'? No, of course it doesn't - it's not that kind of movie. It's a movie about a world populated by cars, with a bit of spy movie, racing and lots of explosions. Just because it doesn't kick you in the gut like 'Up' or has the charm of 'Ratatouille', doesn't make it a bad movie. Critics have associated (pigeonholed) Pixar with a certain brand of familiarity and when that formula is somehow changed up, it's automatically the death knell for a studio that has had 11 critical and commercial successes.
Nothing about the production screams "they went cheap on this one'. The attention to detail is mind boggling, and the textures, reflections and sheer wizardly involved in creating these photorealistic worlds is something you can only truly appreciate on the big screen.
When I saw the early reviews coming in, I was disheartened by what I read. I was further mystified at DaddyB's review which seemed in opposition to these reviews. Had DaddyB lost his mind? Had he been somehow suckered by the swag, free tickets and previous Mermaid/Star Tours/Pirates event that he felt Disney could do no wrong? Absolutely not.
Last night I saw Cars 2 at the local multiplex. I opted for a non-3D experience because I often find it distracting and wanted to enjoy the film on it's own merits without later missing the 3D effects when I watched the film at home. My daughter, 11, a big fan of the original, accompanied me.
The 'Hawaiian Vacation" short before the film is just wonderful - it's a nice closing to Toy Story 3 seeing the toys in their new world, which opens up all kinds of implications for another Toy Story film - they could easily keep the franchise going forever.
Cars 2 takes the animation of the first film to an entirely new level. Nobody would say "they went cheap" on the animation for this film. I saw this film in digital projection. The textures, attention to detail and the inventiveness of the animation is mind boggling and it will take repeat viewings to catch it all. This film is practically a primer for your blu-ray home theater system - the images are crisp and the movement is smooth. Complex action sequences are easy to follow and it's fun to catch the reflection of background elements on all of those hoods and bumpers. I was impressed with the greater complexity of the mouth movements, especially on Mater where it looks eerily lifelike and organic.
The plot has been covered in many reviews, but the plot (and story, believe it or not) are secondary here. You're here to have a good time with characters you're already familiar with. The original Cars was a nice introduction to these characters - that story didn't need to be told again and the sequel takes no time to get things moving, but still takes opportunities, almost on a subliminal level, to pull on your emotions.
There's a scene when Mater has an "accident" and leaks oil at an embarrassing moment. What would be a throw-away moment in any other film has resonance because there's a moment when you realize Mater isn't simpleminded because he's a tow truck - or because he grew up in a tiny town - Mater actually would be considered somebody with a disability and it's heart-wrenching to see the shame and disappointment in his eyes. Anyone who has been around children with special needs will be affected.
It's those moments that make Cars 2 a Pixar film and definitely not worthy of the negativity it's been getting. Go see it. It'll put a smile on your face and your kids will love it.
Last edited by Chris Lang; 06-26-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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