Posted on 8/05/11 03:29 PM
Animated films can be hit or miss. Some are truly brilliant, some are let down and forgotten about. The most well-known animation studio worldwide has got to be Pixar. (Not including this one) they've created 11 films, all of which have registered Certified Fresh standard on here, and have all been a Box Office success. All the films have had solid animation, which was been improving as time goes by. However, it's not the animation that Pixar is acclaimed for; it's the story telling. All Pixar productions have had the heart, the emotion and the story to go with it. They all work for both adults and kids. Cars is widely considered Pixar's weakest effort, but it garnered a sequel. But does it improve?
"Cars 2" follows Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) travel the world for McQueen to compete in the first ever World Grand Prix. But, when Mater is caught up in the mission of super spies Fin McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), things take a turn for the worse. Mater is forced to continue the mission without the others knowing he isn't a spy, whilst a rival oil company begin plotting the murders of cars around the world. Can Mater stop the plan before the company succeed?
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Trust me; I had a hard time coming up with what to write there. The plot is terrible. And that's what shocked me. Oh well, onto that later. "Cars 2" is actually better than the original, but not by much. In fact, it's hard to compare the two; they're completely different films! It's hard to sum up my opinion of "Cars" in one paragraph, so I'll get straight to it.
The plot is weak; it really is. Compared to the standards of other Pixar giants, it just can't find its feet. It rushes in without any set up, and we're hurled into this universe where Cars now have guns. And, as fast as we're chucked in, we're forced into an immediate explosion orgy. Don't get me wrong, I liked that side of it (I'll move onto it later), but we needed something to draw us in. I can't care about a Car that I don't know when he's having rockets fired at him. After the start, it doesn't pick up. I few minor plot details come in here and there, but there are no twists or turns at any point. It's flat throughout; and it really started to drag in the last 20 minutes.
The only other thing I missed was the heart. "Cars 2" has no emotion; the voice actors are painfully dull here. When an entire film is shown through Cars that don't have proper faces, it was all down to the cast, and they failed for me. The script didn't help, for the most part it was very clichéd and just dull. Pixar is used to having heart and emotion; making us care for the characters. Where did it all go?
But, other than that, it's not too bad. The animation is terrific, some of the best I've seen. It can easily boast at having the best animation so far this year, but it could be knocked by Tintin! Of course, the animation can't fix everything, but it can make it better. The animation was so good here, that in the final few moments when McQueen and Mater were racing through London, the scenery looked real. It's that impressive.
"Cars 2" is more of an action film than anything else; and this is what I liked most about it. It was different; it had the originality; which is hard to find in a sequel. How many animated action films are there? Not many and that is what set "Cars 2" away from the crowd. Some of the action scenes are genuinely dazzling, and may cause you to be sitting slightly more upright in your seat than you'd have imagined.
That's about it. Being animated, "Cars 2" should really have been funnier. It does contain a fair few laughs, but just not as many as it should have. That didn't bother me at all though; purely because it was replaced by solid action. I know I'll get a lot of stick for giving this a positive rating. I think I liked it this much because I was expected so much worse; the reviews it's had, you guys on here, all my friends.....everyone told me it was painful. I couldn't watch it again, because then I feel I would see it for what it really is, and then I wouldn't enjoy it at all. But, who cares; this time round, I enjoyed it.
To Summarise: Replacing the story and heart with action and explosions might not have been the best move, but "Cars 2" is still entertaining; though far from Pixar's best.