Cars is easily my least favourite Pixar film. Lassiter took his own dream and forced it on the children of the world. It was an intensely personal and heartfelt work, but it turned out that, when it comes to motors, Lassiter’s heart is incredibly dull.
Apparently kids still liked it because they like cars and you can buy your own Lightning McQueen, but a marketable movie does not necessarily equal a good movie, as we all learned from the compromises that George Lucas made in Return of the Jedi and has been making ever since.
Cars did very well: certainly well enough to spawn a sequel. The first trailer was just released, and …
… Well, what the hell is this? It’s You Only Live Twice with cars.
If Pixar wanted to make a spy movie, could they not have made a spy movie? The Incredibles expertly combined the not significantly different hallmarks of both superhero and spy genres, and it was good. You could easily make a sequel to The Incredibles if you wanted to make a spy movie without true dramatically damaging the integrity of the property.
Equally, though, I can say this: Cars has nowhere to go but up. A severe genre shakeup might do it some favours, and Michael Caine is generally a welcome addition to anything (for example, he was the only tolerable element of Goldmember), but the elevation of Mater to a major character is a cause for concern.
Cars 2 is lucky: I’m going to see it because I have to. You can’t not see a Pixar movie, and maybe this one will be good against all odds?
Regardless of everything else, Cars 2 is keeping Larry the Cable Guy in work and for that Pixar should be ashamed.