Cars 2: Out of Gas?

            After the stellar performance of the Pixar Studios last box office hit, Toy Story 3, expectations were sky-high for their newest installment to the studios list of out of this world computer animated stories.  Cars 2 is the sequel to the hit Cars which left many competitor’s movies in the dust.  I could almost taste the excitement I had on seeing the movie and what director John Lasseter had put together to raise the bar after the Toy Story 3.  The idea for the storyline is clever and mirrors some of the same problems we are experiencing in the real world.  Fossil fuels have become terribly hard to come by and pollution has led the world’s scientists and inventors to come up with a clean, renewable, and completely biodegradable alternative.  Sir Miles Axelrod is a former oil baron who has sold off his oil fortune and invested in a new fuel to solve all the problems caused by fossil fuels.  Alxelrod has also organized the world’s first ever World Grand Prix to promote his new fuel.  Back in Radiator Springs, Lightning McQuenn, voiced by Owen Wilson, has just returned home from racing to get some much needed rest.  He is not allowed to get to comfortable when he is challenged bythe Italian champion Francesco Bernoulli, voiced by John Turturro.  McQueen decides to take his best friend and tow truck Mater, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, to be apart of his pit crew.  Little do they know that the gas-guzzling lemons have happened across the world’s largest supply of oil and they will stop at nothing to sabotage the World grand Prix and the new renewable fuel.  Mater finds himself right in the middle of an international espionage plot to stop the destruction at the World Grand Prix as he is mistaken as an American spy.

            There were many parts of this movie that I was impressed with, but to me there was just something missing, it did not have the magic that other Pixar movies have of making you laugh and cry at the same time.  The artists designed amazing settings of exotic and far away places all over the world including Hong Kong, Italy, and London.  Two new actors to the cast are Michaeal Caine and Emily Mortimer who voice Fin McMissile and Holley Shiftwell, two British spies who mistaken Mater as their American contact.  Who better to play a British spy than Michael Caine?  His past experience and charming accent make him ideal.  Emily Mortimer also deserves a pat on the back for taking on the role of the Bond-girl-esque aspect of her character.

            Cars 2 is a great movie for those who really loved the first movie, or just generally love cars and all different types of transportation devices.  As with all Pixar films there is humor for both the younger audience and their parents, but do not expect a ton of laughs, but more action as the espionage plot unfolds and the good cars battle the lemons.  I frankly enjoyed the little feature-ette at the beginning more than the features presentation.  It is a great little story about the toys’ life after Toy Story 3 and it is a riot.  Be sure to get to the theater with enough time to catch it after the trailers, but before the movie starts.  Cars 2 is a good movie, but a Pixar movie should be excellent or better, none the less it is a great rental option when it is released on DVD.  Save your money for another movie with a bit more bang for your buck.

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