353 of 395 people found the following review helpful
A Love It or Hate It experience...But I loved it!,
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This review is from: Cars 2 (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (Blu-ray)
I had a very unusual experience seeing this movie in theaters.
I watched it, I had a great time, I laughed, cheered, was thrilled, and the moment the credits started to roll the people in the row behind me IMMEDIATELY started spouting off how much they HATED it. I was flabbergasted. I was sorely tempted to turn around and ask them if we even just saw the same movie? How could anyone hate something that's so much FUN?!
But after thinking about it, I could see actually why they didn't get into it. Cars 2 is the first Pixar movie where you really have to 'get the joke' of the premise, or the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards. What this movie is, is the best James Bond movie of the last 15 years (not counting Casino Royale which transcends Bond movies to be just a great spy movie), with a bit of The Accidental Spy thrown in.
I LOVE Bond movies. The crazy opening sequences, the insane gadgets, the quippy lines. And Cars 2 hit pitch perfect parodies of every Bond standard. But you could never say of any Bond movie that it's got a deep emotional core, that's not how they're made. They're made to be balls to the wall fun and thrills, and that's what this movie is. Which of course makes it the polar opposite of the original Cars. It could hardly be more different.
If you get the joke, that this is a James Bond movie with cars, it's a riot. Loads of fun. It's not deep, it's not going to tug at your heart strings, it will not make your mother cry three or four times (as virtually ever Pixar movie ever made prior has done to my mother, I take her to Pixar movies with a bucket). It's just riotous fun. And I'm amazed that people are punishing Pixar for making a movie that's just pure fun. Granted Pixar is famous for it's deep emotional stories, and I suppose people expect that sort of thing every time. Even if you make a fun and entertaining movie, if you don't do what people expect, they bite your head off for it.
I went in with few expectations cause the early reviews bashed it to pieces, and I was frankly not that big a fan of the original movie. In the first Cars McQueen spends an enormous amount of the movie whining, and I found him generally unlikeable until fully halfway through the movie. It was a good movie, with a lot of heart and a message, but not one I would describe as a lot of FUN. Mater especially, a little of him went a long way in the first movie, and I was really worried about him being the star of this movie, because if a little of him annoyed me in the first movie, this one has 10 times more of him.
And yet, he actually annoyed me LESS this time around, cause he had something to do instead of just hanging around being Mater. They struck a perfect balance in his 'mater-ness' where the Accidental Spy nature of his story is charming instead of just annoying. And even more to my amazement, Mater's unique perspective DOES actually help solve the mystery. He's not just a bumbling idiot gumming up the works, he does actually help.
I was also constantly amused at the imagination that went into Cars-ifying the world. Even little touches like the swanky party in Towkyo (not a typo! ha!), the elevators are giant pistons that come out of the floor. I didn't expect it at all but once I saw it was it was so perfect.
To sum up, I have to say, I enjoyed this movie MORE than the original Cars. Yet at the same time I'll fully agree that the original is a technically superior film in writing and character, but Cars 2 is way more fun. If you go into this with the right attitude, that you're seeing a James Bond movie with Cars, that it's meant to be pure fun and embrace it on that level, there's a lot to love.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is it IS shallow. I won't say it's a perfect film on every level cause it's not. But it doesn't deserve the hate it's getting, it's just a fun movie, and there's nothing wrong with that. If it doesn't quite transcend to the levels of brilliance of The Incredibles or Wall:E, that doesn't make it BAD, it suffers only in comparison to other Pixar work, compared to anything else, it rocks. :)
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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 24, 2011 3:39:19 PM PDT
Allen M. Lewis says:
Thank you for a very helpful review. Apparently some people expect Pixar films to be full of "gravitas." Why? Can't Pixar make a light-hearted film with no Deep Underlying Morally Uplifting Message?
I would be interested to know what the people who are bashing Cars 2 thought of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Were they disappointed in those as well? Because those films certainly had no "heart" to them!
Posted on Jul 27, 2011 7:52:42 AM PDT
Damn good review JK !!! Damn good! I agree with you 100%. I just want to add, besides the Bond thing,... I think CARS-2 also has something of Fast-And-Furious going for it. Me and family, certainly enjoyed it, and had great time watching it.
Posted on Jul 31, 2011 6:37:05 AM PDT
I agree with your review here, all of it. I left the movie completely satisfied myself. It was cute, clever, and I really appreciate the detail going into how the "cars" function in on their Earth like piston elevators. I really relate to this movie (and the original Cars) as I distinctly remember playing with my million or so Hot Wheels cars as a child, and pretending they were the characters and not made-up folks driving my Hot Wheels. So as I watch, I tend to fall back to my childhood.
All in all, I thought the movie was really cool, too.
Thanks for your review.
Posted on Aug 16, 2011 12:41:47 PM PDT
I totally agree with you. I thoroughly enjoyed Cars 2 and was amazed at all the creativity used in the gadgets and all that. I also enjoyed the first Cars movie. For me they were both enjoyable in different ways. I think people just need to enjoy the movie for what it has to offer. A lot of thrills, car chases, amazing gadgets... Some people are just taking it way too seriously.
Posted on Aug 19, 2011 9:14:43 AM PDT
O. Fischer says:
Great review -- thanks!
Posted on Sep 1, 2011 8:00:00 PM PDT
Erin Finneran says:
I second this review in everything but the fact of enjoying Cars 2 more than Cars. I loved both in different ways and for different reasons. There is a place for fun; remember: it's a kids' movie first, and movie for the kid in all of us, second.
Posted on Sep 21, 2011 10:29:12 PM PDT
You articulated my response to Cars 2 perfectly! I love spy movies and had a ball watching this one. It reminded me of Bond movies and had all the great locations as well and I was impessed by the clearly affectionate dedication to detail to make this such a great send-up to the spy movie genre.
I loved Cars as well, for different reasons, and understand why it might be the more highly regarded of the two. Still, I was very taken aback by the vitriolic levels of critique levelled at this film. If one is trying to decide whether or not to buy this DVD, I think this review is a great Pro argument to go by. If it resonates with you, chances are you will enjoy the movie. One parent warning, though, it is a light movie for an adult, but it has moments of mortal peril; my five-year-old was definitely nervous at points, but ultimately is eager for the DVD release so he can watch the movie again.
Thanks for a helpful and articulate review. My husband definitely falls in the camp of those disappointed by this movie, so I realize different strokes for different folks. Still, for some of us, it is a ton of fun and I am glad your review is out there so a potential enjoyer of the movie won't miss out!
Posted on Sep 29, 2011 5:49:52 PM PDT
Statia M. says:
I hate James Bond movies, but I loved Cars 2, and I totally agree with you that not many people picked up on the hilarious James Bond spoofing they had going on. It was cute.
Posted on Sep 30, 2011 6:34:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2011 6:36:49 PM PDT
Kai Carter says:
I have yet to allow my son to see this movie solely based on negative feedback regarding gratuitous violence in the film. Your review made me look at Cars 2 in a different perspective. Like you, I LOVE James Bond movies - have every since I was a child myself - although I normally cannot handle violent fims. At all. But James Bond movies are about insanely entertaining action; not gratuitous violence. That said, thanks to your well written review, I will now be one more person watching this move with the correct "frame of reference" and am no longer afraid to allow my son to watch it with me.
Posted on Oct 21, 2011 8:45:24 PM PDT
Touche'!!!! Excellent analysis and I agree wholeheartedly. It's time the self-proclaimed intellectual critics get their heads out of their cloistered world of overly analytical cynisism and learn to enjoy life for what it is. Just hang loose for awhile and roll with it!