Ultimate iPad Expert
I'm sure this will be an arguable subject, but I enjoyed Cars 2. I don't really know why so many people didn't like it. I thought the story was great and all the spy stuff was awesome.
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i enjoyed the Action in it. it some funny moments (i.e. "not too fast? is that your new motto"). but it didn't live up to Cars let alone any other pixar film to date and therefor, i see it as a flop. I own it on blu-ray and have watched it several times since seeing it in theaters. but it was definitely only a once in theaters movie for me. And the only reason i own it on blu-ray is for my collection.
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I personally enjoyed it a lot. My only quip with it was that when I think of Pixar sequels, Cars was at the bottom of the list and it felt forced to me. It seemed like it could have been put out by Disney or DreamWorks(who both rock btw) and I expect Planes to be more or less the exact same movie.
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Rachel Cranor
I loved it! My dad says I'm biased because I am such a Pixar fan. It has it's funny bits, the story was a bit weak, but I loved that "Mater's Dream" scene was really touching! I personally like it because I felt the same way as Mater did when I was getting bullied in grade school.
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Pixar Post - T.J.
I'm glad to hear some love for Cars 2 here since, as you mentioned, it's often a polarizing film (love or hate). Julie and I really enjoy it as well...that being said, when we first saw it in theaters, i think we had some of the reaction that some other movie-goers had. From our readers and other's what we've talked to, the most common concerns were:
  • It moved out of Radiator Springs (and didn't really revisit the town).
  • It only (relatively) briefly showed the other cars that we've come to love (e.g., Fillmore, Sarge, Sally, etc.).
  • It went from being a heart-felt film (Cars) to a film that contained words such as "kill him" (Professor Z killing the Rod Redline) in (Cars 2).  <-- This was mostly the #1 concern from parents who went in expecting to see a different kind of film with their children (which is understandable if you weren't following the trailers and other details closely).
Now, that's obviously just a high-level list of the concerns that some had and although we can see the validity in a lot of those comments, we ended up looking back at the movie (a few days after the theater) and just said, "it was a really fun movie that was Pixar's first spy film that really paid tribute to Bond films".

I think the thing that people weren't able to separate themselves from was that they always want Pixar to give them that emotional connection to the film and this movie was 99% about fun (except for Mater's Dream that Rachel mentioned). Julie and I have come to really enjoy Cars 2! It's a great movie to put on and just have as a light-hearted movie in the background...one that we don't have to be emotionally invested in and can just throw on (if you know what we're getting at). I guess in a similar way to when you just want to watch an action movie and don't want to think too much! 
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Ultimate iPad Expert
I definetly agree with you T.J. and Julie. I think a lot of people didn't like it that much because they have an emotional connection to Radiator Spring and the citizens there from the original Cars, and they wanted more of that.
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Dan the Pixar Fan
I really enjoy Cars 2 as well! I love watching it and catch new stuff every time. I see it as more of a spin off than a continuation of the original story though. There are 2 types of sequels for me...those that continue a larger story (such as the orginal Star Wars trilogy) and those that are separate stories/adventures...like James Bond or Indiana Jones. Monsters U and the Toy Story films made great sequels as they expanded and developed the characters and relationships throughout the films. Cars 2 was more like it's own adventure...it didn't really develop Mqueen's and Sally's relationship (she's hittin on Francesco most of the time lol), the theme of "slowing it down" and enjoying what is important is not continued (instead it shifts back to Mcqueen's desire to win and be the fastest and now has Piston Cups galore), Mcqueen's "Rusteeze" sponsor (who gave him his "big break"-touching moment from the first) is gone and Mcqueen's and Mater's relationship is only a little bit developed. Like PixarPost said..more of a fun action movie but a good one! I have no idea why there is SO much hate for it. Glad to see some love here as well! : )
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Pixar Post - T.J.
There are 2 types of sequels for me...those that continue a larger story (such as the orginal Star Wars trilogy) and those that are separate stories/adventures...like James Bond or Indiana Jones.

Excellent story analysis Dan - that really is a perfect example and way to describe it. Why didn't I just say that and summarize it like that! Ha! 

Plus, you really called out the big changes of "slowing down" and "McQueen's and Sally's relationship" - really, really well said! Now you're going to have to give your in-depth opinion on some other movies as well! Ha!
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I cannot argue that Cars 2 is the worst Pixar movie, but naming the worst Pixar film is like naming the worst flavor of ice cream.
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This movie is definitely criticized too much. Even though I am in the minority on this, but I liked it more than Cars 1. I think the main reason this movie is disliked is because Pixar had just released Ratatouille, WALL E, Up, and Toy Story 3, arguably the best animated movies of all time, or movies for that matter. And then comes Cars 2, which is a very fun and enjoyable film, but it's quite hard to top the last four amazing films Pixar made. It happened with Disney as well, they made movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. And while I still enjoyed the films after the Disney Renaissance, none of them came up to par with these classics. 
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somedudenamedmilan wrote:
This movie is definitely criticized too much. Even though I am in the minority on this, but I liked it more than Cars 1. I think the main reason this movie is disliked is because Pixar had just released Ratatouille, WALL E, Up, and Toy Story 3, arguably the best animated movies of all time, or movies for that matter. And then comes Cars 2, which is a very fun and enjoyable film, but it's quite hard to top the last four amazing films Pixar made. It happened with Disney as well, they made movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. And while I still enjoyed the films after the Disney Renaissance, none of them came up to par with these classics. 

You took the words outta my mouth on this one! It always grinds my gears when people display their eternal disgust for Cars 2, like it was the worst thing ever made. And I really think that Cars 2 would have been reviewed better if it hadn't come out right after those four hits, and especially on the tail of Toy Story 3. It was bad timing for the film. I too like it more than the original, and feel like it is a very fun film with a lot of humor.
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Bumping up the thread since my friend and I have watched the film several weeks ago.
I have to admit that I really did like Cars 2. Now I do understand some of the complaints TJ has mentioned above and I have to admit that when I first saw it in theaters the scene where they actually killed a couple of cars was a bit of a shock for me.
However it was still enjoyable filled with humor and some heartwarming moments which I love in Pixar films.

Also my friend pointed out that Cars 2 actually had a good message in it which is that everyone is smart in their own way even if it doesn't seem like it to other people. 
Mater knew everything there was to car parts and lemon cars, which is what helped Holly and Finn solve the case and what made him figure out who the real villain was.
If it wasn't for Mater, the case would have gone cold.
So perhaps your intelligence about things other people would consider mundane and weird, might actually be the thing that could save the world!

...OK, maybe not save the world but it might sure make a difference. XD

But anyway yeah, enjoyed Cars 2 and I really think people should tone down their hatred against this film.
It's definitely not the worst film ever.
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Pixar Post - T.J.
oozma-girl wrote:
Perhaps your intelligence about things other people would consider mundane and weird, might actually be the thing that could save the world!

Thanks for bumping this thread again - I am always happy to chat about (and defend) Cars 2! It's great what you said about people's varied intelligence - I truly believe what you said and agree wholeheartedly! If it wasn't for some people labeled as "out there", we wouldn't have some of the greatest art, vaccinations, music, etc..
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I loved this movie! Thought it was very enjoyable and entertaining. [smile]
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I can't really say I'm surprised that I'm going to be the only one expressing heavy dislike. 

About a month ago I forced myself to rent this thing from my school's rental system (where I pay nothing if I return it quick enough). My computer has now deleted this post twice, so my angry state pretty accurately reflects how I felt after watching this thing and I'm here to rant about it. Not give constructive criticism, rant. Because it was really bad.

First off, I'd like to start by saying that over the course of seven months I rented seven movies from that system. Rio, Epic, Ice Age 2, Shrek, Shrek 2, Madagascar, The Croods, and this. This was the worst. 

So this is everything that leads up to me disliking the movie;

1. Mater.

He's awful.

Not because he's obnoxious, though he most certainly is, because it's very clear that the staff loved him.

Mater is a standout in all the movies I've watched in pretty much my whole life because the movie would seem to indicate they KNOW he's obnoxious, and yet instead of siccing the occasional cosmic retribution at him like other intentionally annoying characters, it instead goes hard in the other directions and decides to heap praise and rewards on the little nail on a chalkboard.

- It's wrong to expect him to improve himself in anyway, he is already perfect.
- He gets knighted
- He gets his name on the town sign cause apparently he's famous now
- The queen of England apparently loves him now and wants him to continue spying despite the obvious problems of being a spy while simultaneously being famous.
- "Mater, you're the only one who cares about lemons like me." (Followed promptly by blatant disregard for that guy's well being, but you know, no need to comment on that.)
- "You ARE the bomb! You'll always be the bomb!"
- Even when he is blatantly failing at being a spy he still gets compliments.
- He gets a girlfriend.
- The girlfriend internalizes his philosophies because they are just so profound and wise.

And, of course, Mater does not win the day through knowledge he gained along the way. He does not win because of growth of character. He doesn't win because he's proved he'll do anything to do so. He wins because of knowledge he knew before the movie started. Because Mater's already perfect. Ugh. 

I'm not saying it's wrong to have a character who doesn't change and instead inspires change around them, WALL-E had that. I'm not saying it's wrong to have a character complimented, Ratatouille had that. Those two movies just handled it immensely better. WALL-E fit that role because he was already a fantastic person, what little flaws he had were understandable for someone who'd only had a cockroach to interact with for a century or two. Remy's compliments were a major source of contention before becoming a positive. 

And yes, I know, doing good in a movie typically entitles characters to a reward, fine, you don't need to lay it on so thick, and you most definitely don't need to sprinkle in people gushing over how great he is and dismissing all flaws as our problem not his. Cut it down. WALL-E saved humanity and got a girlfriend and some company. Sulley saved a few thousand kids, at absolute least, and he got switched to management. The Incredibles saved who knows how many lives, they got some clapping and to be super heroes again. Mater sprung into action in time to save one person, he gets to be world famous, receive a high honor from a head of state, apparently become favored by said head of state, get compliments, be absolved of any and all responsibility in regards to his friendship and the way he acts in public anywhere and everywhere, and get a girlfriend, and has absolutely no downside to any of this. 

Most of this stuff isn't even necessary with the plot they set up. What the heck does the dent thing have to do with ANYTHING? People weren't mocking him for the dents. Pixar, you realize you could have just had him tow the guy and it would have gotten the point across just as well without shilling him, right? 

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if the character actually went through crud and struggled a lot, but he just blows through everything with like four minutes of self doubt being his lowest point.

2. His relationship with Lightning is awful.

Out of all the pairs Pixar's made, these two are the only one where I legitimately feel bad for one half, because the side of the stick they're getting is so short you can't even tell it's a stick. 

The sheer amount of hypocrisy is amazing; in the first movie, pretty much the entire conflict comes from making Lightning change, because his behavior wasn't acceptable. And now, when by all rights it should be Mater's turn to change because his behavior most definitely isn't acceptable, somehow it is still Lightning's fault. 

Because the dude had the audacity to get mad at him for screwing up something he forced him into in the first place out. Those perfectly reasonable feelings are wrong. Because that's the way friendships work. One side constantly screws things up and the other just takes the hits all the time. This is a healthy friendship.

And that's not even taking into account the repeated lack of giving a care for things like "Safety" and "Not dying" on Mater's part, and his inability to leave Lightning alone for two hours (I know you think it's cute, Pixar, but taken with everything else's it's really not).

Oh yeah. And the ending. Wherein they echo Lightning doing something nice for Mater with Mater doing something nice for himself. I sense a metaphor for this movie in this somewhere, but I'm too angry about them taking a nice gesture and turning it into a display of selfishness to figure it out. 

3. Speaking of Lightning...

I sympathize with him because of things the creators never intended, but that's as far as I can go in regards to the character. He's a hallow shell. 

In the first movie, they built his personality entirely around his flaws, and then they scrubbed those away at the finale, and apparently no one thought it was necessary to make sure he had a personality to speak of for the sequel here.

He's nice. When someone isn't nice, he gets slightly angry. When things go wrong, he gets slightly angrier, and the movie claims that's wrong and he should stop doing that, so really he just has the first two. He has just the barest minimum reactions to avoid looking like a zombie.

Think of it this way; imagine three characters. Each character gets an orange chucked at their forehead.

Character 1 immediately throws a watermelon at the original thrower.

Character 2 begins worrying about how that might have messed up their hair.

Character 3 says "ow".

Two of these actually showcase things about a character's personality, one doesn't. Lightning is always that one. 

"But Bonnie, later in this you call Lightning stupidly loyal; that's a character trait." Yes it is, I will give you that, at one point in the movie he displayed one character trait for the sole purpose of moving the plot forward. I don't think it really helps.

4. Everyone a giant idiot in this movie.

It's apparently impossible for Mater to say "I have a bomb on me".

Lightning feels the need to risk severe injury to show loyalty to a friend, apparently completely unable to fathom the idea that people make mistakes.

The villains decide they need to make part of their plan overly complicated and bring in completely unnecessary factors when it could have been much more simple and likely to go right. 

The villains' whole plan is to discredit a fuel they made. What, exactly, this is meant to do is unclear. Perhaps they think discrediting one variety of something means no one will ever attempt to use another variation of said something ever again no matter how beneficial it may be. Which is idiotic.

Again with the villains, one of them feels it's not worth going into that their tow truck friend suddenly sounds different, acts different, speaks as if he doesn't know him, and speaks to the voices in his head. And Finn's reaction after the villain dismisses his blatant suspicious behavior as him not feeling well;

He's so good.

No, no he is not good, he's in a badly written movie.

The two spies think their fellow spy confidante just stays in character 24/7 for no apparent reason. Also, there are apparently no ways for them to verify their confidante's identity, which seems like a blatantly obvious thing to have if you ask me (come on, even children understand the concept of code words). If one of those other guys got that info thing he shot on Mater they apparently could have just been welcomed into the spies' ranks with open arms. 

5. Speaking of the villains...

Actually, no, let's not speak about the villains. There's nothing to speak about. They're all boring. I forget they exist when I'm thinking of Pixar villains. 

I will, however, speak about their motivation, because it's really badly handled. 

If the movie wants to motivate its villains through painting the entire Cars world as prejudice, to the point where they seem to be trying to openly kill these guys through a lack of parts made for them, it might've been smarter to actually go into this a bit and maybe imply some action to prevent the ones who haven't gone nuts from doing it again ("From the company that brought you Rust-Eze comes new Gremlin/Pacer/other car Parts!"). As is, it's just "Yeah, everyone hates 'em. Moving on...". I'm still kind of teetering on whether or not to count Holly's "history's biggest loser cars" line as an insult, which would open up a whole new can of worms as she's portrayed as 100% a good person.

6. The whole spy thing.

First off, I want to know how Lasseter's head works, because apparently it managed to get from "How would Mater react to a world tour?" to "Spies", and they do not logically flow from each other at all.

Second, no, I don't buy it.

Look, the first in a series of something is important because it sets up what people are going to expect with the series, establishing its boundaries, establishing what is and what isn't stupid within this world. This is, for instance, why you go along with the revelation that the Shrek universe has drive-thrus and billboards instead of thinking "But those didn't exist in medieval times!"; because the world was set up as a place not following reality, where this kind of things is perfectly normal. If the first movie was a normal fairy tale set in a normal medieval setting, things like this would be criticized heavily. 

Similarly, ridiculous tech existing in WALL-E feels okay because WALL-E set itself up as a sci-fi movie.

Cars was a down to Earth movie set in a world realistic enough that you could conceivably swap out everyone for a human and you'd only need to change a few minor details to make it make sense, and even the side material followed this. The change to Cars 2 is so out of nowhere it almost causes whiplash, and it stretches suspension of disbelief far beyond what's expected for this franchise. 

Not only is it a spy movie, it's a really freakin' out there spy movie. Unless I missed something, they have holograms that work perfectly without anything to actually project them from. They have video conference calls that do the same thing (can't just have him hear her through whatever he's hearing her through now because of reasons). That crud about reprogramming red lights (Sure. And while you did that, I reprogrammed my TV to be a touchscreen laptop! [rolleyes]  )They have seemingly infinite space in their bodies. I wouldn't buy this crud if it showed up in WALL-E, let alone here. 

7. Humor.

The movie has none. I can tell where it's trying, but it doesn't work.

8. Emotions

I never like the argument that the movie shouldn't be criticized because it's just meant to be a fun romp and it doesn't NEED to invoke emotions (you know. Like GOOD movies do) despite the fact that there are clearly moments where they're trying to make you cry. Now I'm wondering if that argument keeps popping up because those moments are so crummily executed people couldn't tell their intention. 

I should not be laughing during your attempts at sad scenes (no, unintentionally funny does not count as humor). I should not feel awkward either.

Crud, the scene doesn't even make sense. How is he noting these moments specifically? Some of them were followed by him being told what an idiot he's being, but several weren't; how'd he manage to pinpoint them now? 

9. Holly and Finn.

Much like the villains; I do not care about them. I just vaguely hate them for being such big idiots in such a crummy movie. 

I am so glad I didn't pay for this movie.
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