CARS 2 (2011)

TMG Scale 8.0
Starring Larry the Cable Guy, Owen Wilson, Michaels Caine, Emily Mortimer

Clearly, the success of this film owes almost entirely  to Larry the Cable Guy. My rating may have suffered at least two full points without his voice and personality. Larry as Tow Mater, the old rusty, country boy tow truck and Wilson as the shiny new race car, Lightening McQueen made a great pair. This is a reprise of  the same guys in Cars (2006) where Lightening McQueen got stranded in Radiator Springs.

Adults can enjoy this film while the kids relish it with glee. I saw it with Sydney, TMG’s professional,  ten year old movie critic and her friend Jordan. They both rated it 9.0 or above. TMG won’t go that far, but their was plenty for an adult to enjoy. First,  I liked the fact we now have more shows with cartoon warm ups. (Before Cars 2 were were treated to a Toy Story short film.)  Warm up cartoons  were standard for all movies in the 60’s and 70’s until all the extended trailers and commercials worked their way into theatres.

The opening car chase was as good as any James Bond Film but in animation. If I found any negative message in this film, it  was all the martinis being ordered by the characters. It might have been better they order “oil fudge sundays” or something rather than all the alcohol for a kids film. I think it went over most kids heads though.  I doubt many understood the wasabi joke, the reason for the name Lightening McQueen or who even Larry the Cable Guy is or the referenece to Daryl Carturp. Those references were more for adults.  The kids just laughed.  The British agent well played by Michael Caine was fun. The password about why a Carmen Ghia had no radiator was equally funny. (They are air cooled.)

A bit odd was figuring out who you should cheer for  in this film other than Tow Mater. The plot was that many old lemons and car rejects feared a new environmentally better fuel, Allinol, would make them even more obsolete.  They buy a ray gun that looks like a TV camera and use it to sabotage all the races between McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli–a Formula One car. Frankly,  I was sort of cheering for  these ostensible “villains.” The Hugos, Gremlins and Pacers of the world deserve some love . I did not like the blatant environmental message that Allinol  was the fuel of the future. This seemed  an obvious reference to something  like Ethonal bio fuel which we have all found to be the most bogus government sponsored product since low flow toilets. But, like so many of the other refernces in the film, I think this just went right over the heads of most kids.

Overall,  it was a fun ride for kids and adults alike. I laughed and had a good time. It is what movietime with young kids is all about.

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