Cars was a good movie. I had to pop back to my review to remember that I thought that at the time. Pixar have been so successful that we rely on them to produce the best animated feature of the year. They may do so with Cars 2 but it will be with their worst ever movie. More disturbingly, it was a movie that did not at all justify a G-rating.
While Cars was a maverick needs a lesson in humility type tale, Cars 2 was a spy thriller in the mode of the Pink Panther. The main character switches from Lightning McQueen to Mater and as Mater is an innocent soul, there isn't much to work with in terms of character growth -- perhaps a little confidence although that is a stretch. Mater is a comical character but the movie fails in comedy. It is visually spectacular and the plot isn't awful and mostly makes some sense but what it lacks is 'investment.' You don't become invested in this movie the way Pixar normally does. And at almost 2 hours in length, that was a shame. It also meant that it wasn't that entertaining for the kids. I wonder if this is the first Pixar casualty of Steve Jobs' illness.
But strangely the movie was given a G-rating. It was not a G-rating. As my son pointed out it had both the suspense associated with death and death itself. It was gruesome. Cars -- admittedly bad guys -- were meeting terrible fates all over the place. Maybe because it was cars, it met some violence threshold. But really? Something was amiss here. There was also no reason for it. Let's face it, a cars spy thriller doesn't have to be 'realistic'.
The best part was the Toy Story short at the beginning. That was more like what we were expecting.
Pixar have had a strike. I guess it was coming. Hopefully, they can get back on track.