So I finally got around to seeing Cars 2 in theater. I thought the first Cars film was a good movie, but in comparison to Pixar’s other works, it looks like complete shit haha. I wasn’t interested in a sequel to Cars, period. I felt like a movie such as The Incredibles deserved and warranted a…
I promised my kid cousins i’d take them to see it. Is it still enjoyable for the young audiences??
Yeah I’d say so. I read a couple reviews online from parents who said that it was too violent and the story had too many socio-political messages that confused their kids though. I will say that for a G-rated movie there was a TON of machine gun fire and explosions, but nothing that will scar kids or anything. Then again I was watching movies like Terminator 2 when I was growing up… haha. I think kids would still probably enjoy it overall though.
So I finally got around to seeing Cars 2 in theater. I thought the first Cars film was a good movie, but in comparison to Pixar’s other works, it looks like complete shit haha. I wasn’t interested in a sequel to Cars, period. I felt like a movie such as The Incredibles deserved and warranted a sequel before Cars did. I saw Cars 2 as a cash grab from Disney who wanted to capitalize on the insane amount of bank they make off of Cars merchandise. They make a lot of money off merchandise with their other films, but Cars is a different story. They have Cars toys at major retailers around the country all year round, not just when the movie comes out. The critical consensus came in and I was shocked to see a Pixar movie FINALLY receive a negative rating on RottenTomatoes. I didn’t expect to like the movie, but it was sad to see Pixar’s winning streak snapped. So considering I was extremely apprehensive and almost disgusted at the idea of a Cars 2 sequel, what did I think?
I have to say that Cars 2 wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t great or anything, it wasn’t even really GOOD, but it was a decent time at the theater and better than most family orientated films these days. That being said, this is from the company that gave us such classics as the Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E, so the standard is quite different. I still certainly enjoyed Cars 2, a lot more than I expected to actually.
Let’s start off with the positives. I dug the casting of Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as the British spy cars. I have a weakness for Emily Mortimer, who I just LOVE, so anytime I can hear her voice is a thumbs up for me. Michael Caine as a spy isn’t exactly new territory for him, but it’s basically perfect casting. The biggest laughs I got were from John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli. Just some of the recurring remarks where he was essentially saying “WTF IS GOING ON!!??” was hilarious to me. Pixar has always had a knack for casting the perfect voice actor for the role instead of just trying to get the biggest names in Hollywood and “stunt cast” their films *cough*Dreamworks*cough*.
The action scenes were phenomenal! After that opening scene at the oil rigs, I thought to myself “fuck the critics! This movie is going to kick ass!” and then I saw the rest of it haha. But the action is so good throughout! If the movie was just moving from action set piece to action set piece with the British spies, I think this movie would have been INFINITELY BETTER. Instead, they throw in this half-baked storyline with Lightning McQueen and Mater because they have to tie this movie in with the first Cars movie. It would’ve been great if they just jettisoned the old characters and did their own thing with this movie. The whole theme of spies alone is something that I know Pixar could bring to it’s logical conclusion in the Cars world.
Okay, whoever came up with the idea to make Mater the main character of Cars 2 needs to be shot in the head and buried in a ditch. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!? Mater was barely tolerable in the original Cars film and he’s almost completely unbearable in the sequel, getting the most screen time of any of the characters. If Mater was fucking scrapped, literally torn to pieces, halfway through this movie, I would’ve stood up and applauded and cheered raucously.
The environmental themes are also just done so fucking poorly in Cars. In Wall-E, the themes of environmentalism were just great subtle details to the world building, in Cars 2 they actually make it a plot point and in the foreground. “Oil is bad! Let’s switch to all natural!” Could they be any more blunt about it?
This movie was also just unforgivably long. I think it clocks in at 107 minutes, but it feels longer because the pacing is just so sketchy. If they streamlined this film and kept it to 90 minutes and found a way to trim the fat, this movie would have benefited greatly. Once again, I think I’m just lamenting the fact that this could have been a bad ass secret spy action movie set in the Cars universe, but instead it gets bogged down in a storyline that is so trite and tired, not to mention done much better in other superior Pixar films.
I actually dug Cars 2 a lot more than I thought I would, but I still can’t recommend it. I expect a lot more from Pixar, period. If this movie was just super cool spy action scenes, this movie would have been so much better. I know I sound like a straight up GOON saying “we need more action!” but I really wish this movie cut out the McQueen/Mater bits which were really hampering the entire experience. Cars 2 was better than it thought it’d be, but still not that good.
Is it that time again? Yes, I finally made it back to the theaters, and this time to review a movie that I’ve been highly anticipating, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Let’s do a brief history recap of my views on the Transformers series so far. I thought the first Transformers movie was so good, just so good… it basically took Michael Bay’s sensibilities, put it to the Transformers property, and made a fun action movie. The plot was dumb, but I didn’t go to a Michael Bay movie for plot, I came for special effects and action and that movie had both in spades. Transformers 2? Oy gevalt… what a fucking tragedy. The trailers looked like it was going to give us more of the same awesomeness, and instead we got a complete train wreck. It was seriously bloated, not funny, unbelievably bad plot, and a lot of the action was incomprehensible. I pop in the first Transformers from time to time when I want something fun to watch. Transformers 2? I have only seen it in it’s entirety once and then another time Chris and I skimmed through the movie when it was released on video, that’s it.
So when Transformers 3 came around, needless to say I was apprehensive. When that first teaser trailer came out, I got more excited, but it was when the full trailer hit that I was totally amped for this movie. Then again, I tried to temper my expectations because Transformers 2 looked good from the trailers as well and turned out to be complete shit, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high. Early reviews seemed generally positive, but when the full critical consensus came out, it was mostly negative (38% on Rotten Tomatoes so far). Despite that, I was still excited to see it because Michael Bay obviously doesn’t make critic friendly movies, but I still dig Bad Boys 2 and Transformers 1.
Thankfully, Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 2; unfortunately, Transformers 3 never reaches the heights of Transformers 1.
What I really don’t understand is why Michael Bay has not figured out that less is more? Transformers 3 would’ve been an insane balls to the wall action film if it ran at a much tighter 105 minutes instead of the bloated 154 minutes that it is. Why Bay insists on trying to build plot for a film that people go to see for the action spectacle is just mind boggling. The story literally makes no sense and the movie as a whole is super dumb, why not just run with that like movies such as Commando and Fast Five and just give us a bunch of fun action shit to watch and entertain us? I want to see giant fucking robots beat the shit out of each other! Not stupid conspiracies and pretending like we actually give a shit about the “characters” in Transformers.
What makes it difficult to create an emotional response to the Transformers themselves is that the concept of them is something that is not relatable to real life. The reason Transformers 1 had that emotional connection, however slight it may be, is because of the whole boy and his first car element (which was a Steven Spielberg implementation). That’s something that everyone can connect to. The second and third films have nothing for anyone to grasp onto emotionally. It’s just robots beating the shit out of each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I am an advocate for robots beating the shit out of each other lol), but the fact that Bay fails so hard in trying to make you care is really a detriment to the film itself.
What really saves this movie from being a complete redux of the mess that was Transformers 2 is the better action sequences and the top notch special effects. I saw the film in 3D and the opening scene was an absolutely gorgeous 3D space sequence. There is stuff in this movie that you will not see anywhere else, guaranteed.
The last 45 minute block of action is ridiculously insane over the top action. For action junkies, it is a glorious sight to behold. The only area where Michael Bay seems to have improved is with his visual sense during the action scenes. Whereas Transformers 2 was his (failed) attempt at a Paul Greengrass shaky cam style action, this time around the action is clear and shot extremely well, taking advantage of the depth of 3D without being too obvious/gimmicky.
It’s sad to say that there’s not a whole lot of improvement from the Transformers 2 aside from the action. If you go into the movie for a special effects extravaganza and insane action, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much other not worthwhile crap that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. This movie is pretty much critic-proof though and you KNOW people will see it, so I will recommend that if you do see it, see it in 3D because this is the way 3D was meant to be used to enhance the movie going experience.
I was planning on writing more but… fuck it, y’all are going to see this movie anyway lol. It’s not a great film, but I think that the experience of seeing all the special effects and action in 3D is basically worth the price of admission.