Cars 2 (2011)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 9/10

Strong animation with fun exotic locations

A little Mater goes a long way

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cars 2

Studio:  Pixar Animation Studios

Genre(s):  Animated/Sports/Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense/Family

Release Date(s):  June 24, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG


Everyone is targeting Lightning!

Lightning McQueen is finding  himself challenged despite his multiple Piston Cups by European racer Francesco Bernoulli.  Now, Lightning must enter the World Grand Prix to prove that he can compete with the world racers.  There is a mystery afoot in a new fuel called Allinol and Mater has been mistaken as a secret spy.  With Mater unwittingly working with spies Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell who don’t realize that Mater is just a tow truck, a mistake by Mater could cost Lightning the World Grand Prix and his best friend.


Mater decides to join the NRA

Directed by John Lasseter, Cars 2 is the follow-up to the hit Pixar film Cars from 2006.  The movie follows Pixar’s award winning Toy Story 3 in 2010 and received much less favorable reviews from critics.  Despite this, Cars 2 was still a massive box-office success.

I didn’t love Cars and saw Planes (which was far worse) before Cars 2…I did like Cars 2 more than Planes but that doen’t say much.  Cars 2 has the same problems of Cars but also lacks a script that is compelling enough to even equal Cars.

Cars had its moments, but here, there are very few moments and you learn a little Mater goes a long way. Mater was a bit of a breakout character from the first movie and got a bigger role in this picture.  While his sweet demeanor was pleasant in the first film, it is way too much in his side story (which is more the main story) involving lemon cars and dangerous fuel…Mater just became irritating and you didn’t care about Lightning and his racing.


What I’ve learned from two Cars movies…all race cars are dicks

The movie once against casts great voice actors but did suffer a blow.  One of the best parts of Cars was Paul Newman who passed away after the film’s release and is sadly missing here as Doc Hudson.  Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy are the stars as Lightning and Mater but Emily Mortimer and Michael Caine play the spies that Mater hooks up with.  John Turturro plays the rival Francesco Bernoulli and Eddie Izzard is the inventor of Allinol.  Bruce Campbell lends his distinctive voice as Torque (an American spy) and tons of smaller roles are played by Tony Shalhoub, Jason Isaacs, Brent Musburger, Deadliest Catch’s Sig Hansen, Paul Dooley, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Bonnie Hunt, Katherine Helmond, Jeff Garlin, Cheech Marin, Richard Kind, Edie McClurg, and Pixar regular John Ratzenberger.  Racecar drivers Darrell Waltrip, David Hobbs, Lewis Hamilton, and Jeff Gordon provide car voices as well.


Mater…give me back my movie

I will give Cars 2 this, it does look good.  The visuals are sleek and stylish and unlike the first movie, I felt that the movie did a good job by taking viewers to exotic locations.  I still don’t get how cars (and apparently planes and other vehicles) run the whole world and if humanity ever existed, but at least the movie is stylish.

Cars 2 just isn’t a fun movie and isn’t interesting enough to seek out.  Kids who like cars will probably like Cars 2, but I know as a kid I probably wouldn’t have been interested in either movie.  Cars and Cars 2 did spawn a big screen Disney spinoff movie though Pixar wasn’t involved with it.  Planes was released in 2013 to even worse reviews than Cars 2.  Pixar followed Cars 2 with the Academy Award winning Brave in 2012.

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Related Links:

Cars (2006)

Planes (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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