Run Time: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Cars 2 opens with a spy sequence featuring a new character, Finn McMissile. After snapping a few pictures of the new weapon and being spotted, Finn makes his daring escape involving wings, submarines, and a fake death. Flashing over to Lightning McQueen and crew, Lightning prepares for the World Grand Prix, a competition that features many different cars and many locations. During the before party, Mater is given secret spy information, and unknowingly, Mater is dragged into a spy adventure.
Our characters are nearly the exact same as those in Cars, you can catch that review here. Lightning has learnt a lot since the beginning of Cars and he is a much more humble car. He is less arrogant and more focused on those around him. Mater is the exact same tow truck as he was in Cars, funny, slightly dumb but super lovable. Our two new characters Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell are spies. Finn is considerably older and wiser than Holly, with a ton more resources at his disposal. Holly is a nervous wreck due to this being her first field mission. Holly makes some rookie mistakes, but she is always ready to learn and already a smarter car than most.
Nathanyal’s Review 9.0/10:
Before I start, I just want to say that this movie didn’t really feel like a Cars movie. With such a smaller focus on racing and more on Mater’s story, I wish it was named something else. I feel like a different name would’ve encapsulated the movie a lot better.
Anyways, to start, there wasn’t any big negatives to this movie. Overall, it was quite enjoyable, and it had an interesting spin. The only thing I want to mention is the name of this movie. I felt like this wasn’t really in the spirit of a Cars movie. Honestly, I think if it was named something else, it would have done a lot better. Another thing I wasn’t to mention is that this movie has a lot of implied death. From cars being torched, crushed, burned, it’s a lot from a kid’s movie surprisingly.
There are many good parts about this movie. Compared to the first, this movie definitely was funnier. With Mater leading the charge, everything had a more natural comedic tone. Speaking of Mater, I really enjoyed seeing him as the lead of the movie. It helped him have more development and focus. I also enjoyed seeing the spy storyline for this movie. The inclusions of Finn and Holly were wonderful, and they brought an extra layer to this universe. Like the first movie, Cars 2 had a focus around a central message: friendship. In this regard, I think they did well in presenting and exploring this idea. For a kid, these messages are easily received and simple to understand.
Overall, this was a fun movie. I enjoyed seeing a continuation in this universe, but I find it hard to call it a sequel to the first movie. It does have some great messages and the spy theme were well done. It will still be a blast to watch for people of all ages.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment in this movie has to be the intro scene. Although I still find it odd that this is a Cars movie, I enjoyed the spy and espionage aspects of the movie. From the gadgets, to the action, there was something classical and fun with this scene
Austin’s Review 8.7/10:
Cars 2 is considered a sequel, but the focus shifts off of Lightning. Honestly, the focus shifts off of racing in general. I didn’t love this choice in plot, but the movie itself is really good. The whole spy dynamic works really well in the world of Cars and giving Mater a bigger role was genius. His character is so funny, so naive, and so well-meaning. His lack of awareness creates a ton of situational irony and makes for a very funny movie. Finn and Holly are awesome additions to the cast, bringing two new personality types. While we step away from Lightning, I love the development of Mater. He feels just a little bit thin after the initial movie, but we learn so much about what makes Mater tick.
As well as being pretty darn funny, I thought Cars 2 did a good job in bringing action to a kid friendly environment. The gadgets are super cool, and I loved the car chases. The action doesn’t feel cheap by the fact that this is a “Family” movie, and it is still a high tension movie. The plot itself jumps around a tad and struggles to find its identity, but once it decides to fully go towards the spy route, I really enjoyed it. I think this movie would have been even better if it was marketed as a spin-off or something instead of the sequel, just due to the large steps it takes away from Lightning McQueen and racing as a whole. Take that away, it’s a pretty solid movie.
Overall, this is a fun movie to watch. The spy idea was risky, but I thought it paid off. With a deeper focus on Mater , I would have loved to see this marketed as a spinoff, but that doesn’t take anything away from the movie itself. 10 years later this is still a solid movie.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
I thought the scene where all the cars were destroyed was really well done. It shows off the true power of that camera and the danger lightning is in, and the animation is well done. It’s also a fairly dark scene which is new to this series. It fits the vibe of the movie perfectly, and it’s a great evil laugh moment.
Sebastian’s Review 8.4/10:
I probably hadn’t seen this film in around 10 years and I also have to say that its reputation as the worst PIXAR film did influence my perception but upon rewatch it was enjoyable. Now that’s not to say it’s without flaw as I have problems with it and it probably does rank close to the bottom in my PIXAR ranking but even a not as amazing PIXAR is still pretty good. To start with the positives, I thought that the spy stuff in this film was cool. Does it make sense as a sequel in terms of story, not really but in general the spy aspects and gadgets were quite cool. The second thing I like is the scale of the film, it has this globe-trotting adventure feel that is really cool and I liked seeing how grand it felt. The way they expanded the world of Cars and how they function even with things like boats and planes was interesting. All the returning characters were just as good as in the first film though lots of them were underused it was nice to see them back. The new characters like Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell were different and added a whole new dynamic to bounce off of Mater. The movie was quite funny with Mater still being quite funny though I thought his comedy wasn’t as consistently funny as the first but the comedy is still strong. The animation is as strong as always with PIXAR with the cars and backgrounds looking great. Where this film falters for me is one, its choice to make Mater the protagonist as the comedic side character doesn’t work as the lead as I didn’t see him as a leading man more as a funny side character. The shift to a film about spies is also pretty jarring and personally, I would’ve preferred to see more focus on racing causing this to feel more like a spin-off.
All in all, this is a decent movie that I’m glad I saw again and would recommend it if you’re looking for another film in this universe. So hop on Disney+ and check it out!
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
When Mater explains his dents because I love how this show’s his friendship with Lightning. It shows the type of person Mater is and his loyalty to his friend and their relationship.