Cars 2 recently debuted in theaters and while I wasn’t too enthusiastic to see the film I thought why not.
When the first Cars movie was released I thought that this would be a big flop for Pixar, I mean really how good could a talking car movie be? However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The first movie had a great story which reminded me of some of the Love Bug type movies. In fact, I felt like the same story if filmed in the 60’s probably would have been a live action and even star Dean Jones. The story had a great heart to it and a stellar cast of voices. It was also one of the first movies that you can actually stand Owen Wilson.
Expecting to see Andy buy get Gomer
If Cars one felt like the Love Bug then Cars 2 was teased to be a kind any other campy 60’s spy movie. The problem was that it just wasn’t.
Without giving away to much of the plot the best analogy I can make for this film is that you go in expecting to see an episode of the Andy Griffith show. You are eager to see all your beloved characters, Opie, Aunt Bee, Barny, even the Barbershop guy and of course Andy.
However, you quickly realize that instead, you are getting an episode of the Gomer Pyle show revolving around Gomer and the idiotic situation he got himself through simple misunderstandings. Of course, in this case, we have Mater who though misunderstandings is mistaken to be a spy, despite telling everyone that he isn’t.
Now, granted Andy does make an appearance in this episode of Gomer Pyle, that is to say, we do get to see Lightning McQueen and even a few other familiar faces from the original film. Though everyone’s appearance is limited and it’s almost as if they are there to emphasize that yes this is a sequel.
Cars in a Human World
Okay, so besides being a horrible episode of Gomer Pyle another major issue of Cars, is that the world was different than the first movie. In the first film, the cars lived in sort of a car world where they did things cars do, only their behaviors were personified. For example, cars need gas to run, so in the first film filling up a tank of gas was personified as grabbing a bite to eat. Getting a tune up or oil change was personified as going to see the Doc. The method of personifying the behaviors of cars worked, these weren’t people who looked like cars these were cars, in some sort of alternate world and we as viewers bought into it and liked it.
In Cars 2 we see a totally different take on the world, the cars are now living in what seems to be a human world, which doesn’t make sense. For example, in the film Mater mistakes wasabi for ice cream, sure this leads to a humorous outcome but why would a car need wasabi or ice cream? Later Matter goes to wash up in the bathroom and freaked out by the Japanese style toilets. Seriously, why would a car go to the bathroom? I could see we personifying the idea of say a car wash as a bathroom or shower, but not putting a car into toilet stalls.
Basically, Pixar breaks the whole illusion of cars in their own world that makes it relatable and puts them in a human world that just doesn’t make sense.
A Poor TV Special
In the end, this entire film felt like a poorly scripted tv special. You know like that StarWars Christmas special that never happened.
The film tried too hard to be some sort of action-packed car spy movie in an attempt to sell toys. That’s mainly what the movie was about cool cars with gadgets and yes you could get them all in your local toy department. While the first movie had a heartfelt story that could span generations, this new one was made especially for six to eight year olds and nothing more.