While we were in California, I took the boys to see the movie, Cars 2. Jim and I wanted to take them before we left on our trip, but couldn’t find the time. So I picked a day when the workload wasn’t too much and surprised them with a trip to the movies.
They were so excited, jumping up and down and dancing. We planned to go to a morning movie and then meet Yaya for lunch. Popcorn and candy in hand we got settled into the theater only to be greeted with a 40 minute delay due to a projector problem. There was a 15 minute period of time where I thought I was going to have to drag two hysterical children out of the theater because they were going to cancel the showing. Somehow miraculously Will sat in his seat eating popcorn and reading books until they finally got it working.
Eventually the movie got going and I have to admit I was underwhelmed. I had heard that some of the reviews were negative, but I don’t always agree with the critics. This time I did.
First of all, Lightning McQueen was hardly in the movie; Mater and the new character Finn McMissile were definitely the stars. The story was a lot more complex and violent than it needed to be. The oil and alternative fuel message was too complex for children to understand and if Disney/Pixar put that in for the adults it wasn’t necessary. Interjecting humor throughout the movie for adults is enough. Due to the oil and secret agent storyline there were a lot of guns, shooting and violence. It was bordering on not appropriate for Will.
The best part of the movie, the races and the characters, Lightning McQueen and the race cars from around the world, were completely overshadowed by the oil and secret agent story. They didn’t even show the end of the last race in London. The story could have easily been the races around the world with the big question being who will win. That would have been enough for the kids and for me.
Although the kids will say they loved it, I can say that it is far from my favorite. With that said there were some good moments. My favorite had to be in the very beginning when Crabby, a character designed after the crab fishing boat the Northwestern from Deadliest Catch and voiced Captain Sig Hanson (both from Seattle) took Finn out to the secret oil rigs. I also felt that they did a good job paying tribute to Doc, voiced by the late Paul Newman.
Overall I was disappointed with this much anticipated sequel, because the first one is still one of my favorite cartoons. Maybe they will do better with the next one, if there is a next one. Based on how long it took to make this one, and given its bad reception, I won’t hold my breath.