Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Cars 2 [2011]

In A Nutshell:
Star race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) competes in the first ever World Grand Prix race in Japan, Italy and England. He brings along his friends from Radiator Springs to serve as his crew. However McQueen's best friend Tow Mater (voiced by Larry The Cable Guy) accidently gets involved in international espionage.
Thumbs Up:
+ Stunning visuals
+ amusing portrayals of foreign cultures
Thumbs Down:
- no genuine laugh out loud moments
- rather flat action sequences and racing scenes
- predictable and at times even dull story line with no real depth
- the usual overall magic we come to love and expect is terribly missing
The Verdict Is In:
Its ironic to think that as a movie about race cars and espionage, Cars 2 suffers from a serious lack of adrenaline rush. The action sequences and race scenes in the movie generated about zero excitement. Admittedly it is a pretty hard thing to pull-off in an animation, but its not impossible either as Pixar has demonstrated successfully plenty times before. Think about those thrilling action sequences in The Incredibles [2004], Toy Story 3's [2010] conveyer belt scene at the garbage dump, or heck, even the final scenes in Up [2009] (where Mr. Fredricksen tries to rescue Russell) and you'll get plenty elements of suspense.

By normal standards this is not a terrible movie because it does have a few bright patches, but it also doesn't qualify as a good one. When judged by Pixar standards however, this has to count as a huge disappointment and just goes to show how ridiculously high the bar has been set. As a Pixar fanboy myself, it pains me to say the usual magic just isn't there. The main Pixar speciality missing is what I like to call "the tug of the heart". That DEEP stir of emotions you get while watching a movie. The feeling that makes both kids and adults alike wanting to cry like you get while watching Up [2009] or the Toy Story movies. Or the sheer thrill I had while watching The Incredibles [2004]. Or the tranquillising charm WALL-E [2008] captivated me with. Or how I got sucked into the mesmerising world of Ratatouille [2007] and Finding Nemo [2003]. Oh well, guess the baton for 100% awesome movies now is in the hands of Christopher Nolan. Bring on The Dark Knight Rises [2012].
5.5 out of 10

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