Guest Review: ‘Cars 2’ Offers a More Sophisticated Plot than the Original

Today, we’re very excited to welcome Melissa Mitchell, site manager for, to DisZine!  Recently, Melissa had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Cars 2, and graciously offered to write a review of the upcoming film, due in theatres June 24.  Melissa attended the film with small children, and received complimentary tickets for the event.  Take it away, Melissa!

This weekend I was able to see the premiere of a highly anticipated, action-packed blockbuster movie. It was full of explosions, gunfights, a plot about oil versus alternative fuel and lots of spy missions.

No, it wasn’t the newest James Bond movie; it was the new Disney Pixar film Cars 2.

Surprised? I sure was.

The original Cars movie was a fun, bright and colorful movie. The plot was simpler, but still had something for adults with the nostalgia of Route 66. It was a movie that the whole family could enjoy, from toddlers and preschoolers to school-aged children and adults.

Cars 2 was bright and colorful, but the plot? Not so simple:

Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in Cars 2 when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning rookie field spy Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater’s action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.

While Cars was a Lightning McQueen movie, Cars 2 definitely focuses on Mater. Lightning McQueen is second and the ol’ gang from Radiator Springs falls far behind. This may disappoint some children, as it did mine.

The underlying political plot with the push of alternative fuel was at times hard for me to follow, so I would imagine children will struggle with it as well.  The movie was also full of gunfights, explosions, and cars being “killed.” As the mother of a young child, I definitely don’t find it acceptable and was surprised at the “G” rating, as it had more than enough ‘mild violence’. My recommendation would be for children ages eight and up.

Unlike the country heavy soundtrack of Cars, the Cars 2soundtrack is an eclectic mix of Weezer, Brad Paisley and Robbie Williams. The score is by Michael Giacchino of Lost, Ratatouille, Stark Trek and Up fame. Sound a little different? It definitely works.

With Cars 2 merchandise taking over stores and the news that it is expected to top Toy Story 3 (who took over 2.4 billion in retail sales) and become the largest film licensing program in history, I have no doubt that Cars 2 will still be huge this summer.

Are you excited about the release of Cars 2? Will you be taking your young children to see it?

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