Blu-ray Review: CARS 2 - One sequel that races beyond expectations

Cars 2 zoomed onto Disney•Pixar Blu-ray and DVD on November 1. After skipping this film in theaters, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. There are few occasions when a sequel is better than the first film, and Cars 2 is one of those occasions.  I am late to the game with my love of Pixar movies, since I am not generally a fan of animated films. I really enjoyed The Incredibles, but what really changed my mind on Pixar films was the release of Wall-E and Up.

It was then that I realized that these were much much more than just a run-of-the-mill animated film. Aside from the beautiful life-like animation, Pixar engrosses the audience with stories that have heart and a message that does not make you leave the theater as if you have just been bombarded by the morals police.

The voice casting is superb, from the leads all the way to the minor roles. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Larry the Cable Guy as Mater. I am usually not a fan, in fact it was one of the reasons I avoided the first film (that and the poor reviews). I was expecting his voice to be annoying and overpowering for some reason, but it was just the perfect blend. Owen Wilson is good as McQueen. Wilson has such a noticeable voice, you often have trouble envisioning him as anyone but Owen Wilson.

The addition of Michael Caine is great. It makes me think that Caine would have made a wonderful James Bond. Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, Eddie Izzard, Joe Mantenga and Bonnie Hunt are also wonderful additiions. I think that Turturro should be cast in more voice work, he was the perfect mix of cocky and funny as Francesco Bernulli. You are sure to enjoy the story and message about friendship and not judging someone by the way they look.

The animation on Cars 2 was simply beautiful. From the way the waves looked in the opening sequence to how the wet pavement showed the reflection of the lights in Tokyo, this was one of the most realistic animated films as of late. I felt as if there was an explosion of color in every scene. I am a huge car fan, and I loved the way that the human characteristics of each car character seemed to perfectly blend with the elements of that cars design.

I found myself laughing and being thoroughly entertained as I watched the film. The addition of the international settings and the spy plot ws a perfect decision on Pixar’s part. I grew up watching Bond films and there are so many elements of a classic bond movie in Cars 2. The opening sequence of Cars 2 is just like the opening sequence of a Bond movie. Finn McMissle infiltrates the bad guys oil rig and then ends up having to escape with the help of special gadgets. Then there is the scene with Mater in the Japanese bathroom, that had me laughing out loud. There are so many scenes like that that make this a fun and entertaining movie for the whole family.

In Conclusion:

This is not the best Pixar movie, but it is not the worst. If this was what they had done with Cars, I would have loved it. Fans of James Bond, will love the international intrigue and cool spy gadgets in the film. Pop the disc in and get ready for a fun and colorful ride you won’t forget.

Synopsis:

Star race car Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in “Cars 2” when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prixto determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.


2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack     (1 Blu-ray Disc + 1 DVD)
Bonus Features:      

  • Cars Toon “Air Mater” – Exclusive All-New Short
  • Toy Story Toon “Hawaiian Vacation” – Theatrically Released Short
  • Director John Lasseter Commentary

 

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