There were many times that I sort of forgot I was watching a film meant for kids.
International intrigue. Death defying automobile chases through foreign streets. Undercover spies, and her majesties secret service. No this isn't the new Bond thriller but instead Pixar's CARS 2. All your favorite gas guzzling characters are back in the sequel to the 2006 hit, CARS. This time around the filmmakers get a bit sneaky and slip in a slick story, and adult engaging plot; all disguised as a kids film. Oh, but don’t worry, they will love it too.
In this installment Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is just off another fantastic Piston Cup championship when he is challenged by an Italian race car to a showdown. The playing field; a World Grand Prix race. But taking big-hearted tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) overseas might not be such a good idea. Especially when there is espionage involved. But soon it it is up to Mater to save the day, and McQueen.
This film starts in high gear and for the most part never lets off the accelerator. There are a few times it loses traction but these are rare and it regains control quickly. The opening sequence proves that this isn't going to be just some kids film. Right away the writers and animators are out to show that you can be very kid friendly and still not forgo depth of characters, plots and cool effects.
There were many times that I sort of forgot I was watching a film meant for kids. Sure every time Mater talks you are brought back to reality but the fast paced action and creative motion certainly hold the attention of the older crowd. Like the James Bond films this one has lots of gadgets and spy-talk. Plus settings like London and Paris are a lot more exciting than Radiator Springs.
It is being shown in both 2D and 3D theaters. The 3D actually was a benefit and gave the car chases and city backdrops a lot of depth. It proved once again that 3D is meant for animation and never live action. So here it is worth the few extra bucks you will spend. At the same time if you opt for 2D you will enjoy it just as much.
Lots of great voices in this one too. Along with the original members there is Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as the foreign spies and John Turturro as the cocky Italian job. CARS 2 is rated G and there isn't one ounce of worry in this one for parents. True the story line might be a little deep for your tinier tots but they will still like to watch all the cars talk and drive around. Staying true to bond films there are some gun gadgets and car crashes but nothing they probably don't do on the floor with their own toy cars.
I giveCars 2, 4.75 out of 5 fuel injectors. It is near perfect for the genre and Pixar shows that it is possible to make a G rated film that is smart, funny and well written.
Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.