Our review of Up drained most of the fight out of me so I’ll make this one brief. Before I saw this sequel, the original Cars had always been my least favorite Pixar and the only one I didn’t like. Pixar’s other films range from very good to excellent and Cars stands out as somewhat of a blemish. Of course it’s a relative blemish as most animation studios could only hope to achieve the level of success Pixar found with its anthropomorphic automobiles. Nevertheless, I went into my viewing of this sequel feeling taxed and burdened as if watching the movie is a chore (Sicario is out! I should be watching that. Then rewatching it!).
I’m happy to report that while Cars 2 is not great, it was a pleasant surprise. Lightning McQueen continues to be my least favorite Pixar lead so for me, shifting the attention from that slick racecar to the simple-minded Mater was a plus. Mater still ranks toward the bottom on my list of favorite Pixar characters but his vulnerability and positivity make for a more compelling watch than McQueen’s insecurity.
Now, I already mentioned that this movie was a pleasant surprise. And I meant that. But it’s more like going to RedBox expecting something terrible and getting something….mostly okay. Not great. Not really worth your time (go see Sicario everyone!). But overall a fine time. That being said, the plot falls flat and other than the film’s commendable animation, it feels like a direct-to-video film. Not what you’d expect from a studio with twelve Oscars.