Cars 2 (2011)

Cars 2 (2011) — I don’t know why I ever have doubts about Pixar. I thought a cooking rat sounded dumb and it turned out to be one of the best movies they’ve ever done. I was also pleasantly surprised by the first Cars (particularly the ending). That being said it’s probably my least favorite of Pixar’s films, and I didn’t quite see why there would be a sequel (other than the obvious reason that Cars has been their most merchandisable film to date). Furthermore the film revolves around the redneck-y sidekick Mater, voiced by the infamous Daniel Lawrence Whitney (inexplicably known professionally as Larry the Cable Guy). What? He worked surprisingly well in the sidekick roll but making the whole damn movie about him? Really? Well Cars 2 may indeed be the weakest film Pixar’s made yet… but when you look at their track record that’s not really necessarily an insult. Cars 2 never reaches the high water mark they’ve set with movies like Wall-e and the Toy Story series, but it is consistently entertaining and funny. The animation is great with some of the settings looking photo-real. Plus it has Bruce Campbell! Barely, but still! That’s pretty awesome… There are a couple of neat casting decisions, going to for character actor like Thomas Kretchman or Franco Nero (Django!!!!!) instead of bigger stars. Paul Newman’s Doc Hudson was written out of the script out of respect for Newman’s passing (yet George Carlin’s character Fillmore was recast with voice actor Lloyd Sherr). There’s a spy plot involving mobster lemons but it’s all just excuse for entertaining silliness and that’s all right by me. Not everything needs to be transcendent. Sometimes it can just be fun.

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