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Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor

Film Review: “Cars 2”

Written by: FFT Webmaster | June 24th, 2011

**1/2 OUT OF 4

Director. John Lasseter, with co-director Brad Lewis, from a script by Ben Queen has come up short in emotion but long in 3- D visual style in this follow-up to the original animated feature produced by the wildly successful folks at Pixar/Disney.

The story takes place in Tokyo, Paris, the Italian Riviera and London this time which lends itself well to some stunning treats in the anime aesthetic.  Lightning McQueen is a bright red racing car voiced by the ever popular  Owen Wilson and his buddy Tow Mater, the “get r done” good old country boy tow truck voiced by Daniel (Larry the Cable Guy)Whitney.

On holiday away from the sleepy desert town of Radiator Springs, Lightning enters the World Grand Prix.  Meanwhile, Mater is perceived to be a spy by international security experts and the “hot” rookie known as Holly Shiftwell (the wonderful Emily Mortimer) who thinks he is part of the world of espionage.   We are next involved in a series of exhilarating racing sequences with a James Bond twist featuring the muscle car called Finn McMissle and voiced by the distinctive tones of Sir Michael Caine. There is a subplot involving an oil baron (Eddie Izzard) who is pushing an alternative fuel product.

But Cars 2 is Mater’s show and this is its strength but also its weakness. Mater enters into drama with Lightning and the two separate for a while. Mater’s incessant chatter, however,  goes on and on leaving the audience somewhat bored. The story is somewhat convoluted, lacks variety and,   frankly, it’s difficult to feel emotional about hunks of metal. This one has much more frenzy than feeling. This is in contrast to “Toy Story 3” which Pixar loaded with emotional resonance and character development. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of Pixar’s revolutionary animation sit back and enjoy the mind blowing images and sounds and “go for the ride”.

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