Rated: G

Distributed By:

Walt Disney, Pixar

Directed by:

John Lasseter (Cars, Toy Story 2)

Starring:

Voices of Larry the Cable Guy as Mater; Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen; Michael Caine as Finn McMissile; John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Cars 2

When we last saw Lightning McQueen, he was giving up his chance to be Piston Cup champion to help out another racecar that needed a hand. Now Lightning is a four-time Piston Cup champ, thanks to his friends and some fancy driving. Instead of taking a break, Lightning agrees to compete in the World Grand Prix in Tokyo against the arrogant Italian champion Francesco Bernoulli. Meanwhile, British spy car Finn McMissile is on one of the biggest cases of his top-secret career. It’s kept him busy zigging and zagging around the world, this time in Tokyo.

Wanting to spend more time with his best buddy Mater, Lightning invites the rusty tow truck to tag along. Tokyo is really no place for a small-town junker like Mater. Besides embarrassing Lightning with his silly jokes, McMissile thinks Mater's a spy. And a brilliant one, no less. So while Lightning is busy with the race, Mater finds himself in the middle of an international conspiracy to ruin the competition. But as the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that Mater must save the day.

Lightning and Mater have a falling out during the first race. Mater feels useless, and Lightning soon realizes that he shouldn't try to change his friend. Mater puts his life on the line to save Lightning.

Unlike in the first Cars movie, there is a lot of violent action in the film. Examples include explosions, chase scenes and a disturbing torture scene where an American spy car is blown up. Toilet humor takes center stage more often than in the original, too.

When Cars drove onscreen in 2006, it captured the small-town feel of America. It was a sweet reminder that we shouldn't speed too quickly past the important things in life. Cars 2 shifts gears and increases the action in a world-hopping tribute to classic spy movies. There's still a lot to love, of course. The animation sparkles in typical Pixar style. Solid examples of honesty, sincerity and friendship are on display. Too bad much of the original Cars’ sentimental feel was left back in Radiator Springs.

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