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Cars 2 (3D)


Stars: Voices: Larry the Cable Guy, Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro, Brent Musburger, Joe Mantegna, Thomas Kretschmann, Peter Jacobson, Bonnie Hunt , Darrell Waltrip, Franco Nero, David Hobbs, Tony Shalhoub, Jeff Garlin, Michel Michelis, Jason Isaacs, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger

Director: John Lasseter; Brad Lewis

One of the most basic rules of Hollywood moviemaking is the tried and true “If at first you succeed, make sequels”, even after, as so often happens (remember Friday the 13th?), the creative well has long ago dried out.

And so, inevitably, Pixar/Disney delivers another outbreak of motorised mayhem whose excellent animation and fine 3D filming I found rather more interesting than the film as a whole.

But then, I’m not the target audience, especially as I am not a car lover. Other than dedicated auto-addicts, I reckon youngsters who enjoy cars, corny comedy, slapstick and loud, loud noise ad lib are the target audience and they’ll be driving parents crazy until they are taken to see Cars 2.

The plot has small town American autos Lightning McQueen and his hillbilly tow truck pal Mater travelling around the world to take par in the World Grand Prix while involved with suave four-wheeled British secret agent Finn McMissile. Youngsters can safely ignore the plot in favour of the plentiful automobile action.

Caine clearly enjoys himself as the voice of McMissile, the Queen turns up as a crown-wearing Rolls-Royce and, as usual, Wilson and Izzard are eminently better heard than seen, while accompanying adults are mildly catered for in Ben Queen’s screenplay by the inclusion of such trendy subjects as sustainable energy. (By the way, my rating is for youngsters: adults can make up their own minds).

Incidentally, the Toy Story short comedy Hawaiian Holiday that accompanies Cars 2 features the memorable line "We removed the poop from the kitty litter" (to create an indoor beach). Good luck to all adults who have to explain that to their kids.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Jul 2011