August 04, 2011

Cars 2 (AMC Clifton Commons 16)

Erica: This past weekend, we were in New Jersey so we went to the theater we frequent when there, the AMC Clifton Commons 16. I honestly think this is a great theater as far as crowds go. We have mentioned this previously, but the people are just very well behaved here (even the children). Which is good considering this is a children's movie with a running time of 1 hour 53 minutes. Really Pixar?

I LOVE Pixar films but was not all too thrilled with the original Cars. It was, to me, not a great movie to appeal to adults as well as children as most Pixar films. But let's not dwell in the past... let's roll on to Cars 2. This was far superior to its predecessor. Maybe it was because it didn't focus 100% on the first film's star, Lightning McQueen, or maybe because they spent very little time in Radiator Springs. They traveled the world, although it did appear a bit NASCAR-y at times, the plot is a vast improvement and the story had a charming message for children (don't judge a book by its cover... or don't judge a car by its dents). OK enough with the corny car puns... moving on... we see our car friends Lightning and his best tow truck friend, Tow Mater traveling the world while Lightning goes on the World Grand Prix against his Italian car rival Francesco Bernoulli (voiced by John Turturro) when Mater is mistaken as an International Spy, the adventure begins.

Mike: And from there it paces along quickly. It's the most action-packed film for Pixar yet. I liked Cars 2 way more than I anticipated, especially considering how much I too hated the first film. Don't get me wrong - the Cars films are still way down the Pixar totem pole, but damn, I thought this was a lot of fun. Lots of fun action and silly gags. Mater - whose human form I can't stand - was funny and he did well as the main character. Relegating Owen Wilson's Lightning McQueen to a supporting player turned out very well. It's a bit long, but I had fun.

Cars 2 also doesn't bother pandering to its NASCAR target audience as the first one did. Pixar probably figured they'd have those in the bag and tried to win over more of an international audience. Whether it has paid off financially, I don't know, but it certainly helped make this a better film.

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