Critics and fans alike made a big deal that Cars 2 was the first Pixar movie to get a rotten rating at Rottentomatoes.com, which means it sucks. I disagree, I’ve seen worse Pixar movies like Bug’s Life (boring characters and predictable), Wall-E (didn’t care much for a robot love story) and the original Cars (another predictable story). Cars 2 is fairly entertaining but it really has nothing to do with the original. This sequel focuses more on Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) than Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). McQueen enters a world grand prix and Mater gets involved in espionage with the James Bond-esque Finn McMissile (Michael Cain, I kept wondering why his voice sounded so familiar, it’s Alfred from the Batman movies!). The spy stuff was a bit much for this billion dollar franchise…majority on kids merchandise. I wish it focused more on the racing. McMissile was too cool and skillful for his own good and whenever he showed up, there was no more suspense
The story lacks substance but there’s no dull moment because the locations always change from the country side of the U.S. to the neon lights of Tokyo. The locations are really colorful and they have their own identity. Mater is good as the main character because he’s loveable, so he keeps the movie going with his adventures. The ending seemed tacked on just so the kids will say it was still a Lightning McQueen movie but it’s obvious who was the star of the movie.
Cars 2 is a fun movie with some pretty cool action scenes and nice visuals. Don’t expect too much out of it and you’ll enjoy it more than you think.
Since this is Pixar, we already know the video quality is going to look great. But how great? To make it short, it’s reference quality. The 2.35:1, 1080P transfer has vibrant eye popping colors (I can only imagine how great 3D will look for this). Nothing ever looks dull on the screen and there’s no pixelization at all. The video is smooth and overall just impressive.
Hands down, this is the best track I’ve heard on my home theater system. I’m confident the audio for Cars 2 is better than Fast Five and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. What separates Cars 2 is the balance. Everything sounds so natural. I love the LFE of the race scenes. It’s hard to explain but it’s really deep but not loud where you have to turn down the volume. The missiles and gunshots sound heavy, there’s a distinct sound for each weapon. This is the first movie to get a perfect score for audio.
There are some good special features but not much behind the scenes stuff. They are:
– Toy Story Toon: Hawaiian Vacation Short – It’s a clever, funny and great short movie. Must watch for any cartoon fan.
– Commentary by co-directors by John Lasseter & Brad Lewis – Informative track with both directors talking about their ideas and inspiration for the movie. Lasseter also has some interesting info on some of the racing drivers they met for the movie.
– Air Mater – This is also a good short as Mater has another Tall Talers.
The set also comes with a DVD version of the movie and the extras.
Cars 2 is an underrated Pixar movie. Maybe I didn’t expect much out of it because I wasn’t a fan of the original but I enjoyed it because of Mater and the GREAT video and audio presentation. Extras could’ve been more but at least Disney gave us entertaining features.
Overall grade: B+ (not an average)