Sequel hits the skids
SORRY Pixar, but your assembly line is showing.
As a long-time fan of Pixar Studios, it really pains me to say this: is, without doubt, the worst thing the computer animation powerhouse has ever put its name to.
Pixar has set toweringly high standards over the years, with modern-day classics such as
and the trilogy. So to see it run with the cartooning-by-numbers pack for
rather than blaze a trail, comes as a big disappointment.
Sure, the film looks great. But Pixar could set a movie in a garbage dump and still dazzle the eyeballs.
No, the thing about is that it all feels so desperately rushed. There’s no real chance of connecting with the viewer when everything is whizzing by in a storytelling blur.
A wafer-thin plot sees champion racer Lightning McQueen ( voiced by Owen Wilson) seeking some quality time back in his home garage at Radiator Springs after winning the Piston Cup yet again.
However, his break is swiftly interrupted when alternative-fuel tycoon Miles Axelrod ( Eddie Izzard) announces his sponsorship of a lucrative new event.
In a matter of days, Lightning is revving his engine all over the globe in a bid to win the inaugural World Grand Prix.
While the hero battles it out on the track with his biggest rival, the snooty Italian speedster Francesco Bernoulli ( John Turturro), the principal focus of the movie shifts to Lightning’s loyal offsider, Mater ( Larry the Cable Guy).
Portrayed as a dumb hick prone to spouting corny jokes, this rust-bucket tow truck is way too annoying to carry the lion’s share of
Like Goofy in the Disney cartoons of old, Mater is a secondary character best taken in small doses.
Mater’s unwitting involvement with international spies Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell ( Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer) does allow Pixar to flex some of its famous visual muscle, shown off to impressive effect in 3D.
However, it just cannot be denied that too much of the movie putters along on auto-pilot – especially when compared to the very funny and lively new Toy short,
screening before it. This is not to say is ever decidedly awful ( although the sequence where Mater is seen rinsing his rear suspension in a Japanese toilet comes mighty close).
Rather, it is just deceptively average. Perhaps it’s more of an excuse to seduce shoppers – the original has generated a whopping $ US10 billion in merchandise sales worldwide – than to wow audiences.