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Cars 2: Movie Review

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More action-packed than the original, Cars 2 is an international spy-car adventure in the vein of Mission Impossible, a step away from the first film's laidback look at a racecar’s revelations in sleepy Route 66 town.

Beyond being filled with explosions and intrigue, Cars 2 focuses its more attention on Tow Mater. Lightning McQueen is still a major player, but Mater’s role is super-sized compared with his screen time on the first film. Strip away the James Bond-esque elements and you get an animated story about friendship. For all its pluses, Cars 2 gets a higher rating.

The Movie in a Minute

To defend his racing reputation, track star Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) heads overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix sponsored by Sir Miles Axlerod (voiced by comedian/actor Eddie Izzard). Joining McQueen on his international adventure is best bud Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). A case of mistaken identity pulls Mater into a web of spies and bad guys. From Japan to Europe, McQueen and Tow Mater rally to beat their opponents on the track and off.

What Works and What Doesn't in Cars 2

The creative work Pixar Animation Studios produces continues to amaze. Audiences now expect the best from Pixar, and the studio doesn’t disappoint with Cars 2.

Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy return as the voices of Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. Joining the cast are the voices of Michael Caine as British spy Finn McMissile, Eddie Izzard as wealthy businessman Sir Miles Axelrod, German actor Thomas Krestchmann as evil Professor X, and John Turturro as McQueen’s biggest competition on the track, Francesco Bernoulli. It’s a superbly selected cast. Oscar winner Michael Caine is especially wonderful to hear as a veteran MI-6 Aston Martin operative.

A family film about courage and friendship, Cars 2 hits all the right buttons when it comes to teaching a lesson children and adults can take to heart. Commentary on alternative fuel options and oil drilling is engrained in the story. Though not overpowering, some debating adults may dislike that element of McQueen and Mater’s epic tale.

Rated G, Cars 2 is uber clean. However, since it is more intense than the first film, children younger than five may not like it as much.

In the End

Cars 2 is rife with calamity and suspense, especially compared to its predecessor, making it a bit more thrilling. As with most Pixar films, the message is still the kicker. With all of its strengths and its message about the importance of friendship, Cars 2 is definitely one to see this summer.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's